Having a baby in a small apartment isn’t so bad at first. Babies don’t take up a lot of room, and even though their stuff does sometimes, it’s usually fairly manageable. Once you get into toddler age, you begin to find household items in weird places, and random toys up and down your hallways. You start to wonder where all this stuff came from and what you’re supposed to do with it. It feels overwhelming, and an already small apartment starts seeming even smaller.
As the mother of a preschool age child, I have some experience with feeling like I’m drowning in stuff in my own apartment. Here are some tips I’ve used to make our space work better for our growing family.
To help keep toy clutter at bay, try keeping half of their toys in storage bins and cycling them every few weeks. This also helps your kids feel less overwhelmed by their belongings and lets them get excited about their toys whenever new ones are cycled in.
Have A Place For Everything
In a smaller space, you need to have a set place for everything. If something doesn’t have a place, it means you have too many things.
Something in, Something Out
This is a good rule for buying toys if you want to cut down on clutter. If your child wants a new toy, make sure they donate one of their old toys to someone less fortunate. This will make room for new items coming in, and also teach them to be charitable.
Consider Taking The Smaller Bedroom For Yourself
We sacrifice a lot for our kids, and sometimes that means giving them the bigger bedroom. If you only have one child, giving them the bigger room may allow them to have a desk space for school work, or extra space for toys, meaning their toys won’t be bursting out into the rest of the apartment as much. If your children share a room, it only makes sense to give them the master bedroom
Get Creative With Storage Space
I absolutely love hidden storage. At our place, we use a really beautiful dresser as a TV stand. It looks like a decor statement, but what people can’t see is that every single drawer is full of toys and art supplies. In our kitchen we have a beautiful wooden chest that is full of outdoor toys.
Thinking vertical is also a good way to come up with creative storage solutions. A baby bathtub can be hung from the back of the bathroom door, you can replace a bookshelf with floating shelves, backpacks can be hung from coat hooks, etc.
Reevaluate Your Needs & Belongings Every 6 Months
As kids grow, they’re going to need different things at different times. Your toddler might not need a homework space, but in a couple of years when they start kindergarten, they’re going to need a dedicated spot to do homework. Your preschooler might not need a ton of storage in their room, but once they become obsessed with Legos or another toy favorite, you’re going to need to come up with new storage solutions for all those small pieces. Try to do a big de-cluttering session every 6 months and evaluate what your family needs at that time.
Do you have a growing family in a small apartment? Comment your best tips below!