450 Square Feet and a Baby: How to Live with Less

450 Square Feet and a Baby

Prior to getting married, my husband and I agreed that he would move from his condo to my condo, although his condo is about 100 square feet larger than mine, because his condo was downtown and I would have to rent a parking space on a monthly basis.  My dog also has allergies and his carpeted floor would be an issue (although not that big of an issue as we could have always removed the carpet).  His condo also doesn’t have much in the way of a balcony which is a must for me to not feel claustrophobic.

When we got married we found out shortly after we were expecting and then the panic ensued.  I started fretting about how we were going to make a one bedroom 450 square feet space work for two adults, a baby, and a small dog.

We started looking at two bedroom spaces to rent, but the rental prices was just too much for what was available compared to my mortgage and maintenance fees I was paying now.  One place was a ‘garden level’ suite which was really a euphemism for a basement suite and you could hear the kids upstairs (at least 2-3 kids?) stomping around and screaming. Another place we looked at seemed nice but they had a strict pet policy and bike policy (my husband refused to leave his bike in a bike locker).

Therefore we felt that since we have always been wanting to make small spaces work and we embrace the idea of minimalism and throwing things away (I was obsessed with Resource Furniture and their functional designs), we would try to make this work.  It would be for short term anyway, until the little one was 1.5 to 2 years of age.

When I tell people I know that we are making 450 square feet work I usually get incredulous looks.  So far, 450 square feet has worked for both of us and one dog and we haven’t wanted to strangle each other yet, so hopefully adding a baby to the mix won’t be too bad.

I was inspired by 600 Square Feet and a Baby who now has two children in 600 square feet and makes it look effortless and very instagram worthy and has a Resource furniture Penelope Wall bed.

So then the idea was born of get rid of 365 things in my condo (of my stuff, in my personal finance goals for 2017) and my husband did his fair share of getting rid of his stuff (though he still has all his Berkshire Hathaway Annual Reports that he treasures) to fit into the apartment.

Here are some of the things we did to prepare for the addition of a baby in 450 square feet:

 

WENT VERTICAL

Thankfully my condo has some pretty highish ceilings so we went vertical.  Nothing fancy but it’ll do temporarily.

  • We fixed my Dyson Vacuum onto the wall (I swear I should have done that eons ago, it’s so handy when it’s hung on the wall!)
  • We put up a shelf to hold the baby stuff (toys, extra diapers, books)

450 Square Feet and a Baby

  • We put an Ikea rack in the bathroom to put our extra towels and supplies for baby bath time (it looks crooked but it really isn’t!)

450 Square Feet and a Baby

  • We bought a two person dining table that folds into the wall
  • Hung up a changing station with diapers, wash cloths, and wipes

CONSOLIDATED

There was a lot of evaluating whether we needed things that we currently own and a lot of getting creative.

  • Turned my printer area into a change table by adding a changing pad on top of it, moving the printer off it (obviously haha) and getting rid of books etc. in the cabinets and putting baby paraphernalia in it instead

450 Square Feet and a Baby

  • We dedicated a drawer in our bed to baby clothing, 0-6 months and have other clothing tucked away in a Rubbermaid tote

BOUGHT COMPACT BABY GEAR

We needed things that could be stored away or folded.

  • We bought a Babyletto Origami Mini Crib  on Amazon ($269) that has wheels and is in my favourite colour, which they call Lagoon.  We are hoping the mini crib will last until the baby is 1.5 to 2 years old.  It was much cheaper to buy on Amazon than at the local stores in Canada (over $400 for the same crib).  When buying a crib in the United States you have to make sure they sell the same crib in Canada or else the customs officials won’t allow you to bring it over.

  • We also got a Baby Box that we got for free from Baby Box Co that we use as a bassinet (and can use as storage for toys after the bassinet is not needed).  Our baby liked this initially but then kept banging his hands and feet against the cardboard so doesn’t like it as much as the Brica Fold N’ Go bassinet

  • We bought a Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub (used, on Craigslist for $30) that folds relatively flat and can be tucked away.  We actually hang it on that Ikea rack you saw earlier where it dries nicely after bath time.

FUTURE PLANNING

  • We know that we will need to get rid of our bed in the bedroom and just have the crib in there when the baby starts to sleep on its own when he/she is anywhere from six months to one year (or so the recommendations are).  Then we will be sleeping in the living room, so we were thinking about buying a Resource Furniture wall bed (that is also a sofa) or Vancouver’s own Expand Furniture sofa/wall bed but this is going to set us back $5000-$10,000 and we might just stick with a futon sofa bed instead (at no cost since it will be one that family doesn’t want).

The Penelope Sofa from Resource Furniture, isn’t it just gorgeous?

The Expand Furniture Double Wall Bed Couch a cool $5995 + taxes

450 Square Feet and a Baby

Hopefully the above tips will help you realize that you have more space than you need, and if I can do it in a 450 square foot one bedroom apartment (two adults, one small dog, and one baby) you can too!

Genymoney.ca is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.ca.

Readers, do you have any other tips for living minimally?  Yay or Nay on splurging on convertible furniture?

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About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

6 comments on “450 Square Feet and a Baby: How to Live with Less

    • @Mrs. Picky Pincher- Awe thanks!! That compliment means a lot because what we have is so basic and we are trying to make do with what space we have. His changing table is basically beside my shoes hung behind the door and also beside my computer desk lol.

  1. Wow, 450 square feet. This makes my old house (1030 sqft) look like a mansion. Having two kids myself, such a small space will definitely be a challenge. Just curious, with such a small space, do you entertain family or friends in this space?

    • @Leo- It would definitely be difficult to fit two kids in here lol. We’re both pretty introverted so we don’t do much entertaining, that being said we’ve had a few friends at a time over (like 1-2) where we make dinner etc.

  2. Wow, you really figured out a lot of ways to save space! I particularly like the idea of hanging your vacuum cleaner on the wall – I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    You’re inspiring me to want to downsize from our 1,150 square foot apartment! Our lease is up in March, so we’ll see whether we decide to stay or downsize more.
    Mr. Freaky Frugal recently posted…Fearless downsizingMy Profile

    • @Mr. Freaky Frugal- I tried! It still feels a bit cramped to be honest. The vacuum cleaner I have (Dyson) came with a wall attachment so it was only natural, it wasn’t my idea really haha. I think 1150 square foot for two people is perfect (actually apparently the recommended minimum space per person is around 250-400 square feet an adult), and if you have children/grandchildren wanting to stay/visit it makes it better for that too!

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