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These parents get points for creativity.
Space often comes at a high price for city dwellers, which is why many space-strapped parents are finding room for their growing families in an unusual spot: the closet. And several are making closet bedrooms look surprisingly posh.
“It’ll be funny to tell my twins that they slept in a closet for the first two years of their lives,” said Ashley Rasmussen, a mother of two in San Francisco.
When hunting for a home in the area in 2013 with her husband, she picked a one-bedroom apartment with a decently-sized closet knowing that it might have to be a bedroom option should they have a baby. A year later, they had two.
“When we found out we were having two babies, we were a bit more concerned,” she said. “We had to be creative.”
Rasmussen drew out several layouts to figure out how everything could fit, and eventually settled on placing two mini-cribs perpendicular in the space.
“There was no way we were going to fit full-size cribs in there,” she said.
To find extra storage space, Rasmussen stores clothing and other items underneath the cribs, hiding them behind two ruffled crib skirts.
“I’m already trying to think of what we’re going to do when they grow out of the cribs,” she said, but she’s confident they’ll come up with a solution when the time comes. The family of four would likely have to pay around $4,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in their neighborhood, so the closet will have to do for now.
Connie Day, who lives in New York City, has kept her oldest son in a closet since they moved to the city two years ago. In fact, her 4-year-old upgraded last year from a crib to a bed Day's husband built for the room.
"It's not really a bed you would want four kids jumping on," Day said. "But for him, it's plenty big."
Laura Hightower and her husband have two sons, Landon 3, and Bradley, 1, who happily share their parents’ closet.
“They don’t know the difference anyways,” she said, adding that closet nurseries come with one very big incentive.
“It’s actually kind of nice because it gets dark and they sleep really well.”
If you’re thinking about converting a closet into a nursery, here are some of Rasmussen’s tips:
- Check fire codes. Safety comes first, so check your local fire codes and make sure the space is suitable before embarking on this project.
- Mini-cribs are your best friends. The small cribs will make your closet nurseries comes true, and Rasmussen can’t sing their praises enough. “Everyone in a city needs a mini crib,” she said.
- Check Etsy for bedding. “Finding bedding was a bit harder than I had imagined since we needed mini-crib sheets,” Rasmussen wrote on her blog. “I scoured Etsy.”
- Think vertically. Because she didn’t have the floor space for a bookcase, Rasmussen purchased some wood from Home Depot and created bookshelves. The project only cost $8 and allowed her to utilize more of the space.