When you first moved in, your new house might have seemed plenty big enough. Too big, in fact. But there’s nothing like having kids to crowd you out. We were living in a one-bedroom apartment when we had our first child and when we moved to a two-bedroom semi, it felt like a palace.
However, a second baby and a few years later, the walls are starting to close in on us once again. We have coped pretty well, making do with limited space, but we can’t deny it any longer. Our house is too small, and we’re all living on top of each other. And the thing with kids – they’re only going to get bigger.
Naturally, as parents, we all dream of endless space and storage, (let’s face it, you can never have enough), but here are five signs that you have officially outgrown your home:
1. Second living space needed
Our family-friendly open plan lounge/dining/kitchen space was ideal when we had toddlers. I could keep an eye on the kids while doing the cooking and I never missed out on any family fun. But now a few years later, we don’t always want to share the one living area. No one can agree on a family DVD, my kids have different interests and want to practice different musical instruments. And if we have friends over, we’re all in the one space, trying to have an adult conversation while all the kids are watching Mary Poppins Returns. There comes a point where you cannot share the one living space all the time – and we have reached that point.
2. Furniture is too small
As kids grow up, they become longer and lankier and quite frankly take up too much room. We only have one couch and we don’t fit on it anymore. Plus, my daughters always vie for the same spot on the couch, a source of constant (and annoying) fighting that usually leaves either my husband or myself to cosy up on the beanbags on the floor. Your furniture pieces may still fit your house, but when your family no longer fit the furniture, it might be time to upgrade to a bigger house.
3. Kids’ room about to explode
If your home situation is anything like ours, your kids share the one room. Initially, this is an ideal space-saving idea, containing kids in the one space, possibly allowing the luxury of a study or media room. It also teaches kids to share, make compromises and get on with each other. My daughters still share a bedroom, which has been totally fine. Up until now. A few years down the track, after one too many birthday and Christmas presents, their room is about to burst at the seams. It’s not as if they have a lot of stuff, but they’re squashed into a tiny room, with ever-changing tastes and desires, and have definitely reached their limit.
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4. Not enough bathrooms
Homes with two bathrooms are highly sought after as far as real estate goes – and now I know why. A house with the one bathroom is just not adequate when it comes to a growing family. Everyone wants to “go” at the same time and there’s absolutely no such thing as privacy. As my girls grow up, their bathroom needs are becoming greater and the situation is now completely untenable. If like me, you find yourself waiting in a queue outside your own bathroom door, then your home is no longer meeting your needs and certainly not growing at the same pace as your young family.
5. Crammed cupboards
When we moved into our house, we were overwhelmed with the amount of storage space we suddenly had. Non-stop cupboards, drawers and an expansive attic with pull-down ladder. How would we ever fill all that space? Naturally, we did quite quickly, and now years later, every piece of cabinetry in the house is filled to the brim.
I constantly declutter and re-organise cupboards, moving stuff from one place to the next, boxing the lesser-used stuff for the attic, but you can only do that for so long. If you have truly run out of storage and you just can’t declutter anymore, then the house is too small. And no amount of organising is going to make it any bigger. Trust me, I know.