When I became pregnant, I remember being envious of some of the mommy influencers with their giant homes as I looked around my small condo. I’m grateful to own a place in one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in and I adore my condo but the unfortunate reality is that most newly built condos are getting smaller. Ours is a 2020 one-bedroom condo that is 566 sq ft. Instantly, we knew our time was limited.

We anticipated spending about a year or so in our cozy place if we rearranged our unit and made the most of the square footage. During my nesting periods (it’s a common pregnancy symptom!), I walked our place plenty of times to make a plan and browsed many furniture stores to get some inspiration. Nesting for Dan didn’t come until the baby was born! 

To make the most of our cozy space, here’s some tips and tricks we did:

Declutter throughout the pregnancy.

First, I walked around the condo with a garbage bag and started decluttering aggressively. Luckily, my taste in fashion was changing and I was getting more into classic pieces for a capsule wardrobe so I could donate many of my trendier clothes and shoes to create space. In addition to clothes, I decluttered kitchen items, books, and random knick-knacks that no longer held any value to us.  

Rearrange your place.

When we first moved in, we thought we knew where to place everything so we kept our arrangement as is for the longest time until Dan felt the urge to rearrange the furniture. Much to our surprise, the new arrangement made more sense to us and created more room so we could accommodate a few baby furniture and items. We strategically placed the changing table beside our TV so we could also utilize the TV stand.

Since we purchased the place, we had the floorplan and dimensions, etc. but if that’s not available to you, you can sketch out your existing floor plan and manually measure your space to see what works. 

Opt for multifunctional furniture.

Multifunctional furniture can serve multiple purposes, reducing the number of pieces you need. You may be tempted to get something a mommy influencer is selling but opt for something that is functional and suits your needs, not for aesthetics. For example, our diaper-changing table is from IKEA and we use the bottom for storage. We also got bins to keep things organized. It’s not the prettiest but it gives us extra storage space! 

Utilize vertical space.

When floor space is at a premium, look upwards. Although we opted not to mount shelves, we opted for skinny tall storage bins such as the one pictured below. It was cheap and it allowed us to store all his clothes for the time being. Later, this became a toy “chest”.

As well, think outside the conventional furniture! We didn’t have the space for a dresser so the three-tier storage bin worked great for us!

Be practical and resourceful.

Before getting pregnant, I didn’t realize how much marketing throws baby products into your face. Every day, there’s something that baby companies and influencers try to convince you that you need this one thing which will magically make everything better and easier. 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of marketing and you get that mom guilt if you don’t purchase it because you want to make things “easier” and “better” for your baby. Trust me, I went through that until I took a step back and reassessed my situation. 

1 – I don’t have the space to accumulate a bunch of baby things, that’s the reality. It doesn’t matter if the product costs $1 if I don’t have the space for it and it’s not a necessity, I won’t get it! 

2 – When you’re decluttering, reassess some old things you might be keeping. For example, instead of getting the famous white noise machine, I plugged my old cell phone, loaded up Spotify, and saved some baby white noise playlists. Be sure to download the playlist so you can play it during a stroll. 

Any room is a baby room. 

Once upon a time, our closet was our closet… up until the arrival of our baby. It became half a closet, and the other half, a “bedroom”. We put the bassinet in there (and keep the door open). 

Make do with what you have.

Lastly, make do with the space you have. We wanted a rocking chair to help soothe Theo to sleep and the truth is, we made do with where we wanted to place it. That meant we had to shift it when we wanted to get by or move it out of the way to create a play space. We moved the coffee table several times for Theo to do tummy time. 

You can also utilize mirrors to make the room feel bigger! Although, if I’m being honest, I didn’t like mirrors too much during the newborn phase when everyone was sleep-deprived and hormones were going crazy.

Having a newborn is a stressful time and feeling like there’s a lack of space doesn’t help. Starting a family is a crazy ride but enjoy the moments. Even though I got frustrated and annoyed with moving things constantly, or feeling like I didn’t have “enough”, I tried my best to ignore those feelings and focus on my baby, and the fact that there’s a roof over our family. As Theo is getting older, I’m grateful for having a home he can thrive in, and not falling prey to all the baby marketing out there. 

If you live in a cozy home, what are some of your tips for getting the most out of your space? 

With love, Claire


  1. You have shared some great tips to help utilise as much space as you can. Thank you for sharing your tips!

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

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