Creating a minimalist family home
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Shortly after sharing our exciting news of expecting a little one, people were quick to tell us how expensive children are and that we really need to think about more space at home. I will be honest, I gave in a bit at first and started to look at two bedroom houses in Auckland and got sucked into thinking we needed the extra space for the baby to sleep seperately, or a big kitchen to prepare more food etc.
I soon realised that those few people (mostly people who don't know us very well) were projecting their own insecurities and opinions onto us. Some of these people didn't even have their own children! Sam and I shouldn't have to change our lifestyle and values because we have a child on the way. Some great advice we got from recently new parents was to have the baby fit into our lives, not us surrender and drop everything. Our lives now are focused on saving, investing and living within our means.
We have decided to stay in our small one bed unit for as long as we can, hopefully until we become residents of New Zealand and are able to buy a house (we are hoping for the start of 2022). Our daughter will be just over 1 years old by then and hopefully still able to sleep compfortably in our room. It is recommended children sleep in the same room as their parents until at least 9 months old anyway - a few extra months won't harm her (maybe Sam's snoring will). In time if we do decide we would be more comfortable with some extra space we can always pack up our small unit and shift into another rental.
We want to make the most of our low costing place for as long as possible, so we can keep squirreling away 60% of our income. We also love the suburb we live in here in Auckland - Point Chevalier and there are very few rentals that go up in the area. The calm, flat beach is a 5 minute walk next to a park with city views, the roads are quiet and it's a 10 minute drive to work for Sam in the city centre. If we were to move out for a bigger place, but try and keep a low budget we would have to sacrifice location and time spent commuting to work, something that is important to us.
With the decision of staying in this place, we soon got a little inventive and reorganised the unit to create more space with what we had. Here's what we did:
Turned our cafe/dinner table into a kitchen unit
Bought a foldable kitchen table
Removed our pallet sofa (very sad times) as it was too wide, so we bought a second hand sofa bed
Removed our deep fitting bedroom desk and replaced it with our plant shrine (for now)
The main area we needed more (baby friendly) space was in the living/kitchen area. By popping together the kitchen island we have added more space for baby stuff like bottles, express machine, bibs, cloths etc. Having the folding table means we can easily push it against the wall, to create space for tummy time and stretch out ourselves.
Our motto is to make do with what we have and we’re definitely doing that in this space! I’ll keep sharing more of our home once additional baby items are bought, second hand of course.