Space is a commodity in Bangkok and we’re all fighting to get as much of it as we can in order to live comfortably, spread our wings and grow along with the sprawling metropolis. However, the reality is that many families end up living in condos which, although spacious in their open-plan living areas, can prove tricky with children who tend to fill up every last square inch.
Making the most of the space, without losing your marbles, or all your possessions for that matter, is a juggling act but there are ways to make it easier on yourself, and the rest of the family. Here’s how.
1. Ensure you have dark furniture and furnishing, preferably with wipe clean or washable covers. And protect the lot with fabric spray protector!
Everyone will use every piece of furniture a lot (Handy hint: if you don’t use a piece of furniture all the time, get rid of it. It’s taking up space!).
The sofas and chairs, rugs and curtains are going to be constantly pulled, coloured in, climbed on, covered in food and drink… you get the idea. Dark furniture hides a multitude of sins.
Washable is good, but regularly becomes a chore.
Wipeable is better.
Spraying all fabrics with fabric protector is essential to not only protect the furniture if it’s rental, but also to ensure shorter cleaning times.
2. Let the kids take the bigger bedroom.
Children have a lot of stuff. There’s no escaping it. Toys, clothes, shoes… If they have the biggest bedroom to share you’ll either free up a space for a playroom, or ensure that there’s a lot more storage to put their belongings away, out of sight.
3. Be ruthless about what stays and what goes. If you’ve not used something in 6 months… it’s gone!
This one speaks for itself!
4. Consider Christmas and birthday presents carefully.
Think about alternatives. Days out, experiences, treats and much more. It’s amazing to have something to open but think about the impact a new experience could bring to your children. It could be money better spent!
5. Materialism is not important in a condo.
Before you splurge on multiple shoes, or indulge in that bread maker you’ve always wanted, think about the practicalities of having it in the flat. Where will it live? Will it create more clutter? Do you really need it? Lots of stuff causes lots of clutter, causing more stress. Less is more when living in limited space.
6. Find homes, where possible for all items.
Lots of condos come with fantastically impractical storage solutions, no matter how many built in cupboards there are. However, when done cleverly it is possible to find homes for most things. Keep surfaces clutter free, put things out of sight where possible, don’t think of wall space as extra storage.
Venturing out and about, there are baskets, boxes and storage solutions aplenty in the local markets, ideal for getting things out of the way.
Hopefully these suggestions can help us all to lead a much happier, less stressful condo lifestyle with your family. It’s true that the more space you have, the more you’ll fill it — but be cautious so that you can really enjoy your space and home.