Having a family can be both amazing and stressful in so many different ways, and one big potential stress is the demands it places on our home. Homes come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, but making your home work for your family can feel like an impossible task at times. One of the most common problems that families struggle with is not having enough space. So, what can we do if we are tight on space and either aren’t in a position to move to a bigger property or the thought of packing up and moving just fills you with dread? Well, here are a few tips to help you create a feeling of space in a small but cosy family home.
As a mum, I completely understand why parting with things can be hard. But do we really need to keep every single baby grow that our once tiny children have grown out of? Or, maybe your little ones come home from school or nursery most days with wonderful pieces of art that your kitchen and drawers are just crammed with? As much as I would love to keep all of these wonderful things (and more), my home simply just doesn’t have the space. To stop my home feeling like a hoarders paradise, then, I had to become a bit brutal.
To make myself feel better about not keeping everything to do with my kids, I had a good old sort out. I went through all of their old baby clothes, toys and accessories and put them into piles. One pile was for the tip, another pile was to either sell on eBay* or give to friends or family and the last pile was to keep. I feel that by doing it this way, it means that I have got a few of my most treasured items that don’t take up an entire loft. Anything else that was decent has either been sold (which means more money to spend on the kids) or given to family or friends for their little ones.
Now, my youngest son absolutely loves art, so the way that I have got around feeling terribly guilty for throwing away any of his art is by buying two scrapbooks, one for Isaac and one for Malachi. I have sifted through the piles upon piles of beautiful pictures and kept the ones that I really love and remember them making. These then got put into the scrapbook with notes about each picture alongside. I really love this idea because it doesn’t just help keep the clutter down, it also means that I have two wonderful scrapbooks that I love to sit and look through with a cup of coffee whenever I like.
Having a home that flows is what will make it work for you. Even if you’re not struggling for space, every home has to feel that it works. So, figure out how your family lives. Do you naturally congregate together in one room? Does your dining room get used as much as you would like or does it feel a bit neglected? If that is the case, would your home be better off having a family room that is somewhere to relax, eat and spend time together and then have a separate living room? Or, maybe your whole house feels overtaken with toys? If you have a spare bedroom, could that be made into a playroom to create more space both upstairs and down?
I think that experimenting with the layout of your home and furniture is one of the most important things that you can do if you are tight on space. Even if you think that the way you currently have it set out is the only option that you have, you may never know unless you try.
Once you have decluttered and got the house set out just how you like it, the key to keeping a spacious and flowing feel is to be organised. Try not to let drawers and cupboards overflow with things that you just don’t need. Organising your home can save a lot of stress. For instance, teaching the kids to put their school shoes away in the shoe cupboard when they get home is just a small thing that can help to make your home run smoothly.
So there we have it, a few tips on how to make your home feel just right instead of too tight!
Do you have some space saving/creating tips of your own?