These days, it’s not uncommon for people to get married and have a baby before they buy a house. With a few adjustments, an apartment can make a perfect home for a new family of three, even if it’s only temporary.
Here are a few ideas for maximizing space and making your rental baby ready:
- Think multipurpose: You probably already have a dresser, closet and bookcases. Now’s the time to go through them and get rid of or box up things you don’t really need. Clear out one drawer for the baby’s clothes; put your old books in a box and fill the shelves with canvas bins for storage; and use the top of your dresser as a changing area, rather than buying – and trying to find room for – another piece of furniture.
- Think small: A full-size crib can take up a lot of space, especially if you don’t have a dedicated nursery. Look at options like mini and portable cribs, pack-and-plays and bassinets, which are much more compact and perfectly suitable places for a newborn to sleep. Also look for compact strollers that fold up easily, bouncers instead of bulky swings, and wait to get a highchair and other things you won’t use right away until the baby is older.
- Declutter: Look around your apartment and take note of what you actually use and what is just taking up space. Have a dining room table but never use it? Maybe that space would be more useful with a glider or pack-and-play in it. Have a bookcase that serves only as storage? Box up the contents and use the shelves for something else or get rid of it altogether.
- Register conservatively: The first time you go into Babies “R” Us or Buy Buy Baby can be extremely overwhelming. The registry checklist they give you is a mile long. Consult with friends who have babies or your go-to baby website or book and find out what you really need and what you can do without. Then, when it’s time to register, resist the temptation to point the gun at every adorable item you see. Things like bottle warmers, changing tables and bulky toys just take up space and are not necessities.
- Baby proof: Though your newborn won’t be crawling or walking in the near future, it’s still a good idea to clear your apartment of hazards now. Once the baby comes, you will have a lot less time on your hands! Buy outlet covers, cabinet and toilet seat locks, and covers for sharp edges. Keep them stowed away in a closet until your little one is learning to move (it will happen before you know it!).
If you have any tips for making room for baby in your apartment, leave them in the comments below!