Room For More – How to Fit 6 Kids in One Room.

About 4 months ago, I started Googling “How to fit 6 kids into one room” and came up with all kinds of crazy suggestions that included: Knocking down walls for elaborate built-in beds; Hand building multi-story bunk beds; Hanging tiered beds from ropes on the ceiling; and I even found one site that suggested garage storage racks!

Right now you’re probably asking yourself, “Why on earth do they need so many beds in one room?”

Well, we currently have 3 boys, and 1 ‘Hanai’ (or unrelated) boy that stays with us a lot.  We wanted him to feel like a part of the family when he’s here… And we also want to expand our family through adoption/foster care again, and need to have enough beds when the time comes.  So it’s kinda like a ‘Build it and they will come’ mentality!’ =)

Plus, our home has only 2 bedrooms, meaning we couldn’t split the kids up in multiple bedrooms. But we prefer a small house and like living simply. I love putting my kids to bed each night and hearing them giggle for a while… then in the morning, waking up to my oldest son reading to his brothers!  I grew up like this and as a result, I am very close with my family – I want the same for my kids.  And honestly, that’s the way most families survive here in Hawaii where rent is extremely expensive… it’s called the ‘Ohana’ way of living – where family makes the home, not the other way around.

Since we rent our home, live on a budget, and needed a multi-bed solution (without installing garage racks), we turned to IKEA for inspiration and sure enough, found just what we were looking for!  And, (we think) it worked perfectly!  I thought I’d share it here in case anyone else might be in need of some ideas.

But be aware, it’s still a work in progress… and although the pictures look all neat and tidy – most days it looks like 4 Tasmanian devils tore through it. =)

Here’s a look at the new room from the door.
I plan on sewing each of the boys a hanging organizer to keep their Bibles,
Flashlights, Water & Books in with the leftover fabric from their bedspreads.
I’ll try to post a photo of that when they’re done.

The Trofast Storage from Ikea can be configured in several ways including bookshelves!

Here is the trundle pulled out… the mattress is only 4″ thick, but it is comfortable!
I’ve taken a few naps on it myself! =)

Other side of the room (and our only wall without windows).

The other trundle extended.  We picked out some very low pile carpet tiles from Flor so the kids could
play comfortably, but without interfering with the low clearance trundle.

I love the toy storage!  It gives us plenty of room for Legos, Cars, Blocks, Puppets & Trains!

We opted for the colored bins, but they also come in a frosted white.

We have one shallow closet for all the boys to share.

The existing built-in rack is awkward, so we did our best to fit everybody’s clothes & supplies in there!
We used some really high tech index cards to identify what sizes are in each drawer! =)

We use Ziploc XL Flex Totes to store the various sizes of clothing that the kids have
been handed down or grown out of.  There’s always someone whose next in line! 

We’re down to just one in diapers (for now), and this is the easiest way for me to keep all the supplies handy.

I don’t know why they call them Ugly Dolls, when we find them so cute!
My boys got these as a gift and they love ’em!

Here’s a list of where I purchased everything in case you wanted to know! =)

  • White Bunk Beds with Trundle: Ikea – Tromso 
  • Pine Storage Racks & Colored Bins & Lids: Ikea – Trofast
  • Circo Reversible Bedspreads & Shams: Target (I used my sewing machine to box the corners of each bedspread to make it easier to make the bed… although the top bunks are still a pain in the butt to make!)
  • Green Sheets & Pillowcases: WalMart Mainstay’s Fitted Sheet & Case in Green Frost
  • Low Pile Green Striped Carpet Squares: Flor – Reverb Lime
  • 4 Standard Mattress (they say 10″, but fit below the 8″ max-line on the top bunk beds): Costco
  • 2 Foam Bunk Bed Mattress (4″ – any larger, and they won’t slide under bottom bunk): Local Mattress Company
  • 6 Mattress Pads: Amazon
  • 6 Waterproof, Allergen & Bed Bug Proof Mattress Protectors – Amazon
  • Ugly Dolls – We got these as a gift: Amazon
  • Kids Teach Me Time Alarm Clock – We got this as a gift: Amazon (glows green when it’s time to wake up!)
  • Blue Zippered Storage Bags in Closet – Amazon – Ziploc Flex Totes XL
  • Off-White Canvas Hanging Closet Organizer – Amazon
  • Stacking Storage Bin / Drawers – Amazon

Although we could have probably done this cheaper if living on the Mainland next to an IKEA, we estimate that the total room update to cost around $1600 – $2000… but that is because most everything had to be shipped to Hawaii, and we opted for brand new mattresses.

The boys love their new room, and I love that it functions perfectly for our needs. I’m sure eventually we’ll have to make some tweaks, but for now, we pray that God will fill each bed with a new brother and/or sister to love!  In the mean time, we’ve got a plenty of room for sleepovers! =)

God Bless!
~ Erika


  1. mindy says

    Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I just ordered a Vitamix through your link. I have been needing to replace mine for some time and finally did it. I am pretty involved with advocating for orphans (specifically ones with special needs at and really wanted to help someone who is adopting but couldn’t find anyone who is a vitamix associate through my normal network of adopting parents so I turned to google. I chose your associate link because I saw that you have adopted. I know this is really odd and random, I just wanted to let you know where the random sale came from and why I chose you to buy it through. I look forward to looking around the blog and getting some recipe ideas.

