When we bought our small condo, there were three of us. Shortly after purchasing this tiny living locale, we found that we were adding a fourth to our family ranks. While this didn’t come as a shock, it did come with some reevaluating on how we were going to squeeze another person into our already small living space. Since we weren’t going to pick up and move again right away, there had to be some adjustments and tough decisions made regarding how we were going to live in a space that’s about a third the size of our previous home.
Waiting on Toys and Buying Small
It can be fun to start loading up on toys in advance of baby’s arrival, but doing so can leave us with items that take up extra room in our small condo and that baby might not even be interested in playing with as she grows older. Therefore, since space is at a premium, we will wait to see what this child really likes and is interested in, using leftover from our first child to fill that gap until she develops her own interests. Since it is pretty standard fare when it comes to toys for those first few months on up to a year or so, things like stuffed animals, rattles, teething toys, and similar items from our first child should be sufficiently entertaining.
For the few extra items we did purchase for our new baby, we tried to stay small. When looking at swings for example, we avoided the larger, round-based versions and went instead with the collapsible A-frame style as a space saver.
When trying to squeeze clothing for four people into a two-bedroom home without much in the way of closet space, we had to get a little creative. Therefore, we’ve maximized space in drawers, under beds (for storage), and added shelving to closets in order to utilize space from floor to ceiling. However, we still don’t have enough space to keep year around clothing out, so we tend to rotate by season, boxing or bagging up — or better yet, getting rid of by way of donation or garage sale — items that won’t be used during the current season. This clothing rotation allows us to store unused items until next season, allowing us to have enough room for everyone to spread out their currently used clothing. Stored items will typically go in bags or boxes under beds or in our basement storage unit which is only about three feet wide by six feet deep.
Obviously, with just two bedrooms, the kids have to share a room, and as much as mommy might like the idea of a king-sized bed all to herself, she has to share a room with me. This means that our small living room/dining room space serves multiple purposes. It acts as a living room, a dining room, a play room of sorts, my office (since I work from home), and a daycare for baby and our son who attends half-day kindergarten. This also means that we must devote plenty of time and attention to keeping this space cleaned and picked up regularly. In a way though, I try to look at this as a positive point since our ability to combine such spaces into one area keeps us from having to clean five separate areas — living room, dining, office, family room, and dining room — individually.
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