It has been just over the year since our little baby girl joined our small family. We are living in a one-bedroom apartment. We live in Kitsilano in Vancouver where rent is crazy, apartments are small but the outdoor spaces are amazing. We decided to save money by not moving to a 2-bedroom apartment but instead remain in our 1 bed which is two blocks away from the beach. With the extra money saved we put towards investing in our future plans of owning our own business.
Once we knew we were pregnant we decided we were not moving. We began to research how people live in small spaces with children. We wanted to prepare our apartment to ensure our decision to remain there worked with a baby. From research online and through social media accounts like 600squarefootandababy we learned that living with a child or children in a small space is completely doable. We embraced our decision and got down to the hard work of selling everything we didn’t need, passing on items that were taking up space, going through every drawer, cupboard, shelf, basket and press to ensure that we were only keeping what we really needed and loved. Basically, we did a Marie Kondo throughout the whole apartment before the baby arrived and before I got too pregnant;-)
For me, this kind of work is so enjoyable and I’m in a happy place sorting and organising. I love it. By the time our baby arrived we actually had way more space in our apartment than we did before. Our space is constantly changing, for the first year we all slept in the same room, as I’m still nursing and the baby was still waking in the night for a feed. It made sense for our family that our bed and her crib remained in the same room for the year. Baba had larger toys such as a playmat and activity centre in the first year but since have been given away to another family. We tried to limit the number of baby things in our place as they take up so much room. Instead, I focused playing with her on the floor, tummy time, books, interactive smaller toys and had the activity centre or play mat to place her when I needed to get things done.
It’s just over the year since our girl arrived. We have moved out to a sofa bed in the living area and the baby has the bedroom. We sold our bed and furniture and created a Montessori type room for the baby. She has a floor bed and the room is quite minimal with lots of space to explore and play. We keep her toys to a minimum and have signed up to Lovevery which delivers age-specific Montessori style toys every 3 months. This means we don’t have to worry about picking toys and it keeps her toys to a manageable amount which doesn’t take up space. We have given away toys she has outgrown. Our home is very fluid in that respect, toys will come and go, we do not hoard them for the next baby, we let friends borrow or we give them away.
It is important to us not to have clutter; our home feels bright and spacious even with the baby’s items blended in throughout. We have created a space which works for all of us. I struggle with mess, clutter and overcrowded spaces. I need order and things to go in their place. It has taken a few trials to get to where we are now but we feel we have reached a happy medium we are all happy with. Baby has her play areas which don’t take over our living space and we have a home that feels good for us to sit and relax in at the end of the day.
Keeping toys, books, clothes to a minimum and really using all of these things to their full capacity is how we create space in our home. We love the outdoors and prefer to have as much time outdoors with the baby as possible, therefore there is less need for big distraction toys.
Our move to the living room from our room has been so easy. We don’t miss our bedroom at all. We only ever went in there to sleep. Now it’s a playroom & bedroom for the baby. We are now in there so much! We love it. Our closet is in this room and all 3 of us have our clothes stored there.
Living small means, we are constantly double checking if we need it before we purchase anything pre-loved or new. It’s a great way to shop as only items we love or really need to enter our home. Keeping our home clean is also easy as we have minimal clutter and everything has a place so nothing really gets out of hand. Therefore, our weekends are spent on things we love doing and not house related. This for us is the best part of small living. So far 1 year in we stand by our decision of remaining in a 1-bedroom apartment and believe it was one of the best decisions we made for our family. We live in a space we love and our baby is so happy. What more could we want?
For anyone thinking about living in a small space with a child or children start looking at everything in your space and ask if it is necessary? Does it make you happy? Do we need it?
Start creating space in your apartment by doing the work above. Wait until after the baby arrives before you make a big decision to move…. chances are the baby will sleep in the same room as you for at least the first 3 months. Prepare your space in advance so you set yourself up for success. It’s a lot of work but so worth it. Your life will change for the better. You will spend less, waste less, use what you have and care for what you have. We highly recommend this way of life but we totally get it’s not for everyone. Be sure you are comfortable with small space living, do the research, go see a family living in a small space and how they make it work. If it’s not for you, then it’s not for you. No pressure;-) If you have any questions about living small please feel free to reach out.
Thanks, so much for reading,