8 Surprising Things to Make Your Home More Kid Friendly

When you bought your home, you were already thinking about growing your family one day. The second bedroom, an office for the time being, was ready whenever you were. You and your partner had more than enough space to add another person or two to your family. But it’s funny how that space starts to look and feel different when you add children. Or maybe you live in a neighborhood popular with families, and you're thinking ahead to selling your house, and want to make it more appealing to buyers with kids. 

Might be time for a little home improvement!

These nine things may not increase the fair market value of your home, but they will make your house a better place to live with kids.

  1. Privacy fence in the backyard with a gate that locks. You never worried too much about privacy and enjoyed waving at your neighbors. But when your toddler wants to start streaking in the backyard, or you want your neighbors to be able to enjoy an almost child-free moment on their deck, a privacy fence is key. You also might not want passersby staring at your children. And a locking gate can give you peace of mind because your four-year-old can be left alone for a couple of minutes without the temptation of wandering down the street.

  2. Dog run. Now that your kids are playing in the backyard, your pet needs his own space. And once he has it? Less risk of the kids tracking unpleasant things into the house. A dedicated place in the yard will also make it easier when your kids have friends over who aren't used to being around dogs. A dog run can go a long way towards keeping your yard family and dog-friendly.

  3. Mud Room. Mathematical Fact: Two pairs of adult boots make less mess than two pairs of kid boots. Why? Kids don’t wipe their feet, because they need to get inside right that second. Adults also don’t generally dump a pile of sand from their shoes at the end of the day, toss wet raincoats on the floor, or empty their gym bags in the kitchen, including the week’s worth of dirty, wet socks inside. Okay, the gym bag one? We all know some adults who do that, but they may be easier to train.

  4. Laundry room. Kids multiply the laundry load exponentially. When it was just the two of you, things were simple. You rarely had more than one load of laundry going at a time. Now? One in the wash, one in the dryer, one waiting to go into the wash, while another basket needs folding. And did we mention that the twins’ bed linens haven’t been changed in two weeks? Having a little space to breathe in the laundry room can help you stay organized. Not to mention, it’s a great place to hide from the kids. A lot of couples spend the majority of their alone time in there. Just be careful: babies can be conceived in the laundry room as easily as they can in the bedroom.

  5. Home office. Speaking of hiding from the kids, you might need a dedicated space for work, especially if your office allows for some flexibility and you work from home more often now. The dining room table used to be a great place to spread out your latest project, but that room gets a little too much traffic these days. A home office is also a place where babies can be conceived, though, so do be cautious.

  6. Window from the kitchen to the backyard. You know what’s nice? Being able to prepare dinner and see, but not hear, your children. You know what’s not nice? Having to leave something on the stove to go outside and see if your kid has scaled the fence, or is playing in the dog run.

  7. Door Chime. You know that annoying beep you hear every time the door opens? It can be pretty great if you’re prone to napping and you have a kid who thinks nothing of heading outside without telling you. Some kids are escape artists and, by two years old, can sneak out of any crib and over any baby gate, and can unlock any door. They probably won’t be able to disarm the chime, though, as long as you don't give them the code. Good news: You may have a future CIA employee on your hands.

  8. Locks on the bathroom and bedroom doors. Adults are pretty good about knocking. Kids aren’t, no matter how many times you remind them. Locks are your friend. (Just hide a key, for when your genius offspring locks herself in.)

What other renovations and improvements have you found to be kid friendly? How do you make your family-filled home a fun and relaxing place to live?