For many people, the city is the most practical place to be for easy access to work and public transport links. However, in locations of this kind, families may struggle to acquire a property that is considered “suitable” for raising children.
Houses with gardens are hard to come by in built up areas – and can be extravagantly expensive if you wish to live just outside the urban sprawl in a “good” neighbourhood. Apartments are often the most readily available, practical and affordable housing option in cities.
So what is the solution? Well, there’s no rule that says you can’t raise a family in a modest-sized apartment. With good organisation and inventive design, you can provide your kids with just as stimulating and healthy a life in an apartment as you could in a traditional house.
In this article, Property Solvers (a UK-based ‘We Buy Any House’ company) explain the ways in which you can make a flat or apartment work as a family home.
Clutter is the bane of every parent’s life. However, with limited living space in the typical apartment, it can be difficult to avoid.
Intelligent storage solutions can make a huge difference here. You can double up hollow seating as toy storage and use open shelving as a floor-to-ceiling wall feature as well as a practical place to put trinkets.
Choose furniture wisely. Cabin beds and divan beds provide fantastic storage options that make use of space that would otherwise be rendered “dead” due to its location. Figure out ways to make use of the corners of each room too.
Above all, try to avoid keeping hold of too much junk wherever you can!
One room can have multiple uses. Investing in fold-away tables and beds will allow you to clear space for playtime, exercise and creative activities.
However, remember never to sacrifice comfort for practicality. Keeping your family in a good mood is vital to the success of any living space.
Why not include some fun and quirky features like floor decals that encourage physical games such as hopscotch, human chequers or snakes and ladders to entertain kids even on rainy days?
Of course, you should be sure to place these well away from high traffic areas such as the kitchen in order to avoid accidents!
Making a mess is just part and parcel of childhood. It’s important to teach our kids to tidy up and take care of their belongings, but don’t let apartment life discourage you from creativity in the form of fingerpainting, clay modelling, slime making and any other elements of mucky mischief.
Wipe-clean surfaces, including vinyl flooring and tablecloths in materials like PVC, will help you to fight stains and quickly resolve any spills.
Restricting messy activities to a certain area of the house may also mean you can limit the overall amount of extra cleaning you’ll need to do – and might reduce the amount of play-dough you’ll find in unexpected locations!
Indulge the artistic leanings of your children by building creative opportunities into your home. A chalkboard wall can be easily wiped ready for the next creation, and magnetic surfaces will enable you to display their paintings as part of your home decor without getting in the way.
It’s very healthy for kids to engage with nature and learn a little more about the world around them. For this reason, it’s a great idea to seek out an apartment with some outdoor space such as a balcony or yard.
You can even create your own little garden by adding plants in pots and tubs or even hanging them from walls. Why not encourage your kids to help take care of them?
If it isn’t possible to find an apartment with outdoor space, try to find a property near a park or playground. Exercise and sunshine will improve your childrens’ health no end and encourage them to be curious about the world.
While you may think it’s easier to keep an eye on your little ones in a single storey apartment than it is in a house, you’d be surprised at how capable kids are of getting themselves into scrapes!
As with any family property, child-proofing is vital. It’s important to secure everything from blind-strings to kitchen utensils well out of reach and, if possible, out of view in order to avoid temptation.
You should also think about ways to hide electronics, cables and other items that may be dangerous to young children.
If you have a balcony, it must be totally secure at all times. You might want to consider window-restrictors too.
Make sure you focus on yourself as well as the kids. Adults also need the opportunity to have a little fun and to relax. Ensure that your bedroom is a safe haven that stays quiet, clean and tidy at all times.
Think about adding your own options for entertainment, like a sound system, TV or games console.
Comfort, flexibility and fun should be prioritised in any family home – whether it’s a house or an apartment – and parents or carers should always seek out new opportunities to make life easy for themselves and stimulating for their youngsters.