Living in a small space with children, especially in the heart of the city, can be a blessing in disguise. While a tiny space filled with energetic youngsters and their numerous toys, temper tantrums and loud noises may seem hectic, apartment living offers several advantages. Saving money, living simply and getting more quality time with your kids during their formative years are all perks of starting and growing a family in an apartment. Here are four tips for making your apartment a safe and comfortable place in which to raise children.
1. Embrace Minimalism
Living in a small space encourages you to purge what you don’t need or want. Birthday party favors and glittery school art projects will most likely come home on a regular basis. Try to set aside time to clean out your apartment at least three times a year to help prevent monstrous buildups of clutter. Consider implementing tidying techniques to make the best use of your square footage.
Give away toys that aren’t played with, clothes that have been outgrown and books that are rarely read. Minimalism also tends to breed creativity. With fewer toys around the apartment, your kids are more likely to improvise and use their imagination. You might also form a swap co-op with the families in your building. By borrowing large baby items for short periods of time — such as a bouncy seat or play mat — you can save space.
2. The World Is Your Backyard
Think of your apartment as a springboard that provides easy access to enriching opportunities and spontaneous adventures, especially if you reside in a big city. Your home essentially expands to include your neighborhood. Visit the library instead of collecting books at home, head to the local park for some fresh air or meet with other families in your building for playdates. Some apartment communities even offer on-site amenities, such as community playgrounds and pools.
Without extra space for a playroom or a garage full of outdoor recreation equipment, your children are bound to seek fun elsewhere once they’ve exhausted their limited entertainment options. Regularly venturing out of the apartment allows kids to burn off energy and parents to keep their sanity.
3. Find an Apartment Early
The number of families living in rentals has increased by 1.9 million over the last decade. Whether you’re starting or growing a family in an apartment, finding the right one takes time. Starting your search early can help you locate a unit in a good school district that fits your kids’ needs and your family’s lifestyle. It also allows you to take time to explore nearby neighborhoods, medical services, parks, libraries, and grocery stores.
4. Work With What You Have
Get creative by finding multiple uses for rooms and furniture. The living area can double as a playroom and a coffee table can double as a storage unit for toys. Keep furniture from becoming roadblocks by incorporating collapsible tables, chairs or a murphy bed into your layout — they’ll open up space for working, entertaining and other activities.
Working with a smaller space may require a bit more resourcefulness, but creating a family-friendly apartment is definitely achievable. By keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can turn a tiny living space into a family sanctuary.