When our oldest was born, we did the normal things that every parent does. We planned, we registered, we had a baby shower. And we were so thankful for all of the stuff that we were gifted. With a 2,600 square ft. home, we had plenty for space for all of the things! But, you learn pretty quickly what you need and what you could have done without. I’m talking to you, wipes warmer! By the time #2 came around, we had moved into a home with only 1,560 square ft. and we thought we were pretty good at deciphering the best baby gear for small spaces.
Our current home is a whopping 1,300 square ft. (It seems we have a knack for downsizing!) We were able to create a nursery for our newest little guy (#3) in a converted closet and there really just isn’t a lot of space around the house for extra stuff. So we really had to minimize the baby gear this time around. Hopefully this list can help you out if you also are working with a small space!
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In such a small nursery, we were really limited with the options we had. If we wanted to be able to walk into the room, we definitely needed to go with a mini crib. We chose the Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini Crib. It fits perfectly in the space and is as big as the average pack and play, so we know it will work for him for awhile.
Rock ‘N Play
The Rock ‘N Play was a life saver for us! Since our sweet babe had trouble with re-flux, we found that letting him sleep in the Rock ‘N Play really helped him out. Tired mamas love sleeping babies! Plus, the Rock ‘N Play folds up, so we could easily move it to another room for nap times or store it away in the small space next to his crib.
When your square footage is limited, finding a spot for a baby activity center or jumper is pretty much impossible. However, with a door jumper, we can hang it up when the little guy needs to burn some energy and tuck it tightly away in the closet when we are done.
We aren’t lucky enough to have room for a changing table and I honestly just don’t really think they are necessary. As long as you have a portable changing pad, you can change that baby on the bed, a couch, or even the floor. We keep ours in an awesome diaper caddy that also holds diapers, wipes, toys, etc. That way we can carry around from room to room.
We love these inexpensive little storage ottomans from Ikea for baby toys! They are so versatile in that they can hold pretty much anything you want hidden. Plus, they can serve as extra seating, a little side table, or just a spot to prop your feet up. And the covers are washable!!!
Obviously there isn’t a lot of room for extras around here, but having a way to play white noise close by is a must. The Cloud B Sleep Sheep is awesome because it can be attached to the crib so it’s not taking up valuable space somewhere else. Plus, we can take it with us on the go!
Under Bed Storage
Probably one of the best space saving things we did for this baby was to get a plastic under bed storage container. Thanks to the addition of a make-shift bed-skirt, we can keep extra blankets, sheets, and out of season clothes hidden.
Things We Don’t Have/Need
- Baby Bathtub – Our home already has a bathtub. And a couple of sinks. Both of which work just fine for cleaning the baby.
- Changing Table – With a portable changing pad, almost any flat surface with supervision can serve as a changing place.
- Wipes Warmer – Unless you plan on providing a heated bidet for your little one in the future, room temperature wipes will do just fine.
- Diaper Genie – Pretty much any trash can with a lid will keep in the stench.
- Bassinet – It may be helpful for some, but was just something that would take up too much room for us.
- Baby Swing/Bouncer – Our Rock ‘N Play definitely served as both of these.
- Bottle Warmer – We bought one, used it for a week, and then sold it.
If you are working with a small space or home, I hope that these ideas can help you out! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you have any other awesome space saving ideas for babies!
You guys! I don’t know why it has taken me a year to get a command center set up in our home. Well, actually that is a lie. The reason is that I have been really non-committal on the location of such a thing. However, it has finally happened! Thank goodness! We are the proud owners of a Pretty & Practical Command Center.
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I kept thinking that a nice and big command center on the wall of the laundry room would be great because it is out of view of the main areas of our home. Plus, the hope was that we would see it every day as we went in and out of that room to do laundry or to go into the garage. I’m here to tell you that our garage is still packed full of junk that we need to either organize or get rid of, so I avoid it like the plague. And the laundry, well, I just hate doing it, so… this command center was relocated to our dining room. Which, by the way, is smack dab in the middle of our home.
