Whether you call a studio, a two-bedroom or a multi-level unit home, apartments can sometimes feel low on space—particularly when children enter the picture. So what can you do as a renter to make your space more hospitable for a larger family?
Here are a few easy tips to try out to make your apartment feel more spacious once you have kids.
How purposeful are you being about the furniture in your apartment? For example, dining rooms are great, but what are you doing with that space when it's not meal time? Consider swapping out your dining table for a large trunk or crate—when a tablecloth is draped over it, it's dinnertime, but when the dishes are cleared, it might contain your after-dinner board games or activities. Take stock of your major furniture items and find ways to make them dual-purpose.
You know what takes up a lot of unnecessary floor space? Dressers. As such, you can often actually save space by hanging your children's clothes versus shoving them into drawers. And since these clothing items are typically shorter in length than adult-size clothes, you can often add a second or third tension rod to the vertical space of a closet for additional hanging room.
While an apartment may lack in square footage, there's one area in which space is underused, generally speaking. Vertical space provides an opportunity to increase your storage capacity when children enter the picture, without taking up valuable floor space. Seek opportunities to incorporate tall storage units or floating shelves to maximize your vertical space. (Bonus benefit—you can prioritize which toys and play accessories you want in the daily routine by placing messy or cumbersome toys out of arm's reach of the kids.)
Fold When Possible
We all have furniture pieces that we only use on certain occasions or that we use for a limited time once or twice a day—whether it's dining chairs or living room seating. Now think about if that furniture could be easily cleared and stored to make room for playtime or guests or parties? Consider purchasing furniture that is foldable or collapsible. When in use, they serve their purposes—and when not in use, you can open up your apartment space by stowing them in the closet.
Bunk the Beds
If your household includes kids (emphasis on the plural there), avoid shoving multiple full-size beds into a small space by bunking. This even gives your children the opportunity to personalize their wall and over-bed space—not to mention that bunk beds typically offer under-bed storage. Plus, bunk beds have that added appeal of acting almost like a toy in and of itself thanks to the climbing/play element.