You’ve been living in an apartment for quite some time now and have always been comfortable with the space you have. Recently, you’ve put serious thought into expanding your family, but worried at the prospect of little children running around in a small apartment.

Whether you live in an apartment or multi-level home, when a new family member arrives, it’s time to re-organize the floor plan and create space that was never there before.

When a family needs more space, parents will be faced with some very difficult decisions. Do they move to a larger home? Do they renovate their existing home? Do they announce to their other children that space will be reallocated and sharing will be non-negotiable?

Here are some tips that I devised to make your house or apartment more space-efficient and clutter-free.

Renovate and Update

1) If you have a sizeable backyard, consider de-cluttering the inside of your home and basement to allow for storage to be kept outdoors. A great investment on a properly insulated shed will offer many great benefits when you have cleared out some indoor space.

2) Starting from the basement to the attic, clear out as much clutter as possible and dedicate a playroom and family-time space, recycle, reuse and reduce should be your mindset to allow for more space for your family not to feel cramped. If you have a teenager, you might consider creating a bedroom in either the basement or the attic.

Source: Houzz pf George LLC on Houzz

3) A good-sized deck can be upgraded to an all-season room, giving your home an additional space to dine, entertain and play in. Check with your city bylaws for details on creating an addition.

4) Depending on the age of other children, bunk beds can be a great alternative for opening up a space for a nursery. Unique designs allow for a certain degree of privacy, while some incorporate a trundle design for a 3rd sleeper.

5) Getting your other children involved in the decision-making rather than forcing a change on them will yield great benefits and minimize anxiety. The promise of new character-design bedsheets and curtains will certainly excite the little ones! Get the whole family involved!

Apartment or Rental Living Upgrades

1) When your landlord is not open to renovating to give you an additional bedroom, it’s time to get creative. Design a new floor plan to accommodate a baby without too much stress.

2) As mentioned earlier, bunk beds are ideal for a growing family as they do not affect the floor space but make great use of wall space! Similar to bunk beds, loft beds are designed over a play or study area making it possible for one bedroom to hold at least 2 children and their own private space.

Versa loft bed

Source: Crate Designs

3) Murphy beds are a great alternative and can transform a tight space into a play or study area instantly without the hint of a bed anywhere!

A new baby is a beautiful, yet tremendous change to a family. However, the whole family will need to adjust not only to the new sights and sounds their baby will make, but also to how their personal space will be affected by the new addition. Taking them along when making the new purchases can be a worthwhile activity that the family can benefit from the long-term. Let’s not forget about the first-time parents! Packing away a much-loved library or collectibles to make room for a baby can be equally stressful as it is exciting! Purchasing a small wall cabinet with doors to store a few of these safely can be a good compromise and make the adjustment easier!

Angela, Your Sleep Expert