Whether you live in a small apartment, a tiny house, or rooming with family, the nursery of your dreams is possible even in a small space. Trust me, I live in a tiny house! And through trial and error, I have found a way to have a room that works for us and our baby.
I spent countless hours researching tips and tricks to living in a tiny space, and I’m here to help you save that time. Do what you will with those extra hours, but I highly recommend a sexy date night with your partner.
When my husband and I first moved into our tiny house, we did not know I was pregnant. Our plan was to make our extra room into a game room. My poor hubs only got about 10 days before his game room dreams were swapped for sweet baby dreams.
The first thing we did was tear out the old built in bed and lay down carpet. I highly recommend carpet for baby spaces, or a very large rug. Once your little one starts moving, you’re gonna want that soft space for him or her to land. Next we tore down some collapsing shelves, painted an accent wall, and started measuring for furniture.
Figuring out the furniture placement was like trying to beat the most difficult level of Tetris. It felt impossible, but I put pencil to paper and found a set up that worked for us. Since then, we’ve rearranged the room a few more times as he’s grown, but it does get easier!
So as your body does the hard work of developing a beautiful baby, grab a snack, sit back, and read these 15 easy tips for decorating and organizing your nursery.
I wish I found a mini crib when I was setting up my nursery! These are so cute and functional. This nursery done by Chaoswiththecals makes great use of the space with a mini crib and floating shelves. The toy baskets at kid level are great for independent play and encourage kids to put their toys back after playing.
I love a good floating shelf. It makes a small space open and airy. Place them up high for items that aren’t for baby’s hands. Place them down low for kid access to toys, books, and other kid approved items.
Portable Changing Tray.
Save your space for other necessities and skip the changing table. Babies can be changed anywhere, so I really like this portable changing tray. We put ours on top of the dresser which has worked great, and eventually we can use that space for other things when he’s out of diapers. (Parenting hack: Keep a toy or fun object at the ready to keep them occupied and prevent a roll away baby).
In a small space, vertical real estate is your best friend. I repurposed a hanging mail organizer into storage for hats, socks, burp cloths, towels, swim wear, blankets, and more. Baby stuff is so tiny and can easily get lost in a drawer, so having it easily accessible and in view is a real time saver.
Pegboards are no longer relegated to the garage! I love them for the home office, nursery, or anywhere you need to maximize the use of space. Paint it to match the rest of your color scheme, choose the containers and hooks to match your needs and you are set. They work great to keep pacifiers from getting lost!
Get yourself some sturdy wall hooks for your diaper bag and baby carrier. Often these items just get tossed willy nilly, but you don’t realize how important it needs to up and out of the way until the bag you just packed gets unpacked by your baby.
Book ledges are great to keep books at the ready and double as decor. To encourage reading and independence, hang the ledges at toddler height. My toddler loves grabbing his favorite books off the shelf to bring to me. If you’re limited on wall space, place the shelf in a corner nook. (Parenting Tip: Teach your baby to sign ‘book’ so you know what they’re asking from you. To sign book, place your palms together and open, like you’re opening a book.)
Paint stripes on the wall to make a small space look bigger. Use vertical stripes to make the space seem taller. Use horizontal stripes to make the space seem wider.
Paint the ceiling.
A beautiful color on the ceiling that matches your accessories can add dimension to a room. This will draw the eye up, making the space feel bigger. Avoid colors that are too bold or too dark as these can do the opposite and make the space feel smaller.
Convert the closet.
Maximize space by repurposing the closet into a crib, changing table, or play space. Check out this crib closet transformation by Adventures_of_Miss_Hope! She took off the doors, and took down the shelf and the hanging rod. Then turned a vintage mini crib into this beautiful, modern space saving crib nook!
Whether you’ve decided to paint the ceiling or use stripes, make sure to use neutrals on the other surfaces. This will make the room feel light and airy. White, beige, gray, and brown are typical neutrals, but you can use soft greens, blues, and lilacs to create the same airy feel.
Every square inch is important for a small space. Storage door hangers are fantastic for utilizing the space on the back of a bedroom or closet door. Use it for shoes, toys, socks, pacifiers, diapers, diaper cream, or whatever works best for you.
Baskets or buckets are great for storing all kinds of items that you need at hand. I reused a bucket to store diapers, wipes, and baby cream. This way I have all the things I need in one container and I can carry it around the house where ever I need to change him. The dollar store also has an array of baskets in all shapes and sizes to fit your personalized needs.
Double closet rails.
Kids clothes are so cute and tiny that you can add an extra closet rail to instantly double the amount you can hang in the closet. For even more storage, add drawers below. This tip is a necessity for families with multiples, or two under two.
Do your closet doors take up a lot of space? Or does it open up into another door blocking access? Then ditch the door! Hang up a beautiful curtain in its place to match the room’s decor. This small change will add to your space, and encourage independence as your little one grows. (Parenting tip: Be sure to baby/toddler proof the entire room from the very beginning. I can’t tell you the number of times we said, “oh he can’t do that yet,” and then the next day he does.)