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A Big Family in a Small Apartment

  • Emily Rice

Emily Rice

5 min read
A Big Family in a Small Apartment

If, for whatever reason, you're living with a big family in a small apartment, it is usually tricky to make this situation work.

Having many people live in a small space means that it's hard for anyone to feel comfortable. There are many practical issues, and they can lead to emotional issues too.

Unfortunately, living in small apartments with a large family is often a necessity. Since you can't change this, you will have to make lemonade out of the lemons. Luckily, we're here to instruct you on how to make the perfect lemonade.

Declutter and Maximize the Space

Our first idea involves decluttering your small apartments, which will provide you and your family with much-needed extra space, be it for additional beds and dressers, or simply to have more room to breathe.

Most people have plenty of items that they're keeping simply because they feel sorry to throw them away. In a lot of cases, these items don't have a sentimental value for their owners, but they might have a practical use. However, experiences teach us that, in reality, such items' only use is to gather dust. So, try donating them, selling them, or putting them in a storage unit.

Decluttering your home is a process that doesn't end with getting rid of such items. You can also place your valuable possessions in a safe unit, where they will be safe from harm while providing you with extra space. Working with a small budget can make this hard to do, so it's up to you to decide whether paying for a safe unit will be worth the additional space and safety.

The same goes if you want to store furniture for a long period of time. Furniture takes a lot of room, and when you have a big family in a small apartment, it can be a major hindrance to everyone's comfort.

Storing any unnecessary furniture (perhaps the one whose function is mostly decorative) can make a lot of difference in terms of your family's comfort levels. As for the furniture you will keep in your apartment, try using the furniture with two (or more) functions (for example, desks with upper parts that can be used as shelves).

Adjust Sleeping Arrangements

After you've done what you can in terms of maximizing space in your apartment, it's time to consider sleeping arrangements. If you have a big family in a small apartment, then some members of your family will have to sleep in the same room. Apart from you and your significant other, that will usually be your kids.

Depending on the number of kids you have, as well as on the number of available rooms, you can use bunk beds, or even have two kids sleep in the same bed. If three kids need to sleep in the same room, then we recommend placing a bunk bed in it and having two younger (or simply smaller) kids share one part of the bunk bed, while the third (largest) one sleeps in another part of the same bunk bed.

While some parents will be worried that this could negatively affect their children's psyche, psychologists believe that there actually won't be such issues. In fact, a lot of children (especially the younger ones) actually like having roommates.

A problem can occur if kids are of the opposite sex. While the opinions of psychologists vary on this topic, they all agree that after becoming teens (at the age of 13), a brother and a sister should no longer be sharing a room, as that would lead to uncomfortable privacy issues.

Infants don't have to have a room of their own, as they can sleep in the same room you do. While you definitely won't be sleeping better in your apartment if you do this, it still may be necessary step to take.

Be Creative With How You Use Individual Rooms

Because of the shortage of rooms, it's useful to be creative in terms of how they're used. For example, you don't have to have a dining room. You can convert your dining room into another bedroom, and have your family dine in the living room.

Another way to provide your kids with a bedroom is to allow them to sleep in the master bedroom, while you and your significant other sleep in another room (living room, for example). Luckily, with all our tips, that most likely won't have to happen, but sacrificing your comfort for your children's sake may sometimes be necessary.

Basically, you may need to be creative with how individual rooms are used. Tradition may blind you: "you have to have these rooms, and they need to have these traditional functions!" In reality, though, you are the master of your apartment, and you get to decide to which purpose will the individual rooms be used.

How to Efficiently Store Clothes

Similarly, you'll also need to be creative when storing your clothes. Sometimes, even after you've decluttered and stored your unnecessary furniture, there won't be enough room for all the dressers you may need.

In such situations, buying containers that will be kept under the bed(s) can be the solution to your problem. While such containers may not be as practical (or stylish) as dressers, they will have to do. If you have baby clothes in your apartment, you can buy a set of drawers made out of plastic. This storage solution doesn't take a lot of space and is convenient to use.

As for additional clothes that won't fit in these containers, it's a good idea to box them and keep them in a closet. Just make sure that you do this in an organized manner so that finding the right clothes later on isn't too frustrating. You can, for example, organize your boxed clothes according to its size or gender.

In the End

Living with a big family in a small apartment usually isn't easy, but you can make it work. Apart from relying on our tips, respecting each other is the key to leading a happy life in an overburdened apartment.

Making compromises is often necessary, and you'll have to be firm with your children when they don't feel like making these compromises (which will almost inevitably happen).

In the end, just remember that with a little extra work and creativity, you can create a living environment that will be small, but comfortable enough for everyone. Good luck!