Small Space, No Problem!

View of Antacostia River!

When we moved to Washington DC, waterfront neighborhoods, like the Wharf and the Capitol River Front, were still under construction. When the opportunity presented itself for us to move two years later, we did not hesitate to downsize! We moved from a three story rental house on Capitol Hill to a beautiful two bedroom apartment in the Capitol River Front neighborhood, also called the Navy Yard or the Yards, located on the Southeast side of the District. It felt great to break free of stuff!

View of Nationals Park! 

One of the many perks with our new address, besides the amazing view of the Antacostia River, our apartment was also located directly across from the Nationals Park, DC’s Major League Baseball (MLB) team. We definitely took advantage of cheap seats throughout the baseball season! The biggest drawback with our new address, we lost a lot of indoor living space! 

Catch a Baseball Game For $7!

Since we moved in the springtime, we were not overly concerned with the lost of living space because Maxwell’s playground became the city! Regardless of the weather or temperature, he spent even more time outdoors and we loved it! 

Maxwell Lee Wargo!

However, once the Nats season was over and the arrival of freezing temperatures, we found our family spending alittle more time indoors. Like most parents living in a smaller space, we were worried Maxwell would get bored very quickly. Steve and I used a few tricks to divide the small space in Maxwell’s room into something magical for him so being indoors would not be a problem!

Turn Small Space Into Fun Space! 

I must confess upfront that although Steve and I downsized, downsizing Maxwell’s toys was not an option for us. A smaller space fills up quickly so the type of furniture and organization skills were key to maximizing every square foot!

Use Smaller Containers or Baskets For Children!

Since we didn’t want to buy bookcases, we decided to turn one of Maxwell’s clothes closets into a toy closet. We simply organized his toys, by type, into smaller bins and baskets. This really helped Maxwell with organization! Smaller bins and containers, instead of large bins especially with small children, gives children more self reliance as well as eliminating a lot of toys being everywhere!

Since Max outgrew his toddler bed, this was also a perfect time to upgrade his bed. We bought a used full size loft bed from Facebook Market instead of buying a new one!

Facebook Market Loft Bed!

This type of bed allowed Maxwell to have more play area in his bedroom.

Before Buying New, Search Facebook Market!

The space under the loft style bed also allowed us to create a safe place for Maxwell! The space allowed Maxwell to calm himself down when he was upset and it helped us avoid using timeouts. 

Use Sports Banners Instead of Curtains!

We installed curtain rods and used his favorite DC team banners as curtains to give Maxwell alittle more privacy! 

Team Sports Banners to Create a Fort!

Max loved it! He doesn’t need the area as a safe place anymore but it is a great place for a fort and a make believe store! 

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Windows and Walls to Decorate!

We wanted Maxwell to have fun especially when it comes to learning! For Maxwell, role playing is the most effective way to teach him. Since Maxwell likes to play dress up, we hung a coat rack, Maxwell’s height level, to make it easier for him to dress up!

Small Tables Do Not Take Up Room!

We are always buying small toys from the Dollar Store, Five and Below, Target’s dollar section, and IKEA. To organize and store these items, we use small containers and pail cans!

A TV Stand to Organize Small Toys!

Since we didn’t want to install shelves, we used curtain brackets instead of nails to hang small pail cans and baskets.

A Bike Basket!

The curtain brackets and shower curtain hooks made it easier for Maxwell to remove and hang containers and flash cards with no problem!

Use Shower Curtain Hooks Instead!

To hang homework or flash cards, we used magnetic cable clips! Amazon sells them for less than $8 for 8 (one dollar per cable clip)!

Use Magnetic Clips for Flash Cards!

Although Maxwell has a TV in his room, he rarely turns it on! He prefers playing with his toys and games over watching television any day!

Ready for School!

We recently turned his room into a bookstore and cafe! We strung mason jar lights and reused an old DVD shelf to hold play dishes and food! The bottom of the shelf was the right height to hide a step stool! 

An Old DVD Shelf!

We have so much fun taking turns role playing while learning something valuable at the same time! 

All You Need Is Your Imagination!

Kids love playing pretend! 

Let’s Have Fun Playing!

You don’t need a play kitchen, just your imagination!

Use Wall Stickers!

Also, kids love playing with chalk! IKEA sells removable chalk paper all different sizes and shapes. It was very easy to stick to Maxwell’s walls and bed! We used it not only on his walls but also to label some of his containers!

Removable Chalkboard Sticky Paper!

Instead of buying bulky Melissa and Doug $50 shops, like the ice cream cart or the grocery store, that take up a lot of room, we bought a $20 small movable cart and $2 containers. We can use the cart for something else when Maxwell outgrows it. 

A Small Movable Cart!

We hope ReCreative Souls gave you ideas for decorating your little one’s room!

I Love Role Playing With Max!

Inspire your mind to ReCreate the beauty in your Soul! 

Maxwell’s View!

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My son, Maxwell, and I visiting the Fun House Exhibit at the National Building Museum!

Thank you for visiting us! Big hug from Irene, Steve, and Maxwell!

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