There are countless benefits of raising a family in an apartment, from the financial to the cultural to the logistical. However, living in an apartment with children — especially young, energetic, boisterous children — requires a different approach to parenting and household management.
Are apartments kid friendly? While this setup certainly presents unique challenges, we’ve got tips and tricks for making apartment living with kids child’s play.
Invest in Storage and Ensure Everything Has a Home
Remember that adage, “a place for everything and everything in its place”? It’s expert advice for apartment living with kiddos. A small space will quickly feel smaller if toys, books, and clothes are strewn about.
As you furnish your space, keep storage in mind. Toy organization bins, cubbies, under-the-bed tubs — all of these can be used to keep things tidy and organized. Furniture with built-in storage, like a captain’s bed, is an apartment dweller’s best friend!
Plan Out Your Space Carefully and Thoughtfully
In an apartment, you don’t have the luxury of careless or hasty organization. When moving with kids, space can be a scarce resource, and it’s crucial that you make the very most of it.
Before you start lugging in furniture, take careful measurements and consider all possible arrangements. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and rearrange a few times! Pushing your bed into the corner, rather than centered on the wall, may open up a few feet of space for a desk. Ditching that extra side table in the living room could suddenly provide space for a bookshelf with ample storage. By lofting your child’s bed, you’ve suddenly created a perfect play area. You can even have your kids share a room to free up more space!
Each time you place a piece of furniture, consider if a) it’s absolutely necessary and b) it’s in the most convenient and efficient spot.
Minimize Clutter and Spring Clean Often
When living in a small space, clutter and mess make it feel even smaller. While it’s easier said than done when raising children, try to embrace as minimalistic a lifestyle as possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed by stuff.
Rather than adding toy after toy to their play space after each birthday and holiday, make it a habit to swap and cycle toys by donating or selling the ones they aren’t using anymore. (Plus, kids love novelty.) Routinely go through your closets and purge shoes and clothing your family has outgrown or no longer wears. Instead of focusing on quantity, try to focus on quality. If it feels like you are running out of storage or living space, it may be time for a spring (or summer, winter, or fall) clean.
Reduce Noise with Rugs and Wall Hangings
One tricky part of raising kids in an apartment is making sure you don’t disturb your neighbors with noise. As most parents know, kids don’t come with any volume controls. While you’ll likely find yourself shushing occasionally, there are also a few things you can do to minimize how much your noise travels.
Laying down rugs and foam playmats throughout your apartment can help to reduce the noise made by tiny feet running and jumping — as well as a general “no shoes allowed in the home” rule. Wall decor, like tapestries and curtains, can minimize how much noise travels through thin walls. On the flip side, using a white noise machine in your kids’ room can help to ensure that ambient noise doesn’t bother them.
Get to Know Local Parks, Playgrounds, and Other Family-Friendly Locales
Getting out and about to burn off some energy is one of the most important ways to keep your children from feeling cooped up in the limited space (and to save your sanity, too!). Spend time exploring your neighborhood and finding nearby playgrounds and green spaces that you can visit frequently.
Chat with other parents in your community about their favorite cheap “go to” family time activities — this is a great way to learn about hidden gems like free library storytimes and other community resources. The more quality time you spend outside the apartment, the less time your kids spend bouncing off your apartment walls.
Create a List of Safety Rules and Offer Frequent Reminders
In addition to unique space and noise considerations, apartment living with young children also has a few specific safety considerations to keep in mind. For example, you may need to create safety rules around things like answering the door to neighbors, walking in the halls alone, understanding the outdoor space where they can safely play, becoming familiar with staff members, etc. The rules will vary based on your children’s age and your living situation, but it is important these rules are understood and routinely reinforced.
Find Your Next Family-Friendly Apartment
Whether you’re moving for work, cost, or something else, living with kids in an apartment can be an adjustment. Finding an apartment that fits your family is easy with ApartmentSearch. Explore apartment communities near you with the size and amenities your family needs.