This November Is “Family Month” Here at Apartment Therapy

published Nov 2, 2020
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Credit: Bijou Karman

I haven’t shared this here yet, but one good thing that’s come out of this very-not-good year? I’m having a baby girl in February.

Of course, I’m terribly excited, but I’m also terribly anxious—starting with the idea that we’re planning to stay in our one-bedroom apartment, at least for the first year. I could barely fit my husband’s stuff in here when he moved in five years ago, how on earth will we fit a third human being?! Fortunately, she’ll be a lot smaller.

I approached the problem like I do most of my problems: with spreadsheets. I have a spreadsheet for decluttering projects, one for baby gear (with a column for exactly where we’ll store each item), and another for home projects we need to tackle before she arrives (I hear blackout shades are a must). I’m making good progress on the decluttering—I spent last weekend clearing out my “seasonal” cabinet (basically three junk shelves), and this weekend we’re tackling the tupperware, plus winter coats. But I’m still having trouble picturing exactly how it’s all going to work… I’ll keep you posted, but I think the word “collapsible” will be key.

That’s part of why I’m so excited we’re featuring house tours of real families each week of November, our first ever “Family Month.” We’ll be meeting families at home all month, starting this Wednesday with a family of four living in a 170 square-food pink school bus (and I thought my space was tight). I, for one, need the inspiration and hope you’ll find helpful pieces in there too. Later on in the month, we’ll be looking at another super important part of the family, with our first-ever Pet Week. Want even more family-focused ideas? Check out our brand-new site, Cubby, focused exclusively on families living together—I loved last week’s house tour: One Family, 1,000 Toys, 2 Bedrooms, and Space to Work and Play.

Of course, part of the reason our editors originally chose to make November “Family Month”—back in the before times—was the idea that so many people typically travel to be with their families (or chosen families) during these next two months. But that all feels a little bittersweet this year, when the holiday will inevitably look different for so many. And while travel restrictions are difficult, I’m also keeping a place in my heart for those who permanently lost a family who would have been at their table this year, with more than 200,000 American deaths from Covid. That won’t get better next year, and I’m wishing you peace during a season I know can be particularly painful for the grieving.

Instead of the typical Thanksgiving and holiday content we’d ordinarily cover this month, we’ll be focusing on how to meet the holidays where you are this year. On Nov. 9, we’re launching a special pop-up section with our food site, The Kitchn, in partnership with Cointreau—all about staying home for the holidays. We’ll have advice for enjoying a holiday meal together (even when you’re not actually together), ideas for sending holiday cheer to faraway loved ones, and tips and tricks for making your space feel a little more festive.

As for me, I’m not sure what I’m doing for Thanksgiving this year—I want to keep myself, my family, and my community as safe as possible, and I’m still figuring out exactly what that looks like. But one thing I do know is that inevitably this year will look a little different from the rest. And no matter what, I’ll be with my own little family of 2.5.

I’m wishing you all a safe and healthy month. And before I leave you, if you’re reading this Monday or Tuesday and you haven’t voted, can I ask that you please, please do? Here at Apartment Therapy, we talk a lot about how “home” is more than just your four walls. It can also be your building, your street, your neighborhood, your city, your state, and even your country. Heck, the planet! Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming to imagine how to help all of those corners reflect the homes and communities we’re striving to create, but the good news is that there’s one really easy place to start: and yup, that’s voting. Already marked your ballot? Check out our list of five ways to encourage your community to do the same (without leaving your couch).


Credit: Joe Lingeman / Apartment Therapy

Our letter from the editor series appears the first Monday of every month.

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