Surviving small scale living with kids
Raising a family in a small space can have its positives - really! It's a great opportunity to streamline your life and make smarter decisions about what you buy. And as a bonus, it's unlikely anyone will ask you to host Christmas dinner (winner, winner, no cooking dinner!)
Here are some tips from phil&teds' marketing whiz Alannah Beytagh, on how to have it all, whilst living small.
1. Pick a set of wheels that fits your space. It may be that you need a compact folding buggy to fit into your car's smaller boot. Or maybe you need a slim buggy to fit in an apartment elevator or zip through gates. Compact doesn't need to mean lacking in features though, so keep a lookout for buggies that can multi-task by taking a car seat or adapting to a double buggy if you need that later on.
2. Choose a 'movable feast'. Highchairs can potentially take up lots of space, so using a clip-on highchair attached to a breakfast bar a great way to save space. This is often what parents of multiple babies do, as not many homes have space for 2+ highchairs. Even better, you can take the clip-on chair with you when travelling.
3. Don't store it, get more from it! Anyone with kids will tell you that storing gear the kids have grown out of is tiresome. So pick items that grow with them, as not only is it better value, you don't have to store the item between uses. Double win! So whether it's a cot that turns into a toddler bed, or a high char that becomes a seat, keep a look out for adaptable items that grow with you.
4. Consider a carrier. While buggies are a great way to get around, you may find that a carrier is easier to store & use day-to-day when space is an issue. Not just for tramping, older babies and toddlers love riding in backpack carriers around the city and suburbs. Check out and try on backpack carriers that fold flat, so you can keep them stowed away between uses.
5. A place for everything. Easier said than done, but try to ensure that you have bins and shelves aplenty, so everyone is clear where their stuff lives. This may result in weird categories like 'barbie clothes & toy dinosaurs' and 'baby bibs that are too stained to wear in public', but at least there's no excuse for anyone to not help tidy up.
6. I gotta get out of this place! Ok, despite the zen feeling that can come from a well-organised smaller home, claustrophobia can still set in. That's when you can pop them in a carrier or load up the buggy and make the world your giant backyard.
7. The ‘reverse Santa’ If you feel like your family is already bursting at the seams, and you have another baby on the way, send your other child/ren off to have fun somewhere and use that time to decimate their toy collection. Make three piles, ‘throw’, ‘donate’ and ‘keep’ and ruthlessly go through their toys in their absence. This can also apply to Dad’s ‘Big Boy’s Toys’ in the case of your first child.
We hope these ideas help you survive living in your smaller home and remember, if you’re up to your eyeballs in unfolded laundry and feeling down, tune into an episode of ‘Hoarders’ for some instant relief. Stay streamlined everybody!