Small apartment living with your young children can be a snug setup. There are plenty of perks, like how being in close quarters provides more opportunities for father-and-child time or having less space to look after. That said, some challenges also exist, as I can attest to. It’s important to be well-prepared when taking kids into a small-scale space.

Have the Big Talk With Your Children

Some kids don’t understand the limitations of apartment living, especially when they initially grow up in a house. Talk with your children and set ground rules like avoiding noise and not creating unnecessary clutter.

Having a discussion is even more imperative for parents with multiple kids. Some children enjoy sharing the same bedroom and space. However, one may compromise on style and decorations while losing their sense of individuality. Focus on airing out these issues to prevent future fights.

For a time when I was young, we lived in a particularly small third-floor apartment. My dad gave my sister and me the biggest bedroom in the apartment, while he just slept on the sofa bed in the living room. It was a tough situation, but I still appreciate how he made do. I suggest getting loft beds or dividers if it’s still a tight squeeze. This addition can provide a sense of privacy and an avenue for self-expression.

Keep All Clothes in One Closet

Clothes can take up plenty of space, especially when you split the load into several rooms and drawers. Consolidate every article of clothing and keep them in one family closet. You can use small bins and labels to separate each family member’s items.

Be strategic about where you place the family closet. Put it in a common area for easy access. You can set it by your laundry amenities like I do, which simplifies unloading, folding and storing clothes during washing day.

Sort Through Your Kid’s Possessions

Children will have plenty of toys while they’re still young. It’s essential to surround and ground them with these familiar objects in their space. However, be selective about which ones to keep and how to store them. Include your kids in the decision-making process.

It can be challenging for young children to part with their items. Talk about how donating a toy and giving it a better home may be better. Give them a reward and a pat on the back when done with decluttering. 

Some kids prefer keeping their items in clear organizers or open shelves when storing what’s left. You can also suggest getting closed dressers. Putting them out of sight can make a room feel much cleaner. This may help them develop a sense of object permanence.

Seek Multifunctional Furniture

Multifunctional furniture is essential when it comes to organizing small apartment living. For example, extending a coffee table to a dining table can save you several square feet of space. You can also get a computer desk that simultaneously accommodates play and work. This setup is critical if you have a work-from-home job.

You can also consider installing multifunctional wall shelves and pegboards. These inclusions can allow you and your kids to display certain decorative items. My son loves to show off a Lego car we built together. I like using the extra space as a storage solution.

Be Selective With Your Kitchenware

Cooking is fun, especially on the weekends when you can take your time. However, you must be selective with your kitchenware. Kids might ask for all kinds of cooking gadgets they see online, and you need to learn to say no. For example, you can skip getting a pasta maker if you never make noodles from scratch. 

Get essentials like a microwave and air fryer. Instead of buying new kitchenware, you can suggest different recipes to make with your kids. Aside from saving space, you get to bond with your children.

Find Soundproofing Solutions

Trust me, it is not fun to get a noise complaint. Once, a neighbor knocked on our door because they couldn’t stand listening to my kid wailing daily. What works for my family is to soundproof the walls. That way, we don’t bother the neighbors. Plus, it can prevent exterior noise and provide a good night’s rest.

The most straightforward way to soundproof your apartment is to hang acoustic panels on the wall. Upholstering walls can also be a good solution. Remember to speak with your landlord since its future removal can create damage.

Increase Security for the Apartment

No one likes to think of security breaches at their home. However, theft, trespassing and vandalism are considerably more common in apartment buildings. It’s important to stay vigilant and increase security to keep you and your children safe.

See whether security cameras cover the hallway and entryway to your apartment. Install a CCTV if there are blind spots. You can also reinforce the apartment door with better locks and an alarm system.

Protect the apartment windows as well. Add locks to make them harder to open. You can also get blackout curtains to deter strangers outside from surveying your space and planning to break in. Teach your kids to close them at night.

Assign Cleaning Duties

The good news about small apartment living is that there’s less space to clean up daily. The bad news is that dust and dirt can easily accumulate in cluttered areas, especially with a kid around. Make a point of tidying up daily to avoid big messes.

Get your children involved with cleaning. Ask them to maintain their bed space and keep toys from the common area. After meals, you teach them to move plates to the sink and place disposables in the trash. Build these habits early on.

You can also set aside a dedicated day for deep cleaning each month. Sweeping and scrubbing the floors and corners keeps your home spotless. Plus, you can inspect for mold and mildew, which can harm your and your children’s health.

Bring Your Kids Outside

Bring your kids out of the apartment now and then. Spending time playing outside improves learning capabilities and promotes curiosity in the long run. Plus, it can be refreshing to 

step out and see how big the world is after staying in a small space. 

Some kids need a small nudge to get out and spread their wings, so give your approval or set dates. Most complexes are close to various establishments. Take them to shops, restaurants and community parks. If your building has a garden or pool area, let them explore.

Enjoy Being an Apartment Family

Small apartment living can take some adjusting. Take my advice to improve your home situation. Once your family gets into a good flow, you’ll be surprised how well you and your kids make the most of your space.

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About Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw is the senior lifestyle writer at Modded with special interest in navigating the ins and outs of interpersonal relationships and emotional health. You'll likely find him playing with his dog or exploring nature with his family in his free time.

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