\ Making space for a growing family (or just guests!) - Sweet Elyse

Making space for a growing family (or just guests!)

We're almost at the end of January and some of us are only just beginning to get over the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Whether it's accommodating all the new gifts, recovering from the financial strain or just trying to entertain the plethora of family and friends, Christmas is certainly a stressful time.

But with half term just around the corner, we could all soon be challenged with yet more guests coming over, for example, our sons' and daughters' sleepovers. Or perhaps you're an expectant mother who's preparing to add another family member to the brood. Either way, making space is certainly a challenge, but it can be slightly less stressful, providing you employ a few of these handy tips.

Hit the bedroom first

Some of us will be more than savvy with this term if they're expecting a new baby! But on a serious note, it's important to create a welcoming sleeping environment for your new baby or guests. If you're extending your family, this is particularly important – those whose house resembled something out of Home Alone at Christmas will likely have already invested in new beds – and this can be a great way of saving space. For example, if you're expecting a new brother or sister, bunk beds are a great long-term investment, or if you simply have too many clothes to store, a Divan storage bed is a Godsend.

Get rid of the dead wood

We're all guilty of being a little sentimental and hoarding things we really don't need any more – but ask yourself, are you ever really going to need those legwarmers? Having a baby or even just a lot of visitors is a great excuse to get rid of the 'dead wood' – i.e. those old relics that are just gathering dust in the garage or those leggings you no longer fit into. You can donate old clothes to a charity shop, helping you lighten the load and be karma neutral too. There are a number of 'swap shop' schemes too to help incentivise you to have a big clear out.

Streamline your shopping list

When preparing for big events, we all have a tendency to go overboard on the shopping, whether it's stocking up on decorations or over-filling the cupboards. The same applies when buying new supplies for a little one – make a list of the top priorities, for example, bottle sterilisers, and forgo the non-essentials. Also make sure you have in mind that many people will probably buy gifts for you, so wait until the baby shower before you start raiding the shops!

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