Are you ready to organize and decorate your twin nursery, but are questioning how you are going to fit everything inside? It is no secret that babies come with a lot of stuff. Arranging a small room for just one baby can be a challenge. With twins, it can feel like a game of Tetris.
Our girls’ room is on the small side, approximately 9.5 feet x 11 feet. It is not the smallest out there by any means. But it is certainly small enough that I spent plenty of hours contemplating how to fit the furniture we needed inside.
If you are in a similar situation, read on for 7 creative ways to maximize floor space in a small twin nursery.
#1 – Consider Seating for 3 (or 4!)
This is not exactly a tip for saving space, but it is something that you need to think about as you organize the room. Rocking chairs and gliders are the popular choice for most baby rooms. But that’s not practical with twins. If you are planning to breastfeed your babies at the same time, you need space. More space than a rocking chair or glider offers. Luckily, there are a couple of options.
Look for a compact loveseat. They are wide enough to enable tandem breastfeeding. Or, if bottle-feeding, they are wide enough for two seated adults. Also, as your twins get older, there will be plenty of space to snuggle for bedtime stories. Finally, it is a useful piece of furniture that can be repurposed elsewhere in your house once it is no longer needed in the twin nursery.
We used a loveseat in our twins’ room. Primarily because I found a compact one that wasn’t too expensive, and it functioned well for its purpose. We did have to move the loveseat out of the room once we transitioned our girls from their mini cribs to toddler beds as there was no longer space for it.
This is essentially an extra-wide glider chair. Although not wide enough to accommodate two adults comfortably, most should be wide enough to manage tandem breastfeeding. Admittedly, it will probably take a little extra practice to work within the smaller space.
The benefit of a chair-and-a-half is that it is narrower than a loveseat and so will take up less floor space. The downside is that you might lose that saved space in depth. As a glider, it needs to be positioned farther away from a wall than a loveseat to enable it to glide forward and backward.
Ultimately, the decision between a loveseat or a chair-and-a-half might depend on the floor plan of your twin nursery and the other furniture you plan to incorporate.
The necessity of a larger seating option is not ideal in an already small room. To accommodate this, you need to think creatively about how to maximize the space you have. This is where the following tips become useful.
#2 – Use Mini Cribs
If you are struggling to figure out how to fit two cribs, a dresser, and seating in your twin nursery, you should look at mini cribs. Smaller than standard-size cribs, they take up significantly less floor space. It’s true, your twins will outgrow them faster. But by that time, they will most likely be at a very reasonable age to transition to toddler beds.
Comparing the Dimensions
The inner dimensions of standard/full-size cribs are defined by law, making it easy to buy mattresses and bedding. Mini cribs, however, are essentially defined as anything smaller than a standard-size crib. This means that the sizes (and shapes!) of mini cribs can vary. However, most mini cribs have an “unofficial standard” inner size.
Approximate Inner Dimensions:
Mini Cribs: 38″ L x 24″ D
Standard/Full Cribs: 52″ L x 28″ D
So, compared to standard-sized cribs, mini cribs are approximately 14-inches shorter in length, and 2-inches shorter in depth.
When buying mattresses and bedding for mini cribs, be sure to pay close attention to the dimensions. Most mattresses and bedding are for standard-size cribs, which will be too large.
It is also important to note that mini cribs are just as safe as standard-size cribs. The railing height is the same, so your twins will not climb out any faster than they would out of standard-size cribs.
Average-sized kids should fit in a mini crib until approximately 2 years old. Standard-sized cribs can typically fit an average-sized kid until about 4 years old.
Our twin girls used mini cribs until they were 2y+2m old (both are above average in height). Space was starting to get snug lengthwise at that point, but they would have been fine for another couple of months. We transitioned them to toddler beds at that time because we planned to begin potty training the following month. We wanted the bed transition settled before starting potty training.
Most mini cribs are convertible, just like standard-size cribs. The difference is the size they convert to. With a conversion kit, mini cribs can convert to twin-sized beds. Whereas standard-size cribs convert into double/full-sized beds.
If you are working within a small space, it is helpful to also consider future room arrangements as your twins grow. Since our girls’ room is small, there is no way we’d fit two double-sized beds in there anyway (if we’d gone with standard-sized cribs and converted them). I plan to keep my daughters in their toddler beds as long as possible. Once they outgrow the toddler beds, I’m hoping they will be old enough to transition to a twin-over-twin bunk bed.
