A big family spending time together

How to Make a Small House Suit a Big Family

Is your growing family finding your small home too crowded?

If moving to a larger property isn’t on the cards, here are some tips and tricks to make a small house work for a big household.

A big family spending time together

Bigger is better, so we are led to believe. But is this necessarily always true when it comes to houses?

Having a large family in a small house might sound like a disaster, but many big families are able to make small houses work wonderfully for them.

In fact, with careful thought to the layout of your home, many large families prefer the closer relationships forged from living close together.

If you have a large family and are struggling to make your small home suit your household, here are some tips to ensure that your space is used efficiently.

Make use of vertical space

Lots of kids means lots of stuff – clothes, toys, sporting equipment, toiletries…the list goes on.

When making a small home work for a big family, finding space for everyone’s possessions is the biggest challenge.

Shelving is your friend – lots and lots of shelving. Add bookcases or floating shelving to every room of the house, assigning each for a specific purpose so your storage doesn’t turn into a dumping ground.

It’s also a good idea to make sure each child has their own shelf space, giving them some much needed personal space.

A clever space for shelves is to have storage built around and over your doorframes.

These are areas that are hardly ever put to good use, so turning your doorframe into a shelving unit is a great way to save space and give everybody the room they need for their possessions.

In your bathroom, add hooks for hanging things like blow dryers, makeup bags, towels, dressing gowns and curling irons.

Assign rooms to suit your family

Just because a room is called a dining room in the floor plans, that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose it to suit your family’s needs.

Does your family even use a dining room, or do you eat at the table in the kitchen?

Does your family need an extra living room, or would that room be of more use as another bedroom?

When you are house hunting for a home for your large family, talk to your real estate agent about finding a home with extra spaces.

You can transform formal lounge or dining spaces into offices or study rooms, or you can pile all the toys into one room to keep the rest of the house tidy.

Instead of keeping the master bedroom as a parent’s room, it’s smart to assign the largest bedroom to the largest group of sleepers in the family, whether you split your bedrooms by gender, age or sleeping habits.

Get creative with sleeping arrangements

To ensure everyone has a comfortable space to sleep, you may need to get creative.

Bunk beds

Bunk beds are the obvious solution to sleeping many children in one room.

Bunks have come a long way in recent years, there are many ways to configure bunk beds while still allowing ample floor space for kids to play and hang out.

Bunks come in all shapes and sizes, such as:

  • Double bed on the bottom, single on top;
  • Complete double – top and bottom;
  • Triple bunks; and
  • A corner configuration that accommodates three beds while still allowing for desk and storage space underneath.

Loft beds

While bunk beds are great for saving floor space, lofts are even better.

A loft bed features a sleeping space on top, usually available in both a single and double size, with the underneath space completely clear.

With this space, you could fit a desk or couch in your kids’ rooms while still ensuring everyone has a comfortable sleep space.

Murphy beds

When your house is full of small children, floor space to play on is essential. Murphy beds (beds that fold up to the wall when not in use) might be a great solution.

If you’re handy with tools, you could easily build a fold-down bedding solution for your children.

If not, your local handyman will be up for the challenge!

By building the beds to your specifications, you can customise them to be multi-functional, perhaps attaching a blackboard or mirror on the base.

That way, they will be daytime functional as well.

Trundle beds

Trundle beds are another great solution for large families, where a full-sized bed simply slides under another bed throughout the day.

Trundle beds are especially good for very young children when you don’t feel safe having them sleep on a bunk or loft.

A person enjoying some alone time

Create retreats

No matter how close you are with your family, there comes a time when you need a bit of space.

The rest of your family probably feels the same way.

With so many people sharing a small home, it is important to create ‘retreats’ where everyone can have their own space to relax.

It doesn’t have to be a room, it might be a chair, a nook or a crawl space behind the couch.

Share the work

Big families mean lots of work keeping up with the day-to-day running of the household.

There are probably several loads of laundry to do every day, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking and endless tidying up.

Make sure you get all the kids involved in running the house so that the burden doesn’t fall entirely on the parents.

Older kids can take turns helping with dinner and doing loads of laundry.

They can be given a basket of ironing to do while listening to music and handle the responsibility of operating the lawnmower.

Younger kids can tidy their toys, make their beds and be given a damp rag to dust any surface they can reach. But even with so many helpers, the work is never-ending.

You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by outsourcing some of the work.

You could:

Housing a big family in a small house can be a challenging feat but is much easier when you are organised and respectful and expect the same from every household member.

Do you need to bring in some outside help to ensure that your home is up to the job of accommodating your large family?

To get a free quote and consultation on cleaning, mowing, grocery deliveries, or handyman services, contact Jim’s Group today on 13 15 46.