Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

More than Just Space: What to Know When Housing a Large Family

With the cost of living on the rise, it’s becoming more economically efficient for families to live together in a single dwelling. While this provides many financial benefits, it also poses different types of struggles and stressful situations. Whether your family is about to expand due to extended family moving in, adoption, or even just kids moving back home, you’re going to want to be prepared. Here are four big factors to prepare for when housing a large family as opposed to a smaller one.


When you house a large family, the little bit of money spent on each utility is multiplied for each person living there. Like or not, most of these expenses are unavoidable when expanding your household, though some can be mitigated. Installing smart home devices to ensure that lights aren’t left on when not in use will save you from having to pay for more than necessary. Setting rules about leaving the TV on, taking chargers out of the sockets when not being used, and what the thermostat needs to be set to can help keep everyone on the same page, as well.

Food Storage 

People need to eat on a daily basis. This means that each family member in your home with a car and a budget will be purchasing groceries for themselves and for the household regularly. With each individual having their own preferences and, in many cases, not being keen on sharing, this can quickly take up valuable storage space in cabinets and pantries. It will also become frustrating and difficult to figure out which food belongs to which person. Organizing designated spaces for each adult in the house can help with this, and encouraging sharing where food overlaps. Buying extra shelving can sometimes be prudent, though coveted fridge space will require careful organizing to ensure everyone fits what they need.


When you live in a house with a large family, sharing a single bathroom is the most frustrating and restrictive aspect. This is especially true in the morning when everyone is waking up to prepare for the day, each with their own routine and shower needs. Remedying this issue may require you to build a second bathroom in your home. The ideal placement for a secondary bathroom would be either on the first floor or in the basement. Be sure to include a sink, toilet, and shower so that everyone’s morning routine can be streamlined and expedited.

No More Cold Showers 

Once you get that secondary bathroom installed, you’re going to notice that the hot water disappears rather quickly. Setting up a schedule so that everyone knows when they can get ready and when to use the shower will help mitigate this problem. It would also be wise to invest in a larger hot water heater to more efficiently supply everyone’s hot water needs. Hiring a hot water plumber to help improve your hot water capacity, and even potentially install a tankless water heater, will do a lot to ensure that there aren’t any skirmishes over the shower to ensure that it’s hot.

Living with a large family in a single house can cause tension and stress on multiple levels. For the homeowner, this means a lot more to consider in terms of utilities and costs, and all of these need to be planned for in advance. If your household is about to expand by more than just one new family member, then be sure to prepare for the increase in costs and conflicts that will accompany them.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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