Most people in today’s culture would probably not attempt this but I, on the other hand, am excited to put the theory to the test. It’s almost like the ultimate human experiment, can 5 people coexist with all of our flaws in such a small space?
My husband and I have built a cozy home with our 2 young sons (3 & 10 months) with our 3rd baby boy on the way. We are constantly asking ourselves, “Can we raise 3 kids in a 1200 sq ft home and not go insane?”
Here are 5 easy tips to add peace in the midst of the chaos that has certainly worked for my family of four so far.
(I’m sure no matter the size of your home these tips can help anyone raise a family and stay sane!.)
Decluttering your home can seem like an overwhelming task that no one wants to tackle but I have found it a key to successful living in a small space with kiddos
- This is an ongoing process that can sometimes be difficult especially in tackling nostalgic items such as old high school and college relics. My husband and I have had a tough time parting with some of these things but when we took the leap and began purging, we haven’t missed them a bit. Removing the extra stuff from our home has led to a calmer and more peaceful life with our children.
Living in a smaller home has forced us to get outdoors more often regardless of the weather.
- If my toddler is launching his midsize Captain America figurine across the living room, I immediately say, ” Time for a nature walk!” We live in the perfect area to embrace outdoor play. Raleigh offers over 180 miles of greenways and trails and more than 10,000 acres of parkland. I love showing my children the beauty that surrounds us in this great city.
We strive to keep everything organized and have systems in place to help us operate a smooth household on a daily basis.
- This is very easy for my husband, but I, however, have to work hard on this one. I am naturally a messy, disorganized fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. I can honestly say working on my own organizational skills have helped my family immensely. Everything has a home…hooks and baskets are now our best friends.
We have abstained from buying excessive amounts of toys especially ones with a million tiny pieces that we know our kids will just throw around anyway.
- Forget that numerous studies say that young children with fewer toys lead to more intense focus and better engagement with creative play. I mean, just think about your sanity and how much easier life would be without continually picking up toys or repeatedly telling your kiddos to do it. Our toddler plays really well by himself for extended periods of time and I think this revolves around having fewer choices. For example, when his train table was covered with the overwhelming train track loaded with bridges, tunnels, and the full gambit, he never played with it. I decided one day to break it down to a simple little track with a couple of trains and he plays with it almost every day now. I don’t know…give it a try with your toddlers and see what happens.
Light some candles at night after your little ones are in bed.
- I know this may sound a bit much but it is very helpful in relaxing. After a day of highs and lows with our children, we need to create a serene environment for Momma & Daddy. My husband actually does this almost every night. He walks over to the fireplace to light the candles that remind us of the ocean breeze and it begins to change the mood in our home by helping us remember that we were here first. And we need to always nurture our marriage and put our relationship first before we start to tackle the never-ending “to do” list that this crazy life throws at us every day.
Our family experiment will begin this Fall…I wonder what will happen? Will all 3 boys sleep without waking each other up during the night or in the early morning hours? Will we survive without a true dining room area with 3 growing kids? I keep thinking others could certainly be in a similar situation and are they contemplating this question as well? Didn’t families live in smaller homes decades ago and get along just fine? I don’t know the answers yet, but time will tell!