A reader’s question:
My little family and I (my hubby and 2 littles) are moving into a smaller space in a few months, and I literally have no idea where to start. Do I declutter first? What do I look for in apartments? I know you liked living in apartments with your children, but were there things you wished you knew before you moved into one? We live in a house now, but will most likely move into an apartment.
Yes, I always recommend decluttering first, no matter who you are or what season you’re in, because that makes everything easier. It gives you the freedom of flexibility when you don’t have to carry a ton of stuff with you.
I just moved into a house for the first time after living in apartments with my family for many years.
The most important thing to think about when shopping for apartments is what your family currently needs. One time a few years ago we looked for a new apartment, and we found one in a popular part of town with bars, shops, and restaurants. It was an address we would have been proud of, and the building had high style. But before we signed the lease, we realized: it would have been perfect for us a few years before, but it didn’t fit our current life. We were about to add a new baby to our family. We weren’t going to be going out to bars at night. We ended up finding a different apartment with parks for our little ones to run around.
Since you have kids, I would place a huge priority on the kitchen. Sometimes apartment kitchens are designed for one or two people to eat dinner there a couple of nights a week and go out to eat the rest of the time. With little kids, your kitchen receives a lot of use, and you need a decent amount of pantry space. Can you make do with a small kitchen? Of course you can make it work, but a functional space will go a long way to helping you feel satisfied in your new place.
Storage is also important, but you might be surprised to find that modern apartments have more closet space than older houses. Shelves make the most efficient use of space if you need to add storage. We have the kind of metro restaurant-style shelves that can be adjusted and don’t need to be mounted to the wall, and I can’t believe how much stuff it holds. When we need to move it can be disassembled for easy transport.
Of course there is more advice. Continue reading: