Home and Living

Making the Most of a Small Space

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

With house prices rising and a growing population, lots of us can relate to having a baby but not much space, but there are lots of ideas to help you maximise a small space to comfortably fit your new little one.

Babies may be small themselves, but they come with an awful lot of stuff. A good starting tip is to only buy what you need at the time you need it, however, even between prams, piles of clothes, nappies and play gyms you can feel hidden under a mountain of baby things. It doesn’t have to be that way though, with a little imagination, there are ways to make even the smallest spaces feel less cluttered.

Use a changing mat instead of a changing table

Changing tables may look nice, but they are large and require a lot of space. You won’t use them for long as they can become a bit of a liability once baby is big enough to roll over… and off. Changing mats can be laid on the floor, they are easy to store and if your baby rolls off there is no distance to fall. Lean it up against the wall, slide them behind a towel rack or a bathroom cabinet or stand it under the sink. A small chest of drawers or a cabinet can hold baby wipes, cotton wool and fresh nappies. Another huge plus is that mats are much cheaper!

Hang up your stroller

If you’re lacking room, you will have already made sure that the stroller you’ve chosen collapses to save space, but have you thought about hanging it up? Install some strong metal hooks, either on the back of a door or on the wall by your front door, and get the stroller out of the way.

When you have limited space at home, you also need to think about getting a compact stroller that works equally as well for travelling – something like the Nano from Mountain Buggy is a perfect option for modern families. Weighing only 5.9kg, incredibly, it can be folded into its own custom made satchel which fits into overhead luggage compartments or can easily slot in somewhere in your living space. This functionality is exactly what parents should be looking for and gems like the Nano – which is pretty stylish and can take your group 0+ car seat with its built in car seat adaptors – mean a cramped space doesn’t have to stop you from getting the best products.

Hide storage boxes under the cot

Buy some large storage boxes that fit under the cot, make sure they’re on wheels so they’re easy to slide out and back under. Under here you can store extra nappies, creams or simply things you don’t need as often. Put some material round the bottom and you won’t even see it.

Use the wardrobe to maximise space

A wardrobe can fit plenty of extra storage in it. Add extra rails or put a small chest of drawers at the bottom – you don’t just have to use it for clothes. Hang the clothes from a rail, line up shoes on the top of the drawers and then use the drawers for storing anything you are struggling to fit, or the clothes that you just couldn’t resist getting them for the future.

Double up your hangers

Running out of space on your clothes rail? Slide the tab from a fizzy drinks can over the wire handle of your hanger and you can instantly double your space by hooking another hanger through the loop. Even in small closets there’s room for this as baby clothes are so small.

Get a clip-on highchair

If you have a flat or apartment, or even simply a small kitchen, you may not have room for a bulky highchair. Clip-on highchairs were initially made for travelling, but can be the perfect solution to a tiny kitchen. They work well on breakfast bars, or can be screwed onto an existing table. Much easier than even a collapsible highchair which will need quite a large storage space. 

The Lobster portable highchair by phil&teds is an ideal solution for parents, the twist-on and twist-off mechanism is a piece of cake for adults but difficult for little hands, which means you get a strong and secure highchair that clamps neatly on to almost any table. It’s also made from durable easy-to-clean materials and most importantly, comes with a 4-point safety harness to stop little ones wriggling free – which makes it great for adaptive dining; it’s always smart for parents to look for products that will work for them both at home or out at restuarants.

In addition to these ideas, you’ll be able to come up with some great ones of your own that will suit your living space and particular needs. Make some decisions about what in particular you need, and if your friends or family are planning to get you presents, let them know you don’t have much space.

Experiment with space and storage, and try to keep things organised – with everything in its proper place, rooms often feel more open. Remember, there are also benefits to living in a small home with a baby – you may not even need a baby monitor if you can hear your little one wherever you are in the apartment!