Apartment living with kids has become more and more common as the housing market has gone wack over the last few years. At the same time, working from home and home schooling have become even more prevalent since the pandemic. When small spaces, kids, and lots of time at home meet, things can get messy. But there are plenty of ways to organize your life in a small space, even if tiny humans are involved!
This post is all about my best tips for apartment living with kids, coming to you straight from our one bedroom apartment!
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Apartment Living with Kids
1. Don't Buy Multiples
When it comes to kids, it’s easy to end up with dozens of cute kids plates or bath towels of every animal in existence. The power of the impulse buy is strong when it comes to adorable children’s stuff. But the reality is, your kid only really needs one kid plate, one sippy cup, one bath towel, etc….wash them and use them again or just let them use regular plates and regular towels! There is no need to collect that stuff when it comes to apartment living with kids. Ain’t nobody have space for that.
2. Get a Sunrise Alarm Clock
Alarm clocks have been one of our biggest struggles living in a one bedroom apartment with our toddler. My husband and I both like to get up early to get a head start on the day and we had a hard time doing so without waking up our son. We recently purchased a sunrise alarm clock and it has been the perfect solution! It slowly gets brighter and brighter to reach maximum brightness at the time of your alarm to wake you up slowly, naturally, and most importantly silently. We have the light facing us and away from our son so that he can continue sleeping soundly when we get up. You can also add sound to the alarm if you want to and there are a variety of white noise options if you need noise to wake up. It has options like chirping birds or rain that don’t wake up our son either.
3. Make Use of Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains are not only useful to block out sunlight, but they are also great to block out lights within your home. If your child’s crib is in your room, hanging blackout curtains from the ceiling using these curtain rod ceiling mounts will allow you to turn on the lights while your baby is sleeping. That way you don’t have to tip toe around your room with your phone flashlight at night. Blackout curtains with ceiling mounts are also great for turning one bedroom into two spaces for kids sharing a room!
4. Let Friends and Family Know You Don't Want New Toys Every Visit
Unless told otherwise, grandparents will bring toys, clothes, books, etc. every time they come. They are simply showing their love but it can be frustrating when you are living in a small space. Do not feel bad about talking to them about it respectfully. Simply tell family and friends that you appreciate it all but that you don’t have a ton of space and to please minimize what they bring.
5. Make Sure You Have a Sound Machine
A sound machine is a powerful weapon when it comes to apartment living with kids. If one kid is down for a nap, you will probably have other kiddos running around or you yourself will be working on something nearby. If it’s a small space, it is inevitable that there will be some level of noise nearby. Sound machines can minimize the amount of times that noise wakes your child up and make naptime a whole lot easier!
6. Hide Toys Throughout Your Home
Apartment living with kids means there isn’t enough space for a playroom to hold all your toys. Living in small spaces means toys will have to be stored throughout your home. But that doesn’t mean it has to be cluttered. Check out my post, “13 Hidden Toy Storage Ideas for a Tidy Home,” for ways to keep toys tidy in a small space!
7. Go Through Toys Regularly
As much as you try, it’s inevitable that you will have toys coming into your home regularly. It might be huge toys from grandparents or an ever growing pile of happy meal toys. If toys are coming into a small space regularly, you will have to go through toys regularly too and get rid of some. As much as this might seem like a pain it is actually a great skill for your kids to learn. Teaching your kids to be generous and donate their toys to other kids is a great life lesson!
8. Get Out of the House
Your home might be tiny but the world is a huge place filled with tons of other places to explore! Get outside to a park in the summer or try a few of these 18 Fun Snow Activities for Kids in the winter time. If you don’t have a big yard or parks nearby, spending time walking in a mall or your favorite store is a great way to get out of the house too.
9. Go Easy at Holidays and Birthdays
It’s easy to get excited and go overboard on gifts for holidays and birthdays. You think it’s a great idea until the next day when you don’t have a place to put any of it. Rather than going crazy on gifts, opt to get each of your kids one big gift and only a few small gifts. Your kids will still love the day and feel special that you listened to what they wanted when they open those couple of gifts.
10. Skip the High Chair
High chairs are bulky and take up a ton of floor space. Eliminating the high chair will make your kitchen feel bigger and less chaotic. Instead of a high chair, we love using the Summer Pop N’ Sit chair. It takes up less space at home and also works great on the go!
11. Skip the Changing Table
Changing tables take up way more space than they are worth. Plus, the reality is that you will probably end up changing you kid in every room in your house anyways. Get a nice changing pad and a diaper caddy to carry wherever you need to change your little ones. If you really want a changing table, put a nice changing pad on top of a dresser for some extra storage.
12. Get a Foldable Bath Tub
The absence of a bath tub is a common problem in apartment living with kids. Many apartments don’t have bath tubs anymore. Kids can only take baths in the sink for so long before they get too big. This collapsible kid bath tub is a great option for baths that won’t take up a ton of space.
13. Make Use of Walk in Closets
If you happen to have a walk in or even a step in closet for that matter, make the most of that little bit of extra space. Our son’s entire room is actually a walk in closet attached to our room! Don’t underestimate how much space their really is in there. If you have to down size your clothing or put some stuff in storage for a bit, it will still be 100% worth it.
This post was all about how to most effectively go about apartment living with kids. It definitely takes some creativity, but it is most definitely possible to live comfortably in small spaces with kids. I hope a few of the tips we’ve discovered over the years can help make your small space feel a little bigger!