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Bringing Baby Home to a One Bedroom Apartment

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

My husband and I just moved into our new one-bedroom apartment last September, so our lease will be up this year about two weeks before my delivery date. Due to the face that I have no interest (or likely, ability) to move an entire household right before giving birth to our first child and the fact that we'd prefer to avoid the financial burden of a move, we're going to stay put in our one bedroom apartment for at least another year.

 

We have room in our bedroom for a crib and possibily changing table/storage unit. I'm looking for tips on how to organize the room so that our baby has a comfortable space, and we still have some semblance of a bedroom.

 

I'm sure others have had to make do in a one bedroom apartment with kids - so any suggestions for how to keep the baby clothes, toys and things under control and organized are much appreciated. And reassurance that we're not all going to go insane in what is going to feel like a much smaller space in about six months!

post #2 of 25
How big is the room? Can you put the change table somewhere else? I had it in our room once but turning the light on to change diapers would wake everyone else up. I like it in the bathroom, but that might not be an option if the bathroom is small. If you can put shelves on the walls above the change table you can put diapers and baby's clothes on there. Little ones don't need that many clothes or toys so you should be able to keep the clutter down.

Are you totally against co-sleeping because you wouldn't need the crib then.

I had a one bedroom apartment once, it was 480 sq ft. I could totally have done a couple kids in that but then I like cozy!
post #3 of 25

dh and i were living in a one-bedroom guest house when dd was born (and did so until she was about 8 months).  it is possible.

 

dd slept in the bed with us until she was about four months old, but we had her crib set up at the foot of our bed from the time we brought her home.  we had no room for any other baby gear in our bedroom, so the fact that you might have room for a changing table/storage unit should be a big help.

 

i simply cleared out space in our closet and built-in shelves to keep dd's clothes (there's always plenty of stuff i'm not wearing/using, so i just put them in storage until we moved into a bigger place). 

 

we never had an official changing table until we moved and dd got her own bedroom.  we mostly changed her on top of the washing machine (covered with a pad) since that's where all my diapering supplies were (we had a small laundry room off of our kitchen).  we also changed her on the floor a lot (probably until well after she was one and just got super squirmy). 

 

as for toys, she didn't really have tons of stuff at that age.  just little stimulating toys that would move from room to room or wherever we were.  there was a floor play mat with dangling toys in the living room and one in the kitchen (we had a pretty good sized kitchen) that would stay put.  we did make space on a bookshelf for all of her books. 

 

we tried to limit the amount of stuff we had (and it turns out that what we did have was plenty) so that it didn't seem so cramped.  honestly it wasn't so bad.  

 

one thing i did notice, however, was that as she got older, there just wasn't much room for her to move around (not a lot of places to go and explore).  in fact, she never crawled until the very day that we moved into a bigger place.  i made sure i took her to the park or out into the yard though to make sure there were opportunities for her to enjoy more space.

 

i trust it'll work out just fine.  enjoy that baby (and your cozy little home).  smile.gif

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Our bathroom is tiny, so there's no room for a changing table in there. I can see how lighting would be a problem for night changings - maybe we can find an adjustable wall mount lamp to put next to the table for task lighting so we don't have to turn on the big overhead. I'm going to see what they have at Ikea.

 

I don't think cosleeping on a regular basis will work the best for our family. We only have a full-sized bed, so there's really not safely (for my comfort level anyway) room to have the baby between us. I'd like to maintain a personal space dedicated to my husband and I as well so we feel like we can have a level of intimacy outside of being parents, if that makes sense.

 

I also like the suggestion of putting some of our stuff in storage, like off-season clothes and books. We have a huge amount of books, so I think if we clear the bottom shelf of each of our large bookshelves and put baskets there, we'll have a place for storing the baby's toys and books that will be accessible at ground level once the baby starts to crawl.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post

Our bathroom is tiny, so there's no room for a changing table in there. I can see how lighting would be a problem for night changings - maybe we can find an adjustable wall mount lamp to put next to the table for task lighting so we don't have to turn on the big overhead. I'm going to see what they have at Ikea.

