Kids can make a house a happy place, but if your home isn’t kid-friendly, it can make for a stressful environment!
Wouldn’t you like to spend less time worrying about their safety? Or trying to keep them entertained?
If you don’t have your apartment set up for your kids to enjoy, you’ll find that you don’t enjoy it either.
Luckily, you can take steps to create a kid-friendly apartment and keep yourself and them safe, secure, and content.
1. Protect from the Floors Up
When setting up a protection plan, it’s always best to start from the ground up. This is how you should tackle your apartment to begin making it kid-friendly.
Protect the Kids
When moving into an apartment, you should always do a scan of each room and find possible areas of danger for little ones. Once you see them, you need to find ways to protect your children from potential risks.
This could include putting bolts on doors that are out of reach of the children. The most important of all entries is the main entrance door. You wouldn’t want your child to gain access to the outdoors without your knowledge.
Children can sleepwalk, and you’d be surprised how far they go while they aren’t conscious of their activity. Prepare for the unexpected when it comes to children.
It would be best if you also put locks on cabinets with dangerous contents such as cleaning products, medicine, or alcohol.
If your kids are young enough, it’s a good idea to add plug covers for any unused outlets to protect them from electrocution.
Protect the Apartment
Kids can really do a number on floors. A nice room-sized area rug can protect the floors, whether they are wood or carpet. If you want your deposit back at the end of your rental agreement, this is essential.
From spilled food and drinks to nail polish and permanent marker, somehow with children, they always seem to appear.
Your child is a little artist — even on areas that aren’t for art! You can help divert disaster by framing a large chalkboard to encourage their graffiti efforts in a safe place.
2. Create a Better Living Area
Children must have enough open space for play. They are energetic and will need to release some of this energy every once in a while. It’s when they don’t have these opportunities that they act up.
Find a spot in your apartment, whether it’s in the living room or their bedroom, where they can roll around, dance, or spread out all their toys.
It’s also smart to buy a fixed cushion sofa. Otherwise, you’ll end up picking up cushions all day long. Also, you’ll have much fewer lost toys and such beneath the cushions.
Your furniture should have no sharp edges and be as durable as possible so that it might last until your kid goes to college or at least middle school.
3. Store the Smart Way
When storing things in your apartment, there is a strategic way to do it for a kid-friendly system.
Make sure you store your breakables up high so that little fingers can’t get at them. All kid stuff should be easily accessible at their level.
You could install floating shelves at kid height. Hooks at kid level for all their jackets, and use under bed storage for shoes or out of season kids’ clothes.
Kids like to collect random objects. To keep that mess in an organized manner, choose a basket for each kid to put their treasures in at night.
4. Have the Right Tools
When you are raising little ones in an apartment, some tools come in real handy.
Having a step stool available near the kitchen and bathroom sinks makes independent hand washing and teeth brushing a possibility.
Use cube storage for anything from stuffed animals to their favorite books. It leaves them visible for easy access but keeps items in groups according to use.
Having night lights in the bedroom and bathroom is helpful, but you might want to think about installing a strip of light down the hallway as well.
5. Designate a Play Area
When you keep one area specifically for play, it does two things.
One makes you happy: it keeps the toys in one area, and the mess contained.
The other is that it gives the kids a sense of belonging and ownership of the apartment.
6. Invest in Indoor Play
Most apartments have little or no backyard available for your kids to play outside. You may wish to invest a bit more in ensuring that indoor play is fun and varied.
You can have an art cart with drawers and containers full of kid’s art supplies. Make sure to provide paper, aprons, and keep it in an art safe place.
You can go so far as to buy an indoor jungle gym made from softer materials and more compact than a traditional jungle gym.
Provide all the tools needed for your children to engage in imaginary play such as a pretend doctor kit, a child-sized tool belt, and a play kitchen set.
7. Schedule Regular Decluttering
We already talked about how much stuff kids accumulate. They find things that they like just about anywhere and bring it home with them.
It’s important that you declutter your apartment regularly, or it will fill to the brim with random items your children collect.
Instead of buying new toys every time your child gets disinterested with the last new toy, use a trick that many parents have found works wonders.
Take half of their toys and put them in a box, and hide it for a few months. When you notice that your kids are getting bored with their toys, bring out the box of toys you put away and give them those.
Box up the other toys and repeat the process. This trick keeps the toys fresh in the kid’s minds.
It can be a challenge to live in an apartment with kids. These seven tips can make it much more manageable.
With a cleaner, safer apartment, you can focus on the more important things, like having fun with the little ones!
Angus Flynn has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. His ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him in a successful career that now finds him leading the team at Houndswood Village.