Part of our family journey to California involved transitioning to a slightly smaller footprint in terms of living space. We moved from a 1500 square foot house (with a full attic and basement) in Massachusetts to about 800 square feet in Encinitas (with a 1 car garage). It was actually such a liberating thing to do. I recently heard a quote that goes something like this:
We traded a lot of space and a lot of stuff, for less space and the opportunity to live and play outside all year and we couldn’t be happier for it.
That being said, when we found out we were having twins, we knew that we would need to get even more creative with storage and we would once again need to go through the house and take a good hard look at what was necessary. This carried over into our baby registry as well. We couldn’t register for some “luxury” items (based on personal opinion, of course) because most things required us to have 2 of them. So here’s a rundown of the major gear we ended up buying/registering for:
Honest Company Dresser/Changing Table and 2 Cribs
Ergobaby 360 Carrier x2
Chicco KeyFit 30 Carseats x2 and Bases x4
Chicco Cortina Together Stroller
Lansinoh Breast Pump
Tandem Nursing Pillow
Dr. Brown’s Bottles
Graco Slim Spaces High Chair x2
Fisher Price Safari Dreams Bouncer x2
As you can see, we chose some things based on their smaller footprint since we need to have 2 of them. Other things, you just can’t get around – such as the monstrous stroller. I’ve found that the in-line stroller has worked really well. I’ve been able to navigate stores with ease and get it through doorways (pretty important when you’re trying to go places). The one pitfall is that it’s heavy. H-E-A-V-Y. Maybe it feels heavier since I haven’t been working out but that will be changing soon, God willing.
Some of the things we didn’t register for but ultimately realized are important to have are a play mat with all kinds of lights and sounds and dangling objects as well as some kind of bath cradle. We didn’t go for a full infant tub because, let’s be serious, with 800 square feet we just don’t have anywhere to put it. But I did find this flexible cradle by Puj that folds flat (perfect for storage and even travel!) and so far has met our needs for a little extra support when bathing the girls in the kitchen sink.
I feel pretty good about the things we totally opted out of because, as of today, I haven’t identified anything that we have that we just haven’t used or found a need for and that is a huge win from what I’ve been told about baby gear. Time will tell if we can maintain that utilization percentage of course.
I’ll detail more about the nursery in a later post. Any other thoughts on paring down baby gear for small space living?
Mary and Sean, you are doing a great job. I had such a nice time with you and the daughters (L & Q) in NY. Love is the most precious stuff you can give them. Keep posting, enjoy reading your life experiences.
Thanks Aunt Geri!!