Starting a Family in a One Bedroom Apartment

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Family in a Small Apartment

Bringing a new life into the world is one of the most daunting and fulfilling experiences existence has to offer. Of course, it’s easy to see how living in a one bedroom apartment with a newborn could seem a little overwhelming. Many new parents find it hard to create enough space to adequately care for their child in an already-crammed apartment. On top of that, many new parents still wish to retain a general sense of privacy in their homes.

As long as you’re open-minded and smart about your use of space, making a one bedroom apartment work for your budding family can be much more manageable than you think. Here are some of the methods other new families have taken up:

Out With the Old, In With the New

Baby showers, gifts, toys, diapers, cribs…it’s amazing how fast things can pile up when you bring a new child into your home. That’s why it’s so important to clear up as much space as possible before your baby is born so that there will be a seamless transition home from the birthing center or hospital. A good tip for any apartment dweller is to make the most of all available space, but this is especially important for new families living in a one bedroom apartment. The quickest and most efficient way to do this is to get rid of anything you don’t use or need. This is an essential part of nesting — not only because it saves space, but also because your home must by properly “baby-proofed” in order to keep your infant safe. This means removing all items from your home that could pose a potential threat to a newborn child. The Goodwill pickup service is about to become your new best friend.

A good tip is to start with the bathroom, as this is usually the smallest and least daunting room in the apartment. Have a box handy and fill it with any cleaning products that may be toxic to children. Toss any old towels that may be rough on a baby’s skin, as well as any self-care products that are more than a year old. As one blog puts it, “Keep in mind that once you open a product, in this case a shampoo, the clock starts to tick. In fact, the exposure to light, air, and bacteria could break the shampoo’s components, thereby making them less effective.” This is true for all self-care products, including lotions, liquid soaps, hair care oils, etc.

When you’re finished, you should have a lot more cabinet space to work with, giving you plenty of room for baby bath products. Another good idea is to use a toilet-seat trainer for potty training rather than a portable potty. Since the trainer-seat fits directly over your toilet, it won’t ever take up any bathroom space.

In the kitchen, throw out any old or toxic cleaners, as well as any chipped glassware, rat/bug poisons, or sharp objects that can’t otherwise be safely stored away. Stacking items in cabinets will save you a lot of space. Stack your cups, mugs, cans, food boxes, jars, pots, pans, and dinnerware.

Baby Gear & Furniture

When my daughter was born, I found that it was much easier (and more space-efficient) to have her sleep in a bedside rocker rather than a crib. Having her right next to the bed made it extremely easy to care for her at night, and it hardly took up any space at all. An added benefit to this is that most bassinets and rockers can be folded up and placed in a closet during the day.

Instead of cumbersome floor bouncers, consider buying a more compact doorway bouncer. Doorway bouncers are also typically much cheaper than floor bouncers. Doorway bouncers are also movable, so you can put them at the entryway to any room you are in and always keep a vigilant eye on your child.

Use Vertical Space in the Apartment

Storage Baskets

While your bedroom should only contain essentials so you can easily reach your child as needed, you’ll still want furnishings like bookshelves in there to help you organize your own belongings. You can solve this problem by making the most of vertical space. Instead of a short, wide bookshelf, look for a thin, tall bookshelf or a corner unit that you can easily slip out of the way. Make sure you have a raised bed, and use under-the-bed storage bins to store baby accessories. If you have space under your sofa, you can store things there, too. Use your closets wisely, and invest in stackable storage units and/or rolling drawer storage units to maximize your space efficiency. By consolidating your belongings and maximizing all of your available space, your family can live happily in even the smallest apartment.

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