Sharing a bedroom with a toddler

In general, this was the best and worst idea that we have ever had.  

Saving a crap ton of money? Check. 
Finding ourselves getting irritated with our overflowing closet + taking it out on eachother? Doublecheck.

Before living in Santa Monica we lived in a 2 bedroom house in Echo Park (and before that a huge apartment in Chicago for 18 months...Ila's nursery was about as big as our current house here <3) After a year and a half of the hubs commuting 3 hours every day to the west side (about a 10 mile drive... so the fact that it took that long was totally brutal), we decided to take the leap and move closer to his work / the beach.  Enter astronomical rent prices, and a desire to save money. 


After obsessively cruising craigslist, and determining West Side Rentals was just not worth it, a little yellow house with green shutters and a big front yard popped up in Santa Monica. We were the 2nd people to look at it and signed the lease the next day.. all 600 square feet 1 bedroom of it. 


We decided to save money (this place was 30% lower than other comparable rentals), drastically downsize and share a bedroom for a year.

A year can't be bad right? Well just over 6 months in and I can say we are over it... but here are 4 pieces of advice to those that are considering sharing a bedroom with your toddler...

1.) Take advantage of your kids when they are still in a crib. There is something about sharing a room with a crib that feels much easier than when they switch to a big kid bed, which we just did last month. 
2.) Invest in a bedroom divider.... Ikea saved the day on this one and the big heavy curtains afford us privacy and dampens sound. 
3.) Keep your head in check / be grateful. Millions of families do this and it is a huge privilege to have your own bedroom, let alone afford to do so.
4.) Go through your closets and baskets every month. I literally always have a new pile of donation items in our car. You have to keep going through things. If I do not love it, it has to go. Toys, clothes and bathroom items are the major culprit of clutter in our house. Keep up on it. 

So let me be sure not to sugar coat this... it's HARD. Our lease is up in July and we are going to be looking for a bigger place... but we saved a lot of money this year and got rid of SO. MUCH. JUNK. But I'm ready to part with denero for space... July are you here yet?

So I'd love to hear... do you have any space saving tips or tricks?


PS-  a few weeks ago we swapped out the crib for Ila's big girl bed. It was time and a dear friend passed down her daughters to us. Now it REALLY feels like we are sharing a bedroom... I'll snap a few photos of her new big girl bed soon... she's really proud of it.