 

I don't think cosleeping on a regular basis will work the best for our family. We only have a full-sized bed, so there's really not safely (for my comfort level anyway) room to have the baby between us. I'd like to maintain a personal space dedicated to my husband and I as well so we feel like we can have a level of intimacy outside of being parents, if that makes sense.

 

I also like the suggestion of putting some of our stuff in storage, like off-season clothes and books. We have a huge amount of books, so I think if we clear the bottom shelf of each of our large bookshelves and put baskets there, we'll have a place for storing the baby's toys and books that will be accessible at ground level once the baby starts to crawl.

 

the only light we used was for night changings was a night light and it was fine (although it was high up on the wall, not close to the ground like they usually are). 

 

i understand co-sleeping not working for you.  we have a queen-sized bed (and it was cramped and, honestly, i don't think i was ever fully asleep because i was always so aware of her being there).  with our next one (due in may) we'll be using a co-sleeper instead.

 

yeah, the storage thing really worked for us.  freed up space for dd's things and we didn't have to bring any more furniture into our already cramped home.
 

post #6 of 25

We used my dresser (one of the long low kind with a mirror) for a changing table. Just put the contoured pad right on it. By the time she was wiggly enough for it to be a potential problem that it wasn't strapped down (seriously, why do they even have straps when  you're supposed to stay RIGHT THERE anyway??) she no longer needed to nurse during diaper changes anyway.

 

Her diapers and current clothes went on a little rolling utility cart thing. It still holds her clothes and has been nice because she can choose her own clothes and put them away (not tidily, but wrinkles in toddler clothes aren't something I care about).

 

A queen size bed has been plenty large. Now that she's 2.5 we're looking at getting a king size when we move.

 

For about her first ~8 months, all of her toys fit in one basket (in fact, until 4 months, she fit in there too). Then she expanded to one long low bookcase  and a basket of stuffed animals (stuffed animals are EVIL space-sucking monsters of doom. They are also adorable which is why they multiply like anything).

 

 

ETA: Ah, I see you have a full, seriously plan to have your dh sleep on the couch for the first 6 weeks. Go ahead and move to a bassinette or whatever after that, but give yourself those 6weeks of easy nursing access. There was sooo much that was hard about those first few weeks (dh would come home to both of us crying most days) but I at least faced most days with a full night's sleep because dd was right there in bed so I didn't have to fully wake up to nurse.

post #7 of 25

we made do in a small 1br apartment until dd1 was 4.5yrs.  we were ready for a bigger place around that time, but only moved at that time due to a job transfer.

 

as for space. infants really don't need alot.  dd 2 is 13m and uses one dresser drawer for her clothes (sorted by tops-5, bottoms-6, dresses-1, and socks-3).  diapers on on the shelf over the washer and toys fit in a small basket in the living room.  with dd1 we  used a large popcorn tin for her toys.

the bulkiest thing for dd1 was her bouncy seat.  for dd2 we've gotten more.  she has an exercisaucer, was inside as infant, but now is in garage which is where i put dd2 when i have to shovel snow- yay midwesteyesroll.gif

we have a play area/living room that has a small popup ball tent and a slide.  dd2 doesn't have her own room or a bed.

 

we were in temp housing in a small 2br apartment while dd2 was 6m-11m.  there were so many reason i loved it more than a house.  as a crawler, dd2 could follow me everywhere without getting frustrated.  easy to keep one place for diapers,  no real toys (we had to take all we would use for the time in temp housing inside 2 cars, so very limited)

 

for dd1 i used a changing table pad (curved foam type) on the bed.  for dd2 i just used a small scrap of a cheap table cloth to protect the bed.

 

for naps, i put dd2 on top of her boppy on the floor.  she loved to sit in it the rest of the time.

