How to transform your house into a ‘family home’

As we transition into parenthood, our ideas of what we want from our home change. Not only do we start to crave more space, but we also want the ‘soul’ of the home to evolve from something that was set up to accommodate the lifestyles of a child-free couple, to something entirely different. Whether you plan to stay in your current home or move somewhere a little more family-friendly, here are a few things that will help you create a functional home that will provide an ideal environment for your family to flourish and thrive in.

  1. Do some mess-proofing

Almost every child shares the same talent—the ability to leave a trail of mess wherever they go. While mess is an unavoidable part of family life, you can implement a few measures to make life and your daily cleaning regime a little easier.

Before you get to the fun things, says Colleen from Income Realty Corp., you need to get these out of the way. Start by considering your flooring. Carpet is every moms’ worst nightmare when raising little kids, so if you can, opt for easy-to-clean flooring options like floorboards or tiles. When selecting furniture and equipment (like highchairs) for your kids, try to focus on practicality, choosing items that will be quick and easy to wipe down. It’s also a good idea to invest in some smart storage solutions so you can easily store away clothes, toys and equipment as your child outgrows them.

  1. Create a designated ‘kids space’

One thing almost all new parents underestimate is the amount of ‘stuff’ their children will accumulate. Rather than allowing the situation reach a point where you feel like you’re drowning in a sea of toys, try being proactive by establishing a space that is exclusively for the kids.

They can use this space to store all their books, blocks, toys and other bits and pieces and be as messy as they want without spreading the chaos throughout the rest of the house. While most modern 3 or 4 bedroom homes will have two separate living spaces (one for mom and dad and one for the kids), if you don’t have that luxury, a small nook or corner in the living room should suffice.

  1. Establish a parents’ retreat

As much as we love our children, we all need a little time-out every now and then, and if you’re going to set up a designated ‘kids space’, why not set one up for mom and dad too?

While we can’t all have a luxurious master suite complete with dressing room, en-suite and private lounge retreat, you can still create your own parents retreat by declaring a small area of the home a ‘parents-only zone’. This way you’ll always have a sanctuary you can retreat to for a little peace and quiet to relax and recharge your batteries when you most need it.

  1. Get set up for some outdoor fun

Spending time outdoors is an essential part of every childhood, so it’s a good idea to set up an outdoor space where your little ones can run around, make some noise and get a little messy.

Gardening is always a favorite and maintaining a small veggie patch is a great way for your kids to learn where their fruit and veggies come from. And you don’t necessarily need a lot of space—even if you live in an apartment, most balconies will still accommodate a small herb garden for your little ones to enjoy.

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