How to Survive and Thrive in a Small Space with Kids

Whether you currently have kids at home or you are planning to in the future, you might be wondering if you’ll have to move to have more space. While you should keep your budget and lifestyle in mind, there are misconstrued norms you must live or own a house to raise children. However, 43 million households are renters including those in houses, apartments, or single-family homes. Obviously, the size of your space often depends on your location – city-living is usually more condensed and more expensive which means smaller spaces. 

Wherever you’re currently living or want to end up, don’t let your current living space affect you and your family. There are numerous hacks and tips to survive and thrive in a small space with kids – it all comes down to organization, design, and, of course, getting creative! 

Benefits of Apartment Living with Kids

Apartment living with kids or in small spaces actually has many benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. One of the best things is it teaches kids how to be respectful, follow rules, and be quiet and mindful of other residents – all skills that develop great habits growing up. Additionally, it’s a great way to teach kids to clean up after themselves as you have to more often in small spaces. Also, living in an apartment complex can be more cost-effective for you as a family while also providing great amenities kids love such as a pool. Of course, one of the best benefits of living in a small space is that you can spend quality time with your kids as you won’t be worried about extensive house chores and duties that come with larger living quarters.  

Organization Tips

Having an organized home is one of the most important ways for you to thrive in a small space and there are many easy and affordable hacks to help you. Feeling organized and having a clean space actually helps reduce stress, provide soothing surroundings, and will help you save money and time. Here are some organization tips for your small space: 

1: De-Cluttering:

Clutter can make your home feel disorganized and cramped and can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Constantly de-cluttering and avoiding pile build-ups will help your space feel bigger. Make sure everything in your space has a “home” and consider doing a full deep clean to donate clothes, furniture, or toys you don’t use. You could even designate a time in the morning or evening specifically dedicated to de-cluttering every day.

2: Make Use of Vertical Space

While the square footage in your living space might be small, using the vertical space wisely will help you have enough storage while also keeping your space open. Tall cabinets, shelving, and wall beds are all additions you can add to store books, toys, towels, and other miscellaneous items. Hang items that you use, but can also double as decoration such as a surfboard or a blanket ladder. 

3: Control the Amount of Toys

Parents know that toys can get out of control with kids outgrowing certain things fast. Instead of keeping unused toys in your small space –  you can evaluate monthly which ones you need to keep and which toys you can easily donate. Bins are a great way to stay organized for toys, crafts, books, and office storage – and they can look aesthetically pleasing.

4: Have a Chore Chart 

Having kids is great for one thing – you can put them to work! Of course, only if your kids are a little bit older, you can task them with helping tidy up the home to help reduce piles and clutter build-up. A chore chart is perfect for this – even incorporating fun things like stickers or small treats is a great way to motivate them to help around the house.

Design Tips

Often, you can’t control the exact layout of the apartment or space you are renting. However, there are still ways you can adapt and create more space visually with a few design hacks.

1: Keep Your Spaces Open

Open spaces and floors that allow more movement are great for energetic kids to play and help you feel less restricted. For example, remove barriers that you can live without such as bulky chairs, kitchen islands, or large unnecessary pieces of furniture. Incorporate rugs to bring more design into your space and store things beneath beds and couches to utilize more storage space.

2: Play with the Layout

Small spaces all have different layouts so its important to play with your furniture to get the best arrangement to make it feel like home while also utilizing the space wisely. Consider replacing new furniture that takes up too much space and don’t be afraid to move your furniture around every once in a while. 

3: Bunk Beds

Even if you only have one child, bunk beds are a great way to provide an extra bed while minimizing the space it takes up in your home. Plus, kids love bunk beds and will have more space in their rooms to play. Remember, even with open spaces in a small apartment, you should still try to have a separate area or bedroom that’s just for you as well as have a designated area/bedroom for your kid(s). 

4: Convert Closets

Closets often are overlooked when it comes to small spaces – there are lots of closet installation methods you can use to maximize the closet space while also staying organized. If you’re thinking about expanding space – consider converting a closet into a small playroom or even a nursery – you can easily take out doors and install lights to make it feel like an actual room. If you have the option to demo and remove a wall, there is always something you can do to make more space.

Activities to do Inside in Small Spaces

Parents have all heard the “I’m bored” line from their kids plenty of times – this can be especially true if you live in a smaller space. Sometimes staying creative and just embracing the time is the best way to do it. Here’s a fun list of things to do inside your small space: 

  • Build a Fort – who doesn’t love forts? And in a small space it’s easier to create an epic fort with kids.
  • Play an Active Game  – Just because you’re inside doesn’t mean you have to be sitting all the time – play something like Twister that’s fun and will get you moving!
  • Cook Together – What better way to spend time than having those tiny hands help with cooking? They’ll love it and all you need is your kitchen to do it.
  • Get Outside – Even if you don’t have your own backyard, it doesn’t mean you can’t get outside – take walks, go to a park, or have a picnic!

Don’t be intimidated about raising your family in close quarters – with some good organization habits and design hacks you’ll be thriving in no time. In the long run, you and your family will still be able to create fun and loving memories – even if they are in a small space.  If you’re a landlord looking to fill an apartment or small space you can visit TurboTenant’s rental application and tenant screening services so you can find the perfect family for your rental property. 

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