 

pp mentioned other sleeping arrangements for your dh.  i agree if you can set up a second sleeping space it will make life easier.  with dd1 dh would often sleep in the living room.  with dd2, even though we had a 2br, we all slept in 1 br (we all had separate cheap twin matresses from ikea) i would often escape to the living room to sleep in the recliner

post #8 of 25

We did it, and we had the easiest time once we gave up any semblance of having a bedroom. We had the windows pretty much blocked off to make it dark in there, and I was only in there to sleep or to put the baby to sleep. We had no room for the baby's dresser, so it became our entryway console table. Which is actually pretty convenient, considering how often you need to grab clothes and random baby stuff.

post #9 of 25

We did it for a year. We had the crib in our room, though DS1 ended up sleeping in our bed almost all the time. We also never had a changing table, we put a changing pad on top of a dresser. 

post #10 of 25

We were in a one bedroom until my son was four months, then did three months in a sublet one bedroom half way across the country. (Then a month visiting family and living out of suitcases, then a two bedroom at 8 months).

Our first place, we had the crib next to a chair next to my side of the bed and it worked great. Later we co-slept in a double bed and found it very doable with a small baby. My son was out of the crib before two and in hindsight a mini crib would have been a great way to save space that he did not use. We had a change table and loved it. It stored all our cloth diaper supplies and more. Clothes were in one of the little three drawer plastic rolling things from Target. It was next to the bathroom door and I would turn that light on. Night diapering is a pretty short period and you are so tired that a little light never got in the way of staying asleep for us. When we were in the sublet he slept in a Pea Pod tent, we stored his clothes in a dresser drawers and changed him on a recieving blanket on the living room couch.

We had a used bouncy seat that moved between the kitchen and living room and when he outgrew it we gave it away (used to begin with) and got an exesaucer (free) which is big, garish and much loved. We had very few toys so storage was not a problem. Books just went on the bookcases and the food stuff into the kitchen cupboards. We had to rearrange the living room a bit to make stroller parking. In the sublet he mostly played on the floor on a quilt. He had a spoon obsession that filled most of his toy needs. We had a FP booster chair as a highchair and he loved to sit in it and watch me do dishes.

post #11 of 25
For lighting for diaper changes, we used a flashlight. Target has small LED ones that we liked because the batteries last so long, especially rechargables.

I personally was never comfortable having a tiny newborn right in bed with me. Around 11 months or so, I started bringing her in more. Now that she is 17 months, her mattress is right next to mine on the floor, and it works. I don't think I could have kicked my hubby to the cough for the first few weeks. With my first, I had to sit up to nurse due to my stitches, and I had to tend to myself in the bathroom each time the baby got up. DH would change her while I did that, and then I'd nurse her and get her back down. I would have lost my mind without him there to help, and mostly support me. But I will say that it's impossible to plan how things will be before baby comes to some degree, as far as sleeping arrangements. I ended up sending my hubby out on our second night to get a cosleeper.

OK, thinking about limited space, I'd get either a cosleeper that can serve as a bassinet/changing table or a pack n play, which also has a changing table right there. If you travel at all, you can bring baby's bed with you. If you don't need it for some reason, it folds up. If you'd rather have a crib, then just change the baby on a pad in the crib or on your bed or on the floor. No need for a changing table. Keep baby's clothing simple. Babies don't need more than 1 little basket of toys, especially in the first year. Childproof as early as you can. Skip as much of the big equipment as you can. The stroller can live in the trunk. It can double as a swing in a pinch if you have a baby that actually likes the swing. I personally never had an electric swing and never came close to running down 1 set of batteries. My niece and nephew (twins) would only sleep in a swing for a while. The highchairs that hook onto kitchen chairs take up less space and travel well.
post #12 of 25

 

If you have not yet bought a changing table, don't bother. I had 2 kids and we just used a diaper bag that came w/ a changing mat. When the BBs were small, we changed them on the mat on our bed or on the floor. All the diaper supplies were kept in the bag. When I would go from the bedroom to the living room w/ the BB, I would bring the diaper bag with me.

 

For changing in the night, I would usually take BB out to the living room for changing and feeding and for DS, walking (sigh).

 

Clothes - do you have a spare drawer to keep the BB clothes in? If not, maybe a plastic box to start w/? Maybe you can get a couple of small ones on wheels that you can fit under the bed?

