There are some parents who want their home the way they like it, kids be damned. However, if you try it that way, you’re soon going to find it doesn’t really match the practicalities of living with them. From all the extra junk they leave lying around to their own need for a home that fulfils their lifestyles, it’s better to create a space you can share with them. For that reason, we’re going to look at how you turn your house into a home that is a lot more kid-friendly, but more you-friendly, too.

Somewhere to play
When they’re not in school, play is what’s going to take up the majority of your child’s day. Children like to play not only in their own rooms but in spaces they share with you, too. It’s a lot safer if you’re there to keep an eye on them, as well. For that reason, it might be a good idea to create a play area within your own living room. Setting aside a space that is welcoming and perfectly suited for them and their toys makes the living room truly more suited to the family. What’s more, if they have a space better suited to them they are much less likely to take their play elsewhere and leave toys for you to later trip on in unexpected places.

Somewhere to work, too
You have your needs, too. Whether you work at home or simply need a place to take care of the family accounts and tax returns, a home office can be the perfect space in which you can get stuff done. It creates a threshold that makes it clear that this one space, out of all the spaces in the home, isn’t suitable for play. Reinforce that rule well enough and you can maintain a space without fear of distraction. Don’t dismiss the use that your kids can get out of it, either. They will have their own homework and projects that they, too, need peace and quiet to get on with.

Space for everyone
If you feel like you’re a little short on space in the home, you can be sure that your kids are feeling it, too. If you have more than one, the confined rooms and lack of personal space can lead to tension. Enough of that and fights are going to start breaking out. Think about ways that you can upgrade the space in your home. Small efforts, such as replacing two pieces of furniture with a multitasking piece that does the job of both, can be just as impactful as the large-scale projects of converting a room or remodeling the home to have one less room in the way.

A place for everyone, too
Just as important as having the space for the whole family is having the place for the whole family, too. In their individual rooms (or shared rooms) having their own individual desks and chairs is essential. But you have to account for their needs in communal spaces like the living room, too. For instance, besides having the couch and a chair, using unique bean bag furniture can help you add a comfy space that’s suited to kids and adults alike when you’re resting together as a family. You want to make sure that everyone has a place to sit and feel welcome amongst the family. If the arrangements aren’t suitable for them, they’re not as likely to spend time there in the first place.

Get chunky
That’s not to say that you should say goodbye to traditional furniture, of course. However, you should be aware of how your kids are going to interface with that furniture. Chairs and tables that aren’t sturdy or are easily knocked over are going to create their fair share of issues when they meet the chaos of play. Choosing a family-friendly sofa is especially important since it’s meant to house more than just one of you. Choosing larger, grounded furniture with more padding a softness is going to help the home survive your kids without too much damage. You might like the smaller delicate things, but you’re not going to like them very much when they’re knocked on the floor and broken into pieces.

No mess, no stress
Even if you follow the above tip of creating the kids’ own play area in the living room, you’re still likely to find they have left toys behind them in some strange space at some point. Or they may leave bits of clothing, shoes, towels, or other knick-knacks lying around. The job of tidying up after young children is never truly done. While teaching them to clean after themselves is always a priority, you should also be ready to quickly neaten the place up when you don’t have the time for a proper tidy. Strategically placing storage hampers in convenient spaces around the home can make it a lot easier to keep the place up to standard and quickly make it presentable if, for instance, guests are on their way.

Expect those spills
Not all messes left behind are so easily kept clean. If you have multiple kids, you should also expect multiple stains. You can teach them to be as careful as possible and warn them not go near that seat or that surface with any liquids, but your words won’t always be so closely heeded. Save yourself the trouble and invest in furniture and surfaces that are more resilient and much easier to clean. If you have any cats or dogs to go with the kids, make sure you’re choosing pet-proof rugs. It’s going to save you a lot of stress in the long run to simply acknowledge that accidents will happen at some point.

Making your home better suited to the whole family may demand a little compromise. However, the reward is a home full of less conflict, with more space, and less worry that the things you care about (whether it’s a vase of a kid) will get hurt when they collide.