Monday, October 12, 2015

Getting organized before baby: how to keep baby gear from taking over your house

Everyone knows babies require lots of...stuff. And if you're anti-clutter like me, then it's truly easy for all the baby stuff to take over your house and make you crazy. Our house is not big, and the house where we lived when Emorie was born was even smaller. One of the hardest challenges to storing baby items is finding a place to put everything.

Here are a few ways to combat the storage issues and most of them are pretty easy.

1. Only bring what you need into your home. 
A common idea among new parents is that you need everything for your baby before the baby is born. We were guilty of this the first time around, too. Now that we have had one baby, we are more conscious of what we need and when we need it. You can really cut down on the clutter by not bringing things you don't need yet into your home. For example, we are aware that our child won't need a high chair until she is at least six months old. For this reason, the high chair is being stored elsewhere until we need it. Another way to accomplish this is to look for items that are dual purpose. The first time around, we purchased a bassinet, a bouncer seat, a Pack 'n' Play, and several other items that we didn't need altogether. This time, we have realized we don't need a bouncer seat as the Pack 'n' Play has a built in bassinet that has the vibrate feature our bouncer seat had. We sold the bouncer seat. The Pack 'n' Play can be used in place of a co-sleeper or a bassinet, as it has a "newborn napper" attachment.

2. Donate/consign/pack away baby items that are outgrown/ no longer needed. 
If there are baby items that your child has outgrown or no longer needs, get them out of the house as soon as they're no longer needed. You can donate them, give them away, or consign them for a little money. If you're planning on having more kids, do what we did and pack them away until they're needed again.

3. Use "sneaky storage" spots to store things. 
Crib skirts are your best friend. When baby is tiny, the crib mattress is at its highest point. This provides you with a lot of storage, and the crib skirt will hide the mess. We have underbed storage bags and small plastic totes underneath Aubrey's crib, in which we are storing extra diapers, wipes, baby wash, and other small items.

4. Try a closet organizer 
My dad helped us build closet organizer shelves in both girls' closets to give us vertical storage, and this gave us nearly twice the space we had before. Now, we can store things in baskets in the middle of her closet, as well as on the top shelf and in the bottom.

5. Dresser drawer organizers keep items easily accessible. 
We have used dollar store containers, old wipes containers and plastic baskets to section off drawers so we can keep items separated and easy to find.

6. Try some storage furniture. 
We currently have one tall bookshelf and two cubby shelves in the playroom. We are in the process of getting another vertical shelf. We are going to use the shelves to store items belonging to our older daughter so we can keep items with small parts or art supplies out of baby's reach. We also plan to use the cubby drawers and baskets to corral smaller toys and keep them organized.

Do you have any tips for managing baby gear and not making your house look like a Babies 'R' Us store? Feel free to share!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

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