 

When the BB is a newborn, you can use a "moses basket". I borrowed one from a friend.  There's also the old "line a dresser drawer w/ apdding" trick. When they get bigger, you can put BB in the crib. We kept our crib at the foot of our bed. Of course, if you do a "family bed" it's a moot point.

 

Babies usually don't play with toys much until they are 2 or 3 months old. We kept what few we had in the living room. Same w/ the baby books.

 

You can skip buying a high chair as well. When BB starts on solids, you can feed him or her on your lap. When she gets big enough to sit up, you can buy a booster seat w/ tray that attaches to a regular chair, easier to clean than a high chair (IMHO).

 

Baby tub - you can keep in the regular tub when not in use. When the BBs were very small, I would fill the baby tub w/ warm water and carry it into my bedroom (where there was heat) and bathe them there. Then dump the water later. I felt comfortable taking a baby into the tub with me when they were about 2 or 3 months old. I would do it when my DH or someone else was there to hand me the baby and to take the baby when done, to get rid of the fear of slipping in the tub while holding a wet and squirmy baby.

 

Edited to add: My parents tell me that when I was a newborn, the warmest room in their apartment was the bathroom, which is where they kept me and my bassinet. :)

 

Good luck!

post #13 of 25

Well, I've never owned a crib due to space and financial limitations, just a pack'n'play (with bassinet) which makes it really easy to transition for travel and to a toddler bed.  In fact, my first slept on the pack'n'play pad after she refused to remain in it at 18 months.  Soon after that she slept on a body pillow until my mother bought her a crib at 2yrs of age.  Also, the pack'n'play I have has a changing station on it that can be moved up and folded over and out of the way when not in us (Graco makes it).  I would highly recommend that one. 

 

In addition, I use a "red" LED flashlight to change diapers at night and it works well. 

 

I have never done well with co-sleeping as I have had a hard time sleeping myself, so I eventually transition them to their pack'n'play in the room and then move it out when the time is right for us both.  A pack'n'play can be moved into the living room pretty easily and moved back into the room for naps during the day.  It is definitely something to think about should you decide not to co-sleep because it will give you a little more flexibility than a full-size crib which you will also need to by bumpers for so that they don't get their feet and hands stuck between the rungs. 

 

With a contoured changing pad you can put it pretty much anywhere to change diapers.  They also have portable changing pads that can be laid on any surface or the ground to change diapers.  I always lay their blanket on top to keep it warm and comfortable. 

 

Also, we never invested in a high chair, but used a "bumbo" in a chair.  Now they make trays to attach to them which makes them great for putting on the table with you while you eat or in a chair with arms.  Eventually we transitioned to a booster seat that attaches directly to the chair and is used at the table.  I recommend one that has a three point harness to ensure they don't escape the chair or fall out.

 

I have found that those plastic sterilelite (or rubbermaid) four drawer dressers (tan in color) are great for clothes. They also have a 7-drawer one in white that is taller and leaner and would probably be better for the baby stuff.  The drawers roll open and are simple and easy to organize clothing into.  I bet one of those would suffice for all your clothes and supplies in one spot.

 

By the way, we had to downsize to a one bedroom (1000 sq ft) with two children (ages 3.5yrs & 9 mo) and just moved when I was 5 month pregnant with our third, so I have learned to appreciate economizing the space.  We used the closet for the kids until we moved them into the room and took over the large living room for our bedroom, office, and dining area.  It was much easier to give the kids the smaller space where all their things were kept.

 

As far as toys go and playing: I loved the bouncers that go over the doors, keeps them safe and entertained and when they get bigger they can snack in them when you are in another room doing something.  Also, swings are great too, but can take up quite a bit of space, but can be used as a high chair alternative in many situations.  I love our baby backpack, but the new Moby wrap I got is great too!

 

Hope that helps!  I can certainly relate to your situation.  You'll be fine for the first year until they start walking as far as the space goes. :-)

post #14 of 25

We lived in a 3 room cottage for 1 1/2 years.