Requirements for this space were simple. We needed a calendar to keep track of our family’s busy schedules and a place to sort and store all of our paperwork/mail. Oh, and it needed to be clean and simple. I can totally appreciate command centers with chalkboards, pencil holders, pin boards, artwork, key hooks, and magnet boards. That just not my style though, folks. I like to keep things as uncomplicated as possible.
When I’m trying to put together a gallery wall type scenario, I like to lay all of the pieces out on the floor for visual reference.
This saves me time and I don’t usually end up having to put unneeded holes in the wall. (I know my husband appreciates that!) You can see below that I have the calendar (originally from Hobby Lobby), paper organizer (which we used in our previous home), and vintage clipboard. I added the wood script word “hi” (also from Hobby Lobby) to balance the grouping. Oh, and since I was working around the light switch, I just took it off of the wall to see how everything would fit.
After I was happy with the spacing, I used my trusty Ryobi Laser Level to square things up on the wall. This was a Christmas present from my parents and it has been such a wonderful tool to use! I made my marks and hung up the paper organizer.
For the clipboard and wood script word, I used Command strips. These seemed like the easiest way to hang up these lightweight items. (Bonus: No Extra Holes in the Wall!)
I also loved these metal label holders that I found and decided to add them to the front of the paper sorters. A little super glue later and they stuck like gum to hair. You know you how hard that is to remove!
I’m so excited to get the paper clutter and bills off of our countertops!
Oh, and I wanted to clarify the clipboard. I love clipboards because they can be so multi-functional. No, really! Use it to hang up some fun free art prints (this one is from Magnolia Market Blog.) Or paint it with chalkboard paint and write a list right on it. You can even use the clip to hold extra pens, pencils, or chalk. I plan on eventually printing out our weekly schedule of activities that remain the same from week to week.
It may be a bit late in the post for this, but I should mention that I actually hate the term “command center.” It sounds so militant. However, that is what these little areas where we organize the chaos of our lives are called, so I’m reluctantly embracing it. Doesn’t it look pretty good?
It’s here!!! I’ve had so many requests from friends and readers for the newest version of my annual calendar/planners and I’m here to deliver. Apparently, a lot of you enjoy planning out your life at least a little in advance. (Like me!) And this 2017 calendar and planner are, of course, free for you to download!
Most of the design for this coming year has stayed the same, although there are a few tweaks to the cover. If you can’t read the writing on this small photo of the cover page, it says “Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable.” A little motivational quote never hurt anyone, right?
Obviously, the calendar is pretty straight forward. I choose to stay with the vertical format and updated all of the dates.
I’m also including my favorite planners in this bundle. The weekly planner is great for jotting down all of the specific activities going on during your week on an hour by hour basis. It’s perfect for meetings, lessons, practices, etc.
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I love using a bill pay checklist! It makes remembering which bills have been taken care of very easy, especially when we pay so many of our utilities and such online.
I also find that I end up saving money at the grocery store when I plan out all of our meals for the week. I plan everything out on the menu, then can add individual ingredients and items to the shopping list.
If you are looking for a way to get your life more organized in 2017, this is a great way to start! Simply click the link below to download.
I like that this style of calendar is versatile. It can be put inside of a binder or hung straight on a bulletin board. I even added a pretty front cover page to make gifting this freebie a breeze! Wrap the set up with some pretty ribbon or send it off to be printed and bound.
Psst… I’ve been working hard on a new printables gallery with lots of free goodies for you! I’m hoping to have it up and running in the next month, so check back soon!
It has been a little over three months since we closed on The City House and I want to share with you the secrets of how we sold it to the first buyer who walked through (on the first day). Obviously, the title of this post “How We Sold Our Home In One Day” may be a little deceptive. There is a lot more involved in selling a home than just finding a buyer. You must do all of the prep work before listing (we used a realtor), plus getting to closing can take a couple of months or more, depending on negotiations, inspections, loan approvals, etc. However, getting started on the right path can ensure that you get the perfect buyer into your home as soon as possible.
