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6 Lifehacks For Living In A Small Flat With A Baby

6 Lifehacks For Living In A Small Flat With A Baby

When you find out the big news that your baby is on its way, you start thinking about nursery furniture and all the other amazing, cute baby stuff. But… what if you’re still living in a small flat and you’re expecting?

For most people the image of an expecting mother or a mother with kids is matched with a house in the suburbs, yet life has its own ways. Life can’t be predicted and more and more couples face the challenge of growing their kids in apartments.

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Living in a small flat is not easy for one, but when there are three or more, it might get a little crowded. However, if you are in a small flat there are chances you live in a large city, like New York City or San Francisco, which comes with lots of advantages. So, forget about moving out and let’s start making the best out of that small flat, getting ready for the life with a baby.

1. Think outside the box

When you want to adapt the flat for a baby you need to think outside the box. Look at every room and visualize it without any furniture. Then, start adding the must-haves in the room, still in your mind. This will give you an idea on how the rooms can be changed and how to move the furniture to maximize the available space in each room. The next step is actually getting rid of all the excessive furniture and start moving it around the house, experimenting with different settings, until you find the best placement.

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2. Use all the available space

All homes have those awkward, small spaces where you can’t place any type of furniture. Well, use them as storage space! Fill the small corners and nooks with all the items you rarely use, such as warm blankets that only come in handy during the winter months.

3. Migrate on the vertical

When your baby is going to be old enough to crawl and walk, your stuff will always be in his or her hands. To prevent this from happening and gain some room, migrate your stuff on the vertical. For example, if you were storing the knives on the counter, now store them on a magnetic strip. If you used to store the pans in a drawer, hang them on the wall. If you used to keep the TV remote, books and other small things on the coffee table, hang some shelves on a wall to store them up.

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4. Re-purpose and Re-use

One of the greatest lifehacks for small apartments is repurposing your stuff. I love to put the suitcases to work and store things I don’t need on a daily basis on them. If you are expecting, you can use the suitcases to store the baby clothes or things which don’t fit him or her yet. Then, you can stack the suitcases, which gives you even more opportunities, as well as a stand for your books or something else.

5. Be practical

Babies grow up fast and they need lots of things, so it’s a good option to rely on Craiglist for your baby’s needs. As soon as the baby outgrows an item, you can change or sell it, instead of storing it.

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When you go shopping pick the practical version of the item you need and aim for versatile, multipurpose gear, which can be adapted as the baby grows or repurposed in the future. Look for collapsible, foldable and flippable items, which can double as something else. For example, you can get a flippable changing table, which doesn’t take up space when you don’t use it.

6. Embrace white noise machines

Apart from all the room-maximizing lifehacks for small apartments, you need to adapt to the new environment. This means the baby also has to adapt to your lifestyle. A white noise machine is going to make it easier for both you and the baby, as you can turn it on to cover your noise, TV’s noise or the baby’s noise. And in a small apartment, this is always a great benefit!

Bottom line, if you are expecting there is no need to worry about living in a small space. Just be creative and look for new ways to do old things and everything will be fine in the end.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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