 

Baby co-slept.  I had a sidecar like sleeper for him but he vetoed it.  It ended up being a catch all for his toys and clothing.  But could be a space saving option for you.

Changing pad was on a dresser.  After we moved and he was a little older we actually threw it out and just used the floor or bed.

Cloth diapers were kept in a diaper holder someone gave me that hung up.  I hung it from the ceiling near the dresser.

We only had a tiny stall shower so we did have to buy a baby tub.  Now that was a pain because the whole bathroom was so tiny.  We ended up hanging it on the wall up high.

Our kitchen was very narrow so we bought one of those little portable baby seats for travel and put that on a chair for him rather then buy a highchair.

I did have a packnplay in the living room that we used once he started crawling.  More for safety if I had to run to the bathroom etc.

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

So many great suggestions; thanks everyone! I'm glad to hear that we are not crazy for attempting this. The crib and changing table we are actually getting from my sister whose two girls have outgrown it, but the more I look at the jigsaw puzzle of our room, the more I think that changing table is NOT going to fit! But we do have one of those plastic rolling dresser things that's basically empty (currently being used as a nightstand) which I think will hold everything we need it to. And likely changing diapers on the bed with a lined pad (which I think I'll sew up from laminated fabric - I love to sew and baby sewing is fun and inexpensive) will work out fine, as suggested.

 

I've decided to box up all my off season and pre-pregnancy clothes into rubbermaids to free up storage. My in laws have volunteered some attic space for storage, so that stuff, as well as our camping gear and some excess hobby stuff can go over there for a year or so. And the books. We're going to have to pack up some of our "library" for long term storage too. The hard part will be deciding which books get to stay! I'm a bit sad to put the camping gear in storage too... I'd love to be those parents that you read about in magazines that just keep on with their pre-child lives and hike the whole Adirondack trail with a newborn in a sling... but who am I kidding? We are not those people. Hahaha oh well, I'm sure I've got plenty of other adventures ahead! 

post #16 of 25
You can do it for sure! I moved into a small studio apartment when I was pregnant and now live here with my 5 1/2 month old son and our cat. We share about 225 square feet. It's small, really small but it's worked well enough so far.

I have the bare basics for furniture. My low dresser is now his with a change pad on top as his change table and we keep the dressers in the hallway outside the bathroom to save room in the main room. I get rid of this clothes as soon as he outgrows them (or at least I try to). I've stored a lot of my nice purses and things I'd normally display b/c it looked to cluttered here before. I just packed some stuff back up and stuck it in the top of my closet. he has a very small amount of toys and they go from the bed to the couch to his exersaucer or wherever he's playing. I did make a small play area on the floor, but then needed that space again, it was ok since he didn't like floor time much anyway, but he will soon and will have it when we move soon. We do co sleep, but I also have a crib at the end of my bed. It takes up to much space for such a small space, but I got it in case I needed a safe place for him sometime. We're hoping to move to a much bigger studio in the next month or so and we';; both have more space but not as much as some "mainstream" people may think.
post #17 of 25

You're not crazy. We're probably crazy for bringing another baby into what's effectively a small 1br suite with a combined kitchen/living area. (Technically it's 2br, but that second bedroom is DH's home office and it's filled to the max with computers, desks and other office things.) There are no closets in the bedrooms. Our washer/dryer unit - it is one single machine - is in the kitchen, so no utility space. The front entrance opens directly into the kitchen/living area. It is TINY. Forced minimalism is the mantra. If you've ever seen some of the tiny suites in Tokyo, that's how we've modeled our living style.

 

This is how we do it:

 --- Cosleeping. I started this after a week with DS mostly for my own sanity (I like sleep and I like being sane) but it could be a great space-saver as well. We have a queen bed and also have had the pack'n'play set up all along, even when cosleeping. It's DS' bed now - since about 13mo he's slept better in his own bed.

 --- No change table. Portable change mats on the floor instead. (Also safer and easier to keep things clean IMO.)

