As demonstrated by our Small, Cool contest, and our friends at Ohdeedoh, living in small spaces with kids is possible. It's easy to get distracted by the homes' cool designs, but what we really want to know is how they actually get this done: storage, furniture, toys — how do they deal with everything?! So we turned to Grist for their great list of how to live in a small space with kids, and not go crazy!
For Grist's list, they define a small space as anything between 500-1000 square feet, but admit that this will vary depending on how many people living in the home and whether your home includes a basement, garage or outdoor space. While we think these tips are helpful for anyone living in small quarters, they are super handy if you are currently, or thinking of, living in a small space with kids:
1 Make 'stuff'' earn its keep: "Before you go gangbusters on the baby gear (or kitchen gadgets, or tools), make sure it will be worth the space it will take up..."
2 Think vertical: "Instead of shoving the [stuffed] animals into their already packed closet, we installed some high display shelves and stored them up there. Voilà! The stuffed animals remained, the kids' room looked more festive and "kid-like," and their closet and floor space were spared. Win-win-win..."
3 Choose multipurpose, foldable furniture: "Coffee tables, seating, and even beds with storage are a city parent's friend. So are futons and fold-out sofas. For items you don't use every day, see if you can find a version that is easy to stow away."
4 Downsize appliances: "If you have a standard-size water heater that's on its last legs, consider replacing it with a tankless version. This will free an entire closet for storage and have the added benefit of saving energy and money..."
5 Digitize it: "Take photos of items I'd like to preserve and to allow photos of an experience to serve as my souvenir. Sure, there are certain things I still save, but I'm becoming more willing to use pictures and (electronic) written memories as keepsakes..."
6 Stash stuff with your neighbors: "If you know people in your neighborhood with kids, consider forming a "swap co-op." If you're finished with your baby swing but anticipate needing it in the future, you can pass it on to a co-op member with a tiny one, who will then pass it on to you when (if) you need it again."
7 The world is your backyard — go play in it!: "Instead of thinking of your home as the place that meets all of your entertainment and recreation needs, think of it as a springboard that provides easy access to all of the enriching opportunities a city can provide. Use the library regularly instead of storing tons of books in your home. Visit nearby parks for outdoor time -- and to meet other families in your neighborhood..."
Read the full story and all the details: Grist
Related Post: Families in Small Spaces: How To Do It And Not Go Crazy