Young parents living in cities face difficult decisions regarding their living arrangements. The suburbs versus city debate is one many young married couples have had, and that discussion is often prompted by the arrival of children.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that more people are choosing cities over the suburbs in the 21st century. While that data indicates 53 of the 81 cities in the United States with populations exceeding a quarter million people experienced reduced growth in 2013-2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, during that time such cities still exhibited growth well above their averages from 2000 to 2010.
There are many reasons why city life might make more sense than living in the suburbs for young married couples. Living in the city may lead to far shorter commutes for working parents, and the availability of public transportation in cities may save parents the costly expense of purchasing their own vehicles.
But city life may force families to cope with cramped quarters. Even the most spacious apartments may not provide the same square footage as single family suburban homes. Parents who are committed to city living may need to get creative in order to live comfortably in apartments.
Actively police clutter
Few things can make apartments seem more cramped than clutter. Unsolicited mailings, old magazines and unused kitchenware are just a few of the items that can make small apartments seem even smaller. Discard junk mail the moment you walk through the door, making a daily effort to keep kitchen counters and tables, coffee tables and other areas that tend to accumulate clutter clear of clutter. Reducing clutter also makes homes safer for young children, making it easier for them to navigate a home while reducing choking hazards.
Keep hosting duties to a minimum
Many men and women love to host friends and family, and that desire to host won’t subside simply because you live in a city. But even if you love to host, host more intimate gatherings so you are not forced to use your already limited storage space to store items, such as extra plates, utensils and drinking glasses, that you will only use every so often. Fewer guests means fewer items you need to store year-round.
Go easy on the tots’ toys
Parents of young children know that kids’ toys take up a lot of space, and that’s space that many city dwellers simply don’t have. Rather than adding to youngsters’ toy stash each month, explain to them that space is limited and that some older toys will have to go before new ones can be purchased. Donate old toys and let kids know their items will be given to less fortunate youngsters, as that may make kids feel better about parting ways with their toys. Set a good example by showing kids when you discard or donate older items before replacing them with new ones.
Single-family home owners may not need to make much use of the vertical space in their homes, but such is not often the case with apartment dwellers. Utilizing vertical space in an apartment can be as simple as buying some shelving units or bookcases. To be safe, keep items the kids will use on lower shelves so they are not tempted to do some climbing to reach their toys or books.
Parents who choose the big city over the suburbs may need to make some sacrifices to make better use of cramped quarters.