Minimalist Kids – New Small Space

July 16, 2012 in Minimalist Parenting, My Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott

Last week I told you about our Simple Living – Take 2 where we downsized again.  We went from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 1 bedroom apartment.  Many of you (rightly) asked about the kids.  We are a family of 4 living in a 1 bedroom apartment… that doesn’t work right?  How does this work for the minimalist kids?

Before I start I should say that we have grand dreams of downsizing again someday.  I would love to leave our 1 bedroom apartment to move into a camper, or move into backpacks and wander the world with my kids.  Not sure that will work soon, or ever, but that is a dream. This would really be minimalist kids.

Minimalist Kids

Because you hear from me and my perspective a lot I wanted to write this post to you introducing you to our minimalist apartment through my kids eyes.  We have two living spaces that go by the names of:

  • Living Room
  • Bedroom

Here is the living room area:

It goes the by the name living room but here is what it really is:

  • Living room
  • Game room
  • Dinning room
  • Puzzle room
  • Play room
  • Art room
  • Acting and dancing room
  • Kids night sleeping room
  • Daytime awake room
  • Lily’s nap-time room
  • Music room
  • …also in the last few days the rollerblading and scootering practice room

Here is an add-on to the living room that works as an:

  • entry
  • laundry sorting/ironing
  • art gallery
  • and overflow from other living room activities

The closet to the right is the kids toy, activity and homeschool closet.

The top shelf holds K’Nex, Lily’s sewing box, and the kids games.

The second shelf holds extra books, homeschool materials, and a craft box.

The third shelf (the first they can reach on their own) holds a basket for Barbies and dolls and Ian’s toy box (cars and such)

The bottom holds blocks and balls.  It did hold a keyboard until we went and purchased a full sized one last week for next school year.

(these aren’t really fancy pictures but hopefully it helps you get the idea)

The second room is the bedroom but it is much more as well:

  • reading room
  • office
  • extra homeschool station
  • family closet
  • sleeping room during the day
  • Ian’s nap-time room
  • parents sleeping room

 I love seeing them read!  Ian is a huge fan of Henry and Mudge books books.

This is also where we keep puzzles and my worship books.

With 33ish (or less) pieces of clothing for 4 of us, we fit quite well in one closet. This is the kids side:

I would love to say that it was neater, but we are still working on the habit of having the kids put their own cloths away.  The white organizer is for socks, underwear, swimsuits and PJ’s.

When we first decided to adopt minimalism we decided we need two separate spaces at anytime during the day:

  • two different places for adults/kids to sleep
  • place for quite play and for loud play
  • two separate places for the kids to work on school work (because they get distracted in the same room)
  • … two separate places to separate the kids when they are not getting along
  • place for adults to talk and a place for kids to play
  • place for sleeping (or napping) and a place for awake activities

As long as we had two separate spaces that could serve multiple functions then two spaces would be enough.

So far, this apartment (after about 2 weeks) has been great for this.  We cut down things before we moved so there is still lots of space in each room for running and jumping and spreading out toys on the floor.  This apartment, even though it is smaller, feels less cramped.  Before we had people under us and the kids couldn’t run and jump.  Now we don’t have anyone under us and they love it.

Square footage of the apartment they told us was over 700 sq feet, but when we measure wall to wall (and my husband is a construction guy) including the furnace room and all the bump outs we get just over 600 sq feet (so maybe 550ish sq feet living space).

So that is how we do it.  Minimalism is done different by different people and that is part of the beauty of it.  This is what works for us right now :)

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