Australian property prices mean a growing number of young families are making do in small living spaces. But you don’t need to bonsai your kids, just do a little bit of prep work.
A lot of people will tell you that living in a small space will be a struggle and that kids need open spaces and big houses. In reality, newborns need no more space than a few square metres.
People with big houses spend their salary on stair gates so they can lock their kids in spaces no bigger than a quarter of your apartment. Why? Because it’s bloody hard to look after a kid who has a whole house as their playground.
If you’re worried about bringing a newborn into a small living space, don’t be. You can easily manage with a young bub in a small apartment with a few of these workarounds:
Your space is their space
Get your head around this quick-smart. Bub will get into everything and anything. They will want things that no sensible human would ever want. The trimmed nails you left on your dresser, your left shoe by the door, that lawn bowls trophy you can’t even remember winning… (the real winner was Tooheys New that day).
The closed door is your best man and $10 child safety locks the groomsmen.
Be realistic about what you buy
There are some things you can downsize and others you can’t. A cot is pretty much the same size no matter where you look. Don’t try and get away with keeping your baby in a bassinet that will only last a few months. And definitely don’t let them sleep with you! You’ll pay for that down the track.
Prams, on the other hand, do come in all shapes and sizes. There are an overwhelming amount of prams on the market, but it’s really important that you find one that fits in your car and your home. If you’re in a four-storey walk-up with no space to park it on the ground level, you’re going to need either a lightweight pram that folds, or a bloody good physio.
Downsize what you can, but think long term, too.
Unleash the power tools
You have two options. Your space isn’t going to get bigger, so you either need to get rid of it or get creative. It could be time to whip out the power tools!
Make use of the wall space in your home and think about adding some shelves or creating some built-ins, especially if you have the luxury of a second bedroom for the baby.
Just remember to get strata approval if you need it.
Make mine a double
No Scotty Cam on the tools? There’s plenty of dual-purpose furniture you can buy. Beds with storage underneath, ottomans that reveal in-seat cubbies, cots that have drawers underneath for baby’s clothes and change gear.
Make Ikea your new best friend.
Image Source: Get It Assembled
In a small space, you need to be more organised than a personal assistant with OCD. Boxes and tubs are cheap and handy. They can go in cupboards, under cots or tables, between desks – they fill spaces in your tiny home you never knew existed.
Just don’t forget to label them.