Home and Garden: How to Make a Small Home Work for Children
Buying a home that is too cramped often comes back to haunt home buyers. But you can make the most of a small, starter home when you find out there is a new addition to the family. While a tiny house that is less than 500 square feet is admittedly a nightmare for the average family, a home that’s about 1200 square feet easily accommodates a growing family. Home and garden pros and real estate experts say the average home in 1950 was just 983 square feet. Your parents or grandparents likely finished a basement or attic or added a new home addition to make room for more children. In today’s world, it’s not impossible to raise children in a small space. While the average home today is about 2,500 square feet, not everyone lives in such spacious accommodations.
Getting rid of the clutter
The first step to making room for a new child or adopted member of your household is to remove all the clutter. Add a storage shed in the backyard if your home owner’s association allows it. If you are renting, put some of your boxes and extra furniture into a storage unit or ask other family members to hold items for you.
Painting with lighter colors
If you have a small home, do not use dark flooring or colors on the wall. Instead, keep it light, bright and airy with oak wood floors, lighter shades on the walls and light curtains. Heavy drapes and bulky furniture make a small space feel even more claustrophobic. Also, get creative about storage so you always have a hidden place to hide toys.
Getting rid of extra dining room tables
If you only use the formal dining room for special occasions, consider putting the dining room table in storage or turning it into a smaller work table during the year. You can add a leaf to the table for holiday meals. The rest of the year, use the dining room as a play room for the children. Many rooms are easily converted from one purpose to another depending on the season and needs. If you have a small home, it’s not practical to have a room set aside as a guest room, for example.
Other ideas include using foldable furniture and using wall space by installing vertical shelves. Consider a tankless water heater, stackable washer/dryer and apartment-size appliances. Take advantage of your yard as much as possible for playtime. Some of the best home and garden tips include ideas from the tiny home movement. But you don’t have to live in a 500-square foot home to put their ideas to work.