Photo by: iStock

Small Space Living with KIDS!

Photo by: iStock

As performers in the heart of Manhattan, my husband and I were intimately acquainted with small space living. With the cost of housing in New York City, we had no choice. When it was time to add baby to the mix, we were still living in a one-bedroom apartment, the size of most of my suburban family’s “bonus rooms” or basements.

And somehow, we made it work. It took a little creativity, some discipline, and a lot of flexibility, but we were able to thrive in that tiny space until my son was five years old. When baby number two was on the way, we decided it was finally time to give up city life.

Though I love our MUCH MUCH bigger house in the country, I sometimes pine for the simpler days of apartment living. Somehow, the more space we have, the more stuff we fill it up with!

I had completely forgotten about this video my son and I made back in those small space days.


Tips for Living in Small Spaces

–Edit, edit, edit. Do you really need two can openers or three half-used bottles of lotion? Nope. Pare down to the best of each thing. I was particularly short on clothing storage space. Maybe that’s because my love of the three thrift shops down the block had led to a collection of 20-ish sweaters. Who needs that many sweaters? So I pared down the sweaters to make room for things that really matter… shoes!

–Buy especially FOR small spaces. Did you know that most appliances come in more apartment-friendly space-saving sizes? Everything from dishwashers, to washing machines, to microwaves can be made to fit in your smaller space. It takes some searching, and the prices are usually higher than bigger appliances. (It figures, right?) But breathing space is worth something!

–Share stuff. I’m serious. My husband and I shared a sock drawer. That’s true love. And why would we need two hairbrushes–a his and hers? I mean, if you can’t share a hairbrush with the father of your child, maybe you need to rethink your relationship.

–Keep toys to a minimum. This is a tough one. We all want to give our kids the world. Especially their grandparents! But, alas, the world does not fit into a 600 square foot tiny apartment. It may take quite a few talks with Grandma, but make it clear that you value experience gifts over “stuff.” A trip to the zoo is a better gift than yet another Leggo set to step on. Just to experiment, I went a few hours without cleaning up my preschooler’s toys.

–Use the library and the internet for entertainment. In this digital age, do you really need to store shelves of albums, DVDs, and books? I had a tough time letting go of my vast book collection. But I did it and haven’t regretted it since. And when it comes to children’s book storage, you’ll get sick of reading the same story over and over and over again. So why not blame the library? “Sorry, buddy, Everyone Poops is due tomorrow. We can check it out again never sometime.”

–Think outside of the box. Or closet. Or whatever. We stored my son’s board games in my clothing closet and my husband’s sheet music collection under the bed. Use the space that you have, no matter how limited it is.

Jennifer Weedon Palazzo is the creator/writer/and producer of Mom Cave TV, an online network of award-winning comedy shows for moms including Slummy Mummy, Double Leche, Blabbermom, and MomCave LIVE. When she’s not writing about the funny side of being a mom, Palazzo can be found eating Reese’s Cups while bidding on vintage clothing on eBay. She splits her time between Manhattan and the Berkshires with her husband, Evan, bandleader of The Hot Sardines and their two kids.

Like This Article

Like Mamapedia

Learn From Moms Like You

Get answers, tips, deals, and amazing advice from other Moms.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us
Want to become a contributor?
Want to become a contributor?

If you'd like to contribute to the Wisdom of Moms on Mamapedia, please sign up here to learn more: Sign Up

Recent Voices Posts

See all