G and I didn’t really plan to have kids so soon after getting married. However, we knew that we would leave it up to fate on whenever we would be blessed with the privilege to be parents. We figured there is no such thing as the right time to have kids, whether living situation or money allows for it. I know most people would want to be financially stable before having kids…and if financially stable meant having all debts and student and car loans paid off, including mortgage, all bills paid with a bunch money left over every month and a huge sum in savings accounts, then frankly, we were no where near. If that was the case for us, we probably won’t be able to have kids until we’re like 50 haha.
Our situation at the time was that we were living in a 600 sq. ft. 1 bedroom condo in East York, Toronto, working full time commuting to opposite ends of the city, living paycheque to paycheque (and still are!). As soon as we found out we were expecting, we knew there was no way we can afford to buy a bigger place any time soon. So we had to make use of the space and resources we had.
I’ve always had a thing for small space living. Growing up, I thought I wanted to have a large house, but over time I figured that I’ll never have the time to manage and maintain a large house! Honestly though, who has the time to clean that much space, especially when most of the day is spent at work and doing life? Thanks to Pinterest and YouTube, I’ve been convinced by blogs and vlogs that raising a family in small and even smaller spaces can be done. I mean, people around various parts of the world made it work! My parents did when we immigrated here from the Philippines, and we were in an apartment for at least 3 years.
Anyhoots, clearing out space for the babies was the beginning of my somewhat minimalism lifestyle (still going on). Here’s how we prepared our space for the babies:
- Uncluttered and donated bulky furniture: When G and I moved in together in 2011, we were blessed with family and relatives that wanted to give away some of their old but great conditioned furniture. We said yes to a coffee table and a leather loveseat and leater sofa. Since we were tight on funds right after closing on the condo, buying new furniture was out of the question. However 4 years later, while preparing for babies we had to downsize to allow for space.
Thanks to trusty IKEA, we ended up getting the IKEA Friheten sectional sofa bed. Even though it was a biatch to put together (even at 6 months preggos), it fit our budget and was more practical in case we had visitors staying the night.
- Restructuring Storage Solutions: Again, thanks to IKEA (I assure you this blog is not sponsored) I installed some wall built-ins in the bedroom and bathroom to replace some stand alone storage furniture. We had to make space for one bassinet (our room would not fit a standard crib) I wish I had pictures of the built-ins, but the budget friendly ones we put in were the Ikea Trones for storing random stuff: one piece in the front closet, bedroom and bathroom. Then we installed one Ikea Godmorgon in the bedroom to place my makeup and jewelry. I seriously had to declutter my makeup to fit, and that was fine by me. Let it go!!!!!
- Installed Black Out Curtains: Our condo faced east, so every morning, the sun would pierce through the curtains we had. Although the natural light was nice and a great alarm clock, for babies’ sakes, we didn’t want them to go blind. We installed a few of the Ikea Tupplur for the moments we needed shade.
- A Section For Them: The original plan was for the babies to share a room with us for at least a year. I did not want our bedroom look like “baby” all the time. Without losing my identity design-wise (selfish I know!), I had some prints from Etsy ordered and framed along with their 13 week ultrasound.
That was pretty much it! Our kitchen was already decluttered before I was even pregnant, as well as our dining room. As for baby gear, we only bought the bare necessities…as in, enough for survival and nothing more. Which meant not even a change table nor crib. I’ll leave the details in a different post.
Til next post!