This post is going to really date me :) We have lived in many different places since getting married and starting a family. We got pregnant 3 months after we were married and we were not on a track to settle down into a house yet so I will share all the many various housing situations we have lived in and how we coped. With our first child we lived in a one bedroom apartment (we moved three times before the birth of our second 18 months after our first but they were all 1 bedrooms). With our second pregnancy we moved to a 2 bedroom apartment. Then as we prepared to move to Minnesota we moved in with my parents to save money. We then moved in with our wonderfully gracious Sister and Brother-in-law who had 900 sq. ft. house. From there we moved into the first floor of a house that had 1 bedroom and a den. We bought a duplex next that had 14oo sq. ft. and seemed huge to us with our 2 children. Then our family grew :) We had 4 kids, 2 bedrooms and a nursery (a room that was only big enough for a crib not a twin bed :). The Lord provided a huge house for us to live in last July that is a much longer but amazing story :) With all that said here are some tips we have learned:
- We moved so much that we never really accumulated much “stuff.” This is key. I think I tend to be a pack rat but have been trained to get rid of stuff. I still go through the house and say would I want to move this??? That is my real test. You have to pare down and live with what you love.
- Well marked plastic bins for kids clothes (Thank you Christa!). Each season and size gets its own bin.
- If you are in really cramped quarters like we were, movable furniture in a necessity. Our babies slept in pack and plays or bassinets that you could move or smaller cribs (not the wonderful picture of a nursery that I dreamed of!).
- Furniture that does double duty. Our coffee table also houses our Bibles, journals, and current books we are reading. Attractive baskets or bins that go with our decor hold toys. Ottomans that can store blankets and such.
- Memberships- We belong to the YWCA which is an absolute lifesaver for my family. It has activities for the whole family, a pool, babysitting, classes and a place to run around. We go most everyday and it is so helpful especially in the winter. Memberships to zoos and children’s museums also have helped in the past. Just to have place to go and hang out.