 --- Sofabed!! We LOVE this. DS has a little congestion and is snoring? No biggie, we'll sleep in the living area. Same for some intimate time. Note the bed has a removable and washable cover, which is great whether it's being used as a bed or for impromptu snack storage when we're not paying attention. wink1.gif

 --- Clothing rotation for everyone in the house. Keep a good but small rotation of clothing out based on your laundry cycles. Put everything else away (we use rubbermaid tubs) or donate to charity. Go through clothing 2-3x per year and toss/donate what you haven't and/or won't wear, whether it's just because you never chose it or because it doesn't fit. If you've been having problems with clothing management, push your comfort zone and be a little ruthless with what makes the cut, and shop more effectively (get high-quality garments suited to multiple situations, and less of them overall). Do the same for shoes, outerwear and anything else.

 --- Toy rotation. Be choosy with what you keep - make it count, and preferably things that are easy to condense and store, such as a train set with the mix and match track pieces. You can chuck all that into a box in a matter of minutes (under a minute if you've practiced!) and it's good reinforcement for tidy habits. No stuffies in our house, except a couple which stay in DS' bed. 

 --- Wall-mount the TV and get rid of the TV stand or entertainment center. Huge space-saving potential with that alone! We put the peripherals on top of the bookshelf which is against the wall under the TV. The bookshelf is also deep enough to accommodate baskets for storage of cluttery things like videogame controllers.

 --- Storage in every place imaginable. Use the backs of doors, walls, closet organization systems, etc. Utilize under-bed and under-couch storage. Use vertical space. Our "coffee table" is an Ikea HOL for which I sewed a waterproof, zippered liner. Bed linens and blankets are stored in there.

 

Generally - downsize, downsize, downsize! We have two sets of sheets for each bed and rotate through them. Keep enough blankets for each bed for winter and summer, maybe one more for a picnic blanket and get rid of the rest. Enough towels/washcloths for each person for current use plus one in the wash. If furniture is not being used it gets sold, and consider selling your bulkier furniture pieces and buying pieces which can serve more than one purpose or are more streamlined.

 --- Stroller is stored in the car, to keep the clutter out of the living area.

 --- Process mail and other paper clutter as soon as it comes in - shred/recycle immediately when no longer needed.

 --- Kitchen table is square and folds in half, corner to corner. Easy to move to a wall when not in use. We keep two regular chairs out, with two more folding chairs stored in the closet for when guests come by. This is probably more extreme than most people will need - I wasn't kidding when I said our place is TINY. (I dream of having a regular kitchen table... someday! ROTFLMAO.gif)

 --- My personal preference... use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Portable and easy to store away from little hands when not in use.

 

There is one thing that cannot be beat about living minimally in a small space - it's quick and easy to tidy up when everything has a place to go!

post #18 of 25

 

You're not crazy. We're probably crazy for bringing another baby into what's effectively a small 1br suite with a combined kitchen/living area. (Technically it's 2br, but that second bedroom is DH's home office and it's filled to the max with computers, desks and other office things.) There are no closets in the bedrooms. Our washer/dryer unit - it is one single machine - is in the kitchen, so no utility space. The front entrance opens directly into the kitchen/living area. It is TINY. Forced minimalism is the mantra. If you've ever seen some of the tiny suites in Tokyo, that's how we've modeled our living style.

 

This is how we do it:

 - Cosleeping. I started this after a week with DS mostly for my own sanity (I like sleep and I like being sane) but it could be a great space-saver as well. We have a queen bed and also have had the pack'n'play set up all along, even when cosleeping. It's DS' bed now - since about 13mo he's slept better in his own bed.

 - No change table. Portable change mats on the floor instead. (Also safer and easier to keep things clean IMO.)

 

 - Sofabed!! We LOVE this. DS has a little congestion and is snoring? No biggie, we'll sleep in the living area. Same for some intimate time. Note the bed has a removable and washable cover, which is great whether it's being used as a bed or for impromptu snack storage when we're not paying attention. wink1.gif

 - Clothing rotation for everyone in the house. Keep a good but small rotation of clothing out based on your laundry cycles. Put everything else away (we use rubbermaid tubs) or donate to charity. Go through clothing 2-3x per year and toss/donate what you haven't and/or won't wear, whether it's just because you never chose it or because it doesn't fit. If you've been having problems with clothing management, push your comfort zone and be a little ruthless with what makes the cut, and shop more effectively (get high-quality garments suited to multiple situations, and less of them overall). Do the same for shoes.