Ultimately, mini cribs are a great option if space is a premium and you are also trying to fit a dresser and/or some sort of seating in the room. You can find mini cribs at popular online retailers such as Wayfair, Overstock, Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc.
#3 – Forego the Traditional Changing Table
When space is tight in your twin nursery, you should probably forget about having a traditional stand-alone changing table in the room. The same goes for the cribs with attached changing tables.
Instead, opt for a changing pad placed on top of a small dresser. Just make sure the dresser is a comfortable height to perform diaper changes. You’ll be doing lots of them! Pro-tip…cut a piece of grippy rubber shelf liner and place it under the changing pad. It will help keep the pad from sliding around on top of the dresser. Most changing pads also come with a strap to help anchor them in place.
#4 – Maximize Closet Space
If there is a closet in the twin nursery, even if it is small, maximize the space as efficiently as possible. Here are some ideas:
Double Clothing Hanger Racks
Baby and little kids’ clothes are small. If the closet is shallow and you prefer to hang clothes, consider installing two clothing hanger racks. Vertically stack them one on top of the other. You’ll have double the hanging space!
Dresser in the Closet
Some rooms are small, but with decent-sized closets. In this case, consider placing the dresser inside the closet. One option is to position it below the clothing rack (if you only have one rack up high). Although this orientation clearly won’t work if you are planning to use the dresser as the changing station.
This is a good option if you don’t have space for a dresser in the closet, or if your closet is oddly shaped. Cubical shelving is versatile as you can get it in a variety of orientations. One, two, three, or four-tiers tall. Square or rectangular shaped. Even asymmetrical. Use fabric storage cubes to organize and label your items. Cubical shelving is a great way to store bedding, shoes, bulky clothing, outerwear, stuffed animals, books, etc.
Place an over-the-door hanging organizer on the inside of the closet door. It looks nicer as it is not visible when the door is closed. This is a great way to store toiletries, bibs, diapers, stuffed animals, clothes, etc. Both the basket and pocket varieties are popular. Just think about what type of items you want to store there and pick the organizer style that best meets those needs.
#5 – Remove The Closet Door
When you are cramped for space, you need to think outside the box. It is surprising how much floor space is inaccessible due to how closet doors swing open and closed. Consider removing the closet door entirely.
Install a tension rod in the doorway and hang a nice-looking curtain that blends with the room’s décor. If you get a curtain with grommets, it will slide better on the rod.
#6 – Install Floating Shelves
Free up floor space by finding creative ways to store essentials up higher.
Books are awesome and we of course want to encourage reading. But a stand-alone bookcase takes up unnecessary space in an already tiny room. Instead, install floating bookshelves on the walls. Even better, install them on the wall behind a door. It is a space that can’t accommodate other furniture anyway. Floating shelves can also be installed higher on the walls to store items that you prefer to keep out of your kids’ reach.
These are essentially individual cubes with an open front that are attached to the wall. Deeper in-depth, they can accommodate larger items. You could hang them above the cribs, above the dresser or seating area, or elsewhere in the room. Just think critically about the future growth of your twins before installing them. Do you want your toddlers to eventually have access to the cubes or not? You also don’t want the cubes at a height that will be a hazard in a year or two – think about little heads banging on sharp corners.
#7 – Use Under Bed Storage Bins
Don’t forget about the space under the cribs! This is frequently under-utilized. Simple plastic bins will work perfectly. It is a great space to store extra bedding or clothing that doesn’t get used every day. Get bed skirts for the cribs, and voila, the bins are out of sight!
Just remember that as your twins begin to sit and stand up, you will need to gradually lower the height of the crib mattress. This means the vertical free space under the cribs will shrink. Just keep this in mind as you choose the size of your under-crib bins.
Start Getting Organized!
I hope you find a few of these ideas useful as you being to organize your twin nursery. The process can be fun and exciting, but also frustrating at times when you realize the limitations of a small space. And don’t feel like you have to stick with the same layout forever. We have moved the furniture around multiples during the first three years of my twins’ life based on changing needs.
Have other creative ideas for organizing and maximizing space in a small room? Please leave them in the comments!