family life · Singapore

Small Spaces – 2015

Here is the typical timeline for couples: Get married. Find a home. Think that you have TONS of space. Have kids. Find that your home keeps shrinking. Seriously!
Very often I look at magazine spreads, or visit show flats, and think, How on earth do people live like that? So I’m so glad to be part of the blog train “Small Spaces“, started by Mummy J of Making Mum, on how parents tailor their real living spaces to their real kids. Who make real messes. That’s what real childhood is about, right? 🙂

In all honesty, I don’t need a big home, and I actually like raising kids in a smaller home because it’s easier to get from one place to another, watch out for them, etc. But I do think that storage space is so so important. I’ve also realised how much we can store away, since there are so many things that we don’t use every day. (Or ever, sometimes.) We live in around 1000sqft, and I think I could use another 500sqft just for storage 😀

With Mittens starting primary school, we decided that we needed MORE space. We recently added in some shelves and drawers in the boys’ room, and I gave each child a drawer to put their own belongings, and in truth whenever there is stuff I don’t know where to put, I just shove it in there for them. HA! They like the drawers so much, even our littlest, that she recently asked me where was MY drawer. The whole house is MINE, honey!

One side of the boys room
One side of the boys room

Once I had these shelves installed, I felt like such a weight had lifted over me! I had space again! And I think the kids like that they have their own personal space too. We still have sections empty, and it’s not the easiest to access everything, sometimes I even have to pull the shelves out to access other drawers, but we make do with the space we have.

The other side of the boys room. Books and more books stashed everywhere!
The other side of the boys room. Books and more books stashed everywhere!

Out in the living room, I have a stationery section, complete with paper that anyone can use, and some craft items. I got really sick of people asking me for pens, markers, etc, that we just leave everything out now for them to use. Scout has been using scissors independently since she was 2 years old, so nothing is off limits here.

Living area
Living area

The study table is a recent addition, we have one in the boys room too, but it’s warmer and the living room is larger, since there are usually 3 kids who are doing different things at different times, so it’s easier if everyone is in one central location. Our old iMac, which is still going strong, is in the living room too, and the kids sometimes use this. It’s just in the right position where I can see what they’re doing, and the right height for them too.

And then there is our study, which is actually just the playroom which on most days looks like it exploded. Our open plan kitchen looks into the study as well as the dining and living areas, which makes it easy to keep an eye on the monkeys and their shenanigans.

Books in the walkway even.
Even in the walkway, we have books.

I find myself constantly organising things, and I’ve resigned to the fact that “spring” cleaning a never ending task. I’m also resigned that we’ll never have that picture perfect home. We have toys and clothes all over the place, stickers on walls, drawers, beds. Pen marks on our bedsheets, sofa, curtains… But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Furniture are merely material goods that will eventually be thrown away (and these days, nothing lasts anymore), and a childhood is not about having everything sanitary, isn’t it?

The baby cot we have had since Mittens' time. I love all the stickers that we've put here over the years.
The baby cot we have had since Mittens’ time. I love all the stickers that we’ve put here over the years.

 

 

 

11292802_10152850561932051_47748205_nNext up on the Small Spaces blog train is Ashlyn!

Ashlyn shares her walk of faith, love and joy as a full time working mummy to 1. Many years back, she prayed for a child but God didn’t send her one immediately. Instead, he waited and blessed her with a daughter at the perfect timing. He continued to be her center of life, guide and lead her new journey. She writes about her life, faith, parenting, child, travel and crafting “adventures” – yes, many ups & downs! More over at www.ashlynthia.blogspot.com

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9 thoughts on “Small Spaces – 2015

  1. I bought the same desk for my boy too!
    And thanks for your post, makes me feel that I’m not alone in having a “not a showroom” home. Lol. And your kids are so fortunate, they have so many books! Mine is also growing but I’m curbing myself cause like you mention, space is running out!

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  2. What are interesting blog train theme, I must be nosy liking seeing homes of others 😉

    Also, if you find a 1000sqft a small space, what would be a perfect size for your family? Asking, as in our old place we had about but then had to move and chose to move to a smaller place (not because of the size though, that was the one thing we weren’t too sure of). But we decided to get rid of things we don’t use, bought new furniture that work better in small places, and we fit. For now. When kids want their own rooms we’ll have to move.

    Ps love the amount of books you have.

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    1. I know what you mean, I love looking at interiors too! I think I would like around 1500-2000 sqft but it also depends on the layout. These days here there are so many new condo developments that have large balconies, bay windows, planters, etc that the actual live in space is very small! Or toilets the size of bedrooms and living room space that is small. But you are right – one of my friends said more space = more mess! Haha.

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      1. I have to say I love our large glazed balcony, 🙂

        And I agree with your friend in the way that I think one accumulates more stuff if there is more space for it.

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    1. But sometimes the ones out of sight get neglected, and then we borrow tons of books from the library, it’s so easy to hoard books but not make full use of them! 😉

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  3. I love that there are books and bookshelves almost in every corner! Btw, where did you buy the hanging bookshelves in the first picture. Did your hubby install it by himself?

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