Raising kids takes a lot of work, but it’s a fulfilling endeavor that can be perfectly doable with the right intent and efforts. These days, 1-BR apartments are in plentiful supply in family-friendly neighborhoods that can be conducive for little kids to grow up nicely in. And while it may seem daunting to fit a family into that space instead of a single individual independently living, the size of families has shrunk in recent years, and it’s perfectly manageable to create a wonderful childhood while having a smaller home.
Here are a few tips to bringing up your kid in a small space and not being overwhelmed with stuff while still maintaining a home that has everything they need.
Create an engaging environment.
More than having lots of space that could be dead air, you’ll want to create an environment that is actually of interest to your children. Provide them avenues for learning, playing, and interacting with things to help their development. It’s also better for managing the energy levels of your kids because few things are quite as overwhelming as a bored child stuck at home. It’s all about having something to do and making the existent area count. Then, on top of that, make sure you have times when you go out and have outdoor activities.
It’s essential to give a nice balance of indoor and outdoor activities, even if you prefer one over the other so that your child has a well-rounded development and will be able to carry these on to his older years.
Make sure to keep only the things your kids are still interested in.
Things can pile up very quickly with a growing child. Suddenly, clothes that fit a few months ago have been outgrown, and toys you bought last Christmas are now left to collect dust. Since children are curious but can quickly move on to things, make sure you don’t hold on to stuff they aren’t interacting with anymore so that you don’t accumulate too many items that take up a lot of space. It’s tempting to keep some things for sentimentality or the off-chance they may need it again someday, but it’s better to keep a regular check of what they are using. You can do a regular clean-up where you pick what things to sell or give away. You can ask your kid about it so that they learn some important lessons along the way, and you don’t have to worry about them suddenly looking for something that isn’t there anymore.
Regularly clean and involve the kids here.
The formative years are the best place to start establishing good cleaning habits for your kids. Not only does this contribute to their development, but it also helps you manage your smaller habitat so that it doesn’t have to feel like a jungle. You’ll want to ensure that you maximize your space in a way that doesn’t mean you are cramming everything. While the bills will be lower and cleaning will be easier to keep up regularly, it also means that any build-up will be much more noticeable.
You don’t want to expose a young child to cleaning products and chemicals, so assign them simple tasks like tidying up any messy toys and clothes lying around and sweeping up some crumbs and the like. Studies show that parents who have clear expectations of their children for chores and have a healthy attitude end up with children who develop a more helpful nature.
Make use of vertical storage and multipurpose furniture.
Since your space may be limited, don’t forget the beauty of vertical space. Shelving can be a storage saver that leaves a lot of room to move around. Put your most used items on lower levels, and you should be able to make good use of high shelving and stacking. It’s also wise to look into furniture and storage solutions that serve more than one purpose. Think fold-out beds, desks with shelving, multipurpose cleaning tools, and that sort of stuff that can provide what you need without sacrificing much floor space.
Have an adult zone to have your own quiet time.
As much as you may love your kids, it’s perfectly natural and healthy to want and need some time for yourself. It may feel like an impossibility in a smaller home, but it’s quite doable as long as you designate an area where you can have some quiet and just read a good book. Though it may be harder to enforce this on your kid, a way to do that is to set up an area with all of the stuff they like and use. They will be likely to hang out in that area more, and you can rest up and chill in your zone until you have to get into parent mode again.
Small doesn’t need to equate to restrictions and stuffiness if you follow the steps mentioned above.