Looking to downsize your living space? Are you trying to be "greener" with regards to cost savings and environmental impact? Or maybe you are relocating and looking to rent before buying? There are many great reasons to downsize your home, but this can be a very intimidating process. Couple that with having a busy infant or toddler and you can feel that you are in over your head! You find yourself looking around at a house full of baby items, toys and clothes and thinking that this child has more stuff than your partner and you combined! How are you going take everything you've accumulated in a single family home and fit it in a small apartment? Not to fear – here are 7 ways to take the stress out of downsizing your home and maximizing the space for your baby.
Before even moving, purge! Make sure you get rid of anything that you don’t need in your new home. Use this time to clear your home of what your children won’t need any longer. Use these three categories when cleaning out:
- THROW AWAY
- STORE (for future little ones)
- DONATE OR CONSIGN
This is a great time to do a yard sale, give to one of the many thrift stores, or consign things that don’t fit your life anymore.
STORE AND LABEL
Create a great organizational system within your children’s areas. If you are storing old clothing within their closet for future use, make sure they are labeled accordingly for easy access. Store toys in bins so that these areas look put together rather than messy. You want to make the best use of the space that you have.
A GREAT HIGH CHAIR (THAT DOESN'T TAKE UP MORE SPACE!)
Having less space in the kitchen and dining room is a common concern in many small townhouses and apartments. Instead of buying a bulky high chair for these rooms, buy a booster seat that has a detachable tray. Not only can you use this for your growing infant, but remove the tray and use it as a booster when your child is ready to eat at the table. You may also want to invest in a high chair that attaches directly to your dining room table. This is especially helpful if you have a table with an odd height. That way, your little one is right there beside you while you eat!
Check out this the Mamas & Papas Baby Bud Booster Seat which is perfect for a small dining room. It attaches to a dining room chair and has a detachable tray that you can easily remove once your toddler wants to eat at the table with you.
Make sure toys have more than one purpose. Use small squirt animals not only for bath time but for their barn toy in the playroom. They double as bath and play time fun! Also, try and make use of other things in the house that can be used as toys. Toddlers love to play “kitchen”. Give them a safe plastic mixing bowl and spoon and have them work beside you.
A NURSERY THAT DOUBLES AS A PLAY ROOM
Yes, this can be possible! Section a certain amount of space off of your child’s nursery. Put small fabric bins on the floor or inside a bookshelf and create a section of the room to play in. Since this room is already baby-proofed, it can be the ideal space to play!
NO BATH TUB, NO WORRIES!
Many times, you find an apartment that has a stand-alone shower but no bathtub. This can create a problem when you have little ones who need a bath! Don’t fret; there are many different baby bathtub options just for this purpose. Put a small stool or chair beside the shower and be right there with your baby while they bathe!
For infants, try the 4Moms Clean Water Infant Tub. Clean water cycles in from the faucet of the tub and then water flows out making sure your infant is never sitting in dirty water. It is the perfect fit for a stand alone shower!
For toddlers, we like the Karibou Baby Folding Bath. This bath tub folds up in order to make it even more of a space saver. It can hang on a doorknob or back of a bathroom door.
FIND UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS OF ACQUIRING MORE SPACE!
Finally, find hidden storage in the nursery or other areas of the house for your baby. Here are some ideas to help you acquire more space.
- Hang a shoe organizer on the back of the closet door in order to hang small toys and crafts.
- Use the space underneath the crib in order to store things like extra diapers, wipes and baby essentials.
- Hang bookshelves around the room to organize books; use fabric cubes within a bookshelf to store other baby necessities instead!
- Make a wall mounted activity center instead of having toys on the floor.
- Use a storage ottoman for the living room in order to hide toys when your child isn't using them.
Photo Credits: Jessica N., The Art of Making a Baby