Growing Your Family? Here Are 8 Tips to Prepare Your Home

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Once you decide to extend your family, you’re faced with endless choices–even when it comes to your home’s location. You have to decide how close you want to be to grandparents and where you want them to attend school.   

But when it comes to certain choices regarding the home, there is some tried and true parental advice, as well as home design advice.  

From comfort to safety, here are eight tips to prepare your home for a growing family. 

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  1. Create an Open Floor Plan

Open floor plans are a wonderful way to keep a watchful eye on the kids. Prepare meals in the kitchen as your children play in the living room or complete their homework at the dining table. The creation of the great room, combining the kitchen, living room and dining areas, has become popular for families for a reason. 

In addition, open floor plans allow for natural sunlight to flood the area. They create a bright and cheerful atmosphere as well as a spacious setting to allow for playtime or to hold a family game night.

  1. Choose Kid-Friendly Flooring

When growing your family, choose a kid-friendly flooring. For starters, it’s important to consider hypoallergenic and low VOC floors to maintain healthy indoor air quality. While it seems soft and safe to crawling babies and tender feet, many carpets can emit toxins into the air, trap dirt and allergens and harbor dust mites. 

Instead, consider hardwood floors. Hardwoods offer easy maintenance and can withstand spills from drinks and tracked-in dirt. It also offers exceptional endurance, even against hard toys and rowdy teenagers.  

  1. Make Adequate Kitchen Space
By: Natalia Lebedinskaia

Spacious kitchens are perfect for growing families. Make sure there’s enough countertop surface space for prepping and efficient appliances for cooking, as well as ample cabinets and pantry space to store food, dishware and all the baby food prep gadgets you might acquire.  

Consider adding a kitchen island where you can pull up a high chair and allow seating for quick snacks. Or maybe even a breakfast nook for more casual meals outside of the formal dining room. 

  1. Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms

As you plan to grow your family, consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home. You may anticipate how many kids you want to have, but also consider the size and placement of each room. 

For instance, is there a bedroom in close proximity to the master suite that can turn into a nursery? Bunk beds are great for saving space, but are there enough bedrooms so siblings can have their own personal space once they reach their teen years? It’s important to be flexible and even plan for future scenarios.  

Homes typically offer one bathroom for every two bedrooms, which is sufficient. Bathrooms should also be spaced out and offer adequate storage. If you have a tight bathroom, add some extra storage and shelves to keep towels and toiletries. Also, when it comes to bathrooms, make sure there’s at least one bathtub for kids to enjoy.  

  1. Designate a Mudroom and Laundry Room

Kids love to get messy–plain and simple. So, if possible, designate a rear or side entryway as a mudroom to prevent dirt and messy clothes from tracking further. 

Mudrooms make an excellent space to store sneakers, rain jackets and, once they grow old enough for activities, sports equipment. Build out the mudroom to have lots of reachable, low-placed hangers and cubby spaces to keep these items organized.  

And because children are messy, where you place your laundry room is essential, too. Mudrooms also make great laundry rooms, but if you don’t have a mudroom to hook up a washer and dryer, consider moving it toward the bedrooms to have it close by. Otherwise, if you keep the laundry room in the basement, you’ll find yourself constantly clambering stairs to rotate laundry cycles.  

However, while a laundry room in the mudroom or on the bedroom level is ideal, make sure it’s not too close to a child’s bedroom or a nursery. You don’t want the tumbling noises and dryer buzzer to wake a sleeping infant. 

  1. Appoint a Playroom 

Is there extra space in your home to designate as a play area? While living rooms offer a convenient space to keep an eye on infants, as they get older, you may actually need them to preoccupy themselves and be less of a disturbance. And this is where a playroom comes in handy.  

You could consider remodeling your basement into a rec room or playroom for your kids to enjoy. Allow the space to grow along with them, too. While they’re young, it can be where they stash toys and allow their imagination to take shape. Then, as they grow, it can become an entertainment room where the entire family can escape, watch movies and enjoy games.

  1. Find Ample Storage Space

Before your first child is even born, you’ll collect lots of gear: strollers, car seats, portable beds to take to the grandparents. The list goes on. So, look around and find storage space for these items. 

While they’re still a baby, a mudroom is relatively clean enough to store these items. And as your child grows, strollers are replaced by bikes, which can be hung in the garage. Also, make sure there’s plenty of closet space for clothes–or add dressers to bedrooms.   

  1. Create a Safe Yard Space
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If you have yard space, make safety a top priority so you can allow kids to run around and enjoy without worrying. Make a fenced-in backyard for privacy and security, and barricade dangerous areas like pools and fire pits, installing a gate with a lock. 

As they get older, you can always adjust your backyard landscape. Later on, build a playset or add a trampoline for them to burn off some energy.   

Ready to Grow a Family?

As you prepare to extend and grow your family, make sure to follow these tips and prepare your home. Being a parent is no easy task, but by initiating a few steps and readying your home to invite a little one into it, you can remove some of the stress and daily challenges.

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