We have a 14-month-old daughter, in those months we somehow managed to live in three different houses. Each time, setting them up and organizing them to be “our home”. Not knowing we would soon be packing up and moving. The life of renters – am I right? Our third move, thankfully, ended up being into a home we purchased. The benefit of this situation is that we have been able to get really clear on what works for our us and what does not. The three biggest things have been to create a space we are all comfortable in, keeping it decluttered and sticking to a budget.
Creating a Child-Friendly Home
Before I became a mom I knew I wanted to incorporate elements of Montessori into our everyday lives (luckily, this has been one of those things that have actually been put into practice). When setting up our home I wanted to create a space that would be comfortable for Simone to play and explore freely without her needing our constant supervision. Our main floor is set-up like a circle with our living room and dining room being on a diagonal line across from each other. It is important for me to be able to be cooking in the kitchen while she plays in the other room. I love when she comes into the kitchen while I am cleaning up or cooking and gives me a hug. Or when I sneak a peek at her in the living room and she is happily playing.
In order to create this space for our family, we are continually making sure that everything that is at her level is safe for her to use. Every time she develops a new skill we have to look around and see what items need to be moved. I am not looking forward to the day when she figures out how to slide the door on the teak hutch and access all of our wine glasses. But for now, we have been able to keep all the lower cupboards in the kitchen filled with items that are ok for her to explore. She loves going into the cupboard and pulling out a cloth and wiping the walls or her face.
Minimalize and Declutter
We have been on a journey to reduce the number of items in our home – I wouldn’t say we are minimalists by any means but are working towards consciously consuming and curating our space. Keeping it minimal has helped us to create spaces that are not only friendly for Simone but are also so much easier to keep clean! Tidying up at the end of the day, if we manage to have the energy to do so, only takes a few minutes and if we don’t – well it doesn’t look so bad. It also means that any items that could be a hazard are easily spotted and removed. Pro tip: rotate your children’s toys. This has helped to keep things clean and keeps her interested in the toys.
After putting all of our pennies and then some towards purchasing our home we certainly did not have the means to buy new furniture or decor. Luckily, over the last few years, we have been keeping a concise style when purchasing or acquiring new furniture. One of the only things we purchased me was the coffee table in our living room. A lot of what we have we have purchased second hand off of buy and sell websites. You would be amazed at the number of people who want to get rid of almost new furniture.
With these three themes in mind, our goal is to create a home that we are happy to come home to. That allows all of us to feel safe and able to express ourselves. Now, that I have shared with you our overarching themes for our home I am going to start a mini-series of blog posts featuring each room in our house. I will show you before photos of what it looked like before we moved in and how we have it set-up now. I will discuss how each room is set-up to be child-friendly and how we sourced the items. First, up will be our living room! My favorite room in the house.