    • says

      Aloha Mindy!

      Thank you so much! It was so thoughtful of you to consider buying a VitaMix through my link… Every little bit helps me to keep up this website and most importantly, it encourages me to keep going! =) I absolutely LOVE your website/ministry! Even here in Hawaii, children are often overlooked for adoption because of their ‘special needs’… It’s so refreshing to see how you guys are advocating for these children & families!

      Hugs & God’s Blessings!!
      ~ Erika

  2. Meghan says

    I’m a mom to 5 littles in a 3 bedroom house… I’m gonna try to implement your ikea bunk bed ideas… When I look on ikea website, the tromso only appears to be a loft bed… The svarta is a metal bunk but looks different than what you have in your photos… Am I missing something?? Lol

  3. Charlotte Hansen says

    I appreciate you so much Erika. I am inspired by your testimony that shines through in all that you do. I also found the IKEA bunkbeds to sleep my 4 kids. It was helpful to see how you have organized everything.

  4. Mel Lin says

    Odd that I am looking for multiple beds so we can fost-adopt, and your page here fits just what I am thinking of! Love the thought of having a “Bible, flashlight, and water bottle” stash for each kid.

  5. Jenny B. says

    Their room looks wonderful! I am pregnant with our third child, and our two older boys currently share a bedroom while the other bedroom is their playroom. The playroom will need to become the nursery, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to get our boys AND their toys in one room. I honestly thought we were going to have to move, but you have given me hope! Thanks!!

  6. amanda says

    just wanted to say you did an amazing job!!! wow room looks great! now are the kids clothes they wear daily in bins or in those bags in closet? thanks for posting where everything came from not only functional but super cute!

    • says

      Hi Amanda!

      Thanks for the sweet comment! I put the daily clothes in the clear plastic drawer bins (or hung up in the closet for the bigger boys), and the clothes that are waiting to be handed down in the blue bags on the shelf. This way, I can rotate the sizes as they grow.

      Thanks & God Bless! =)

  7. Sarah says

    Hi are those mattresses from costco comfortable for an adult too? A decent firmness? Your kids room looks great btw . We are ordering the bunks from ikea next week and need to find a decent bunk mattress. I ordered one from sears but fear it may be too thick. Had been looking at the ones on costo website but was hesitant to order not being able to try 1st.

    • says

      Hi Sarah! Yes, the mattresses from Costco are super comfy… I’ve ‘accidentally’ fallen asleep on them many times! LOL =) We had no trouble with them being too thick for the Ikea bunks – except the bottom trundles which required a special 4″ Foam Mattress for clearance (we bought these at a local mattress store). I thought the foam ones would be uncomfortable, but I love them too! Hope it all works well for you… God Bless! ~Erka

  8. Anne says

    What is the size of the boys’ room? We are looking for a home right now and all the bedrooms are a typical 10×10 and we are wondering how to fit 4 children in one room…5th is due in October. Would these beds work in a 10×10 room? Will these beds work for children even when they grow up, ie can teenagers sleep in them or are the mattresses too thin? (Just planning for the future :)
    I’m so happy to have found this bedroom setup of yours; I can’t wait to show it to my husband!

    • says

      Hi Anne!

      The measurements of our boys room is 12×14 (we gave them what would be considered the master) – it would also work in our smaller bedroom, but it doesn’t fit as many storage shelves… so depending on the room layout, this set-up might work for you.

      Aside from our own 4 boys, we’ve had all kinds of guests stay in their room including adults, and they all seem to fit & have a good nights sleep. I’ve fallen asleep in my kids room many times and I think the mattresses are super comfy and the bunks have held up well. As my boys get bigger (and the little ones can be trusted on the top bunks), I actually think that moving the larger kids below is a better idea. This way, the big kids won’t disturb the little ones if they go to bed later or wake up early.

      Hope that helps – God Bless!

  9. Hank says

    My wife is almost 8 months pregnant with our eighth and we opted to make more room with Svarta bunk bed.
    We liked what you did with the twin bunk and pull out (we picked up the bunk bed today but the pull out was out of stock).
    We opted to go with the MORGEDAL mattresses as the bunks are for our older kids and we thought the thicker mattress would be more comfortable but it doesn’t seem like that mattress would fit on the Svarta pullout.

    You mentioned that the mattress was 4 inches thick – what would be the maximum thickness that the pull out can accommodate under the bunk bed?

    • says

      Hi Hank! Congrats on #8! The beds & top bunks are just the standard twin mattresses from Costco… But, for our lower pull-outs, we had to buy a 4″ foam mattress from a local mattress store – I initially bought a 5″ and it was just a bit too big, especially once I put bedding on it… Plus, the foam is so much more comfy than I thought it would be – I’ve slept on them several times. =) Hope that helps! God Bless! ~Erika

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