As a former realtor, I think one of the most important parts of finding a buyer quickly is making your home look as appealing as possible before listing. (Picking a reasonable listing price and deciding how willing you are to negotiate will also be very important.) Here are some tricks and tips on how to do it!
This should be apparent, but fixing the big and small problems in the house (i.e. small holes in the wall, doors that don’t latch correctly, lighting problems, landscaping issues) should be one of the first things on your to-do list, once you decide to sell your home. Take care of all of the problems you know of and you won’t have to worry about them showing up on later inspections.
Our kitchen counters were looking pretty bad after a failed DIY attempt. So, we replaced them with an inexpensive, yet, nice looking option.
Buyers will definitely have an opinion about your home before they even walk in. Curb appeal is important since it is the first thing that people see. Make sure to tidy up outside by cleaning walkways, cutting the grass, weeding flower beds. You can even add some potted plants and a seasonal door wreath to pretty things up.
My favorite boxwood wreath hanging on the front door.
Many people don’t realize that cleaning and decluttering are two different things. With decluttering, the point is to remove all of the things that make the rooms look, well, cluttered and busy. Removing mail, tchotchkes, and excess furniture from each room will help the space feel more inviting and open. Decide whether each item you are decluttering should be thrown out, donated, or stored until you move.
We didn’t have a lot of items to purge, but we did move a lot of extra stuff to our Country House and donated quite a few things. If you don’t have space to store items in your home and your budget allows, consider renting a storage unit until you move. You could also ask friends/family if they would mind allowing you to store a few things in their homes until your home is sold.
Our dining table was pretty big for our breakfast nook, so we swapped it out for a smaller one to make the room look a little more spacious.
Again, this should go without saying, but your home should be pretty much spotless. We opted to hire a cleaning company to come in and really deep clean everything. Getting the major cleaning out of the way, saved us so much time and helped us focus on other tasks, like painting the walls.
We were also lucky enough to be able to move our pets to our new Country House before listing. We knew that then they wouldn’t get in the way with showings and it would be one less thing to worry about cleaning up. Pet odors can be a huge turn off for potential buyers! If you must have your pets around during showings, consider crating/kenneling them. Also, make sure their areas (food bowls/litter boxes/etc.) are pristine. Don’t forget to clean rugs and vacuum furniture well to get rid of smells, hair, and dander.
Our kitty Rowan, lounging like he does.
For many people, hiring a home stager is not in the budget when they are trying to sell their house. The good news is that you could do a pretty good job at staging your own home. As I mentioned before, decluttering will really help open rooms up to feel more spacious. A few other ideas to consider would be:
- Room Rearrangements – Move furniture around to be more inviting for conversation, especially in the living/family room. Also, make sure that each room has furniture in it to compliment the exact type of room a buyer may want. If you have 3 bedrooms, but use one as an office or playroom, consider changing it to make it look more like to a bedroom while your home is listed. Also, make sure that large furniture pieces are not in front of windows which may stop natural light from coming in.
- Neutralize – There are a couple of ways to neutralize your home. First, consider painting rooms with bold color choices a more neutral tone (i.e. changing bright yellow to soft greige.) Second, think about storing some personal items, such as family photos, toys, and collections. You don’t have to necessarily rid your home of every last one of these items, but a buyer will be less distracted if a home is neutralized and it will be easier for them to picture themselves living in the space.
Neutral colors and welcoming furniture placement from our living room.
So, those were the major things we did that we believed to helped us sell our home so quickly. Even though I can’t guarantee your home will be sold in one day, I hope that you can use these tips and tricks to get your home sold as quickly as possible! Selling your home can be so nerve-racking. It is even ranked up there as one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. To say that I’m happy to be done with the selling process, would be an understatement. However, I’m glad that we spent a little extra time preparing our home before listing because it certainly paid off! Best of luck to you too!
Click here to see how we prepared for showings!