 - Toy rotation. Be choosy with what you keep - make it count, and preferably things that are easy to condense and store, such as a train set with the mix and match track pieces. You can chuck all that into a box in a matter of minutes (under a minute if you've practiced!) and it's good reinforcement for tidy habits. No stuffies in our house, except a couple which stay in DS' bed. 

 - Wall-mount the TV and get rid of the TV stand or entertainment center. Huge space-saving potential with that alone! We put the peripherals on top of the bookshelf which is against the wall under the TV. The bookshelf is also deep enough to accommodate baskets for storage of cluttery things like videogame controllers.

 - Storage in every place imaginable. Use the backs of doors, walls, closet organization systems, etc. Utilize under-bed and under-couch storage. Use vertical space. Our "coffee table" is an Ikea HOL for which I sewed a waterproof, zippered liner. Bed linens and blankets are stored in there.

 

Generally - downsize, downsize, downsize! We have two sets of sheets for each bed and rotate through them. Keep enough blankets for each bed for winter and summer and get rid of the excess. Enough towels/washcloths for each person for current use plus one in the wash. If furniture is not being used it gets sold, and consider selling your bulkier furniture pieces and buying pieces which can serve more than one purpose or are more streamlined.

 - Stroller is stored in the car, to keep the clutter out of the living area.

 - Process mail and other paper clutter as soon as it comes in - shred/recycle immediately when no longer needed.

 - Kitchen table is square and folds in half, corner to corner. Easy to move to a wall when not in use. We keep two regular chairs out, with two more folding chairs stored in the closet for when guests come by. This is probably more extreme than most people will need - I wasn't kidding when I said our place is TINY. (I dream of having a regular kitchen table... someday! ROTFLMAO.gif)

 - My personal preference... use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Portable and easy to store away from little hands when not in use.

 

There is one thing that cannot be beat about living minimally in a small space - it's quick and easy to tidy up when everything has a place to go!

post #19 of 25

We lived in a one-bedroom with our son for 2 years. We actually gave him the bedroom and had a fouton in the living room that looked like a couch during the day. Since the place was so small, I wanted a "grown-up" space where we could have friends over, etc. and not have a whole bunch of toys and stuff around. The small bedroom had a bookshelf for some books/toys and a toy bin. Also had a small Ikea wardrobe and dresser for his clothes and baby "stuff". He had a small play area in there as well. This way in the evening, I was able to sit down and relax in a real living room and not a playroom! My husband had a little office space in the living room, with a desk and some wall-mounted shelves. It was a small but very well-organized and minimalist place.

I also suggest under-the bed storage. It's amazing how much stuff you can fit under the bed!

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddle View Post

 

 - Cosleeping. I started this after a week with DS mostly for my own sanity (I like sleep and I like being sane) but it could be a great space-saver as well. We have a queen bed and also have had the pack'n'play set up all along, even when cosleeping. It's DS' bed now - since about 13mo he's slept better in his own bed.

 - No change table. Portable change mats on the floor instead. (Also safer and easier to keep things clean IMO.)

 

 - Sofabed!! We LOVE this. DS has a little congestion and is snoring? No biggie, we'll sleep in the living area. Same for some intimate time. Note the bed has a removable and washable cover, which is great whether it's being used as a bed or for impromptu snack storage when we're not paying attention. wink1.gif

 - Clothing rotation for everyone in the house. Keep a good but small rotation of clothing out based on your laundry cycles. Put everything else away (we use rubbermaid tubs) or donate to charity. Go through clothing 2-3x per year and toss/donate what you haven't and/or won't wear, whether it's just because you never chose it or because it doesn't fit. If you've been having problems with clothing management, push your comfort zone and be a little ruthless with what makes the cut, and shop more effectively (get high-quality garments suited to multiple situations, and less of them overall). Do the same for shoes.

 - Toy rotation. Be choosy with what you keep - make it count, and preferably things that are easy to condense and store, such as a train set with the mix and match track pieces. You can chuck all that into a box in a matter of minutes (under a minute if you've practiced!) and it's good reinforcement for tidy habits. No stuffies in our house, except a couple which stay in DS' bed. 

 - Wall-mount the TV and get rid of the TV stand or entertainment center. Huge space-saving potential with that alone! We put the peripherals on top of the bookshelf which is against the wall under the TV. The bookshelf is also deep enough to accommodate baskets for storage of cluttery things like videogame controllers.

 - Storage in every place imaginable. Use the backs of doors, walls, closet organization systems, etc. Utilize under-bed and under-couch storage. Use vertical space. Our "coffee table" is an Ikea HOL for which I sewed a waterproof, zippered liner. Bed linens and blankets are stored in there.

 

Generally - downsize, downsize, downsize! We have two sets of sheets for each bed and rotate through them. Keep enough blankets for each bed for winter and summer and get rid of the excess. Enough towels/washcloths for each person for current use plus one in the wash. If furniture is not being used it gets sold, and consider selling your bulkier furniture pieces and buying pieces which can serve more than one purpose or are more streamlined.

 - Stroller is stored in the car, to keep the clutter out of the living area.

 - Process mail and other paper clutter as soon as it comes in - shred/recycle immediately when no longer needed.

 - Kitchen table is square and folds in half, corner to corner. Easy to move to a wall when not in use. We keep two regular chairs out, with two more folding chairs stored in the closet for when guests come by. This is probably more extreme than most people will need - I wasn't kidding when I said our place is TINY. (I dream of having a regular kitchen table... someday! ROTFLMAO.gif)

 - My personal preference... use a laptop instead of a desktop computer. Portable and easy to store away from little hands when not in use.

 

There is one thing that cannot be beat about living minimally in a small space - it's quick and easy to tidy up when everything has a place to go!


We lived in a 1br apartment until ds1 was 14 months old. It was tiny too, entered right into the little kitchen, look to your right, that's the little livingroom, bathroom beyond that. Look to the left, a small hallway to the bedroom. That's it.  We built storage up, to the ceiling, almost everywhere!   We did a lot of what this pp's post has - sofa doubled as a spare bed, and no dining table - just a removable table "shelf" that hooked onto our full-wall-sized shelving unit, kept a folding chair in the utility closet and dh dined in his desk chair, just swiveled it around from his computer/desk "area" in the shelves.  We usually each ate dinner on a tray on the couch or the livingroom chair, but we set up the table for occasional dinners that we put some effort into.  :)   We had a pole-style bike rack right inside the entry door from when we kept our bicycles there, but once the baby came we used it to hang the bucket car seat and the stroller instead! 

 

The bedroom setup was queen bed, a cosleeper set up next to it, and a smallish dresser with a changing pad on top, and a hanging-pocket supply thing on the wall there for the changing station. I think we had a nightlight there for middle-of-the-night changes, it was plenty to work by.  I thought we'd need a crib, or even need the co-sleeper, but we got a baby that needed constant snuggling (and I discovered how easy it is to have the baby right there for nursing and patting, etc.) so we coslept from the start, and didn't use the cosleeper for much. As for baby equipment we had a bouncy seat, and a highchair at some point.  We put an enclosed baby gate (Superyard) encircling the full living space of the kitchen/livingroom for the baby's safe place to crawl and walk and run in circles eventually.... we had so much stored on the shelves around, and the kitchen was right there - so it was the easiest way to babyproof and give space for our playing. Almost forgot to add:  We had a roomy nightstand that we put in the livingroom that held all the baby entertainment - books on top, toys in a bin on the bottom.

 

DH and I look back at that year so fondly!  Living in the city, in our tiny cozy space, getting all clever with storage.  :)   I'm glad we didn't do it with two kids or for very long, but it was a nice new-baby family experience.
 

 

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