While a new baby brings many changes to life, along with an abundance of love and joy, you’ll face countless extra responsibilities and a total change in your daily routines. Here are a few tips to ease the transition and avoid getting caught up in the clutter, whether you are expecting or are already enjoying your little bundle of joy.
Start with basic organization principles to keep the stress and overwhelm at bay and make your day run more smoothly.
Start by purging your home and deciding what should stay and what could go for this new phase in your life. Ask yourself: do I need it, love it or use it? If the answer is no, then let it go.
Store things away with baby’s safety in mind. Time will fly by and before you know it, you will have an inquisitive little crawler or toddler on your hands that will be into just about everything! Put items that might be harmful to your baby in closed containers on top shelves.
Purging will create the additional space needed for all the new baby items you’ll acquire. Create homes for everything new by grouping similar items together and storing them where you would use those most frequently.
Designate space in your kitchen cupboards for baby bottles, dishes, and baby food by moving seldom-used items to a different location. Avoid storing bottles and food on kitchen counters–they will add visual clutter, which may create anxiety.
Create fully stocked diaper changing stations near your main living area, as well as in your baby’s bedroom for night-time diaper changes.
Create a binder or file folder for saving important information pertaining to your baby. Make a section for medical records from doctor visits, including medications. Leave extra space for notes and concerns to take with you on your next doctor visit. Keep track of feeding and nap schedules, especially when different people help with the childcare.
You’ll likely receive your share of baby presents, as well as some hand-me-downs from friends and family. Sort all baby clothing by size, then store all larger sizes in labeled bins until your baby is ready to wear them. Be sure to regularly purge all outgrown clothing, deciding whether to donate or keep items for future siblings (stored in labeled totes). Avoid shoving all outgrown clothing into a tote and storing them “to deal with later.” These totes will likely sit for years adding clutter to your home.
Toys - a Clutter Culprit
Establish a small area (tote, basket, or shelf) to house a few toys while keeping the larger quantity of toys out of the main living area in the bedroom or playroom, then switch them out for a few “new” toys every few months. It’s a great habit to begin early and carry on throughout childhood. This method will keep the toy clutter at bay, while encouraging your child to play more with each toy, feeling less overwhelmed when given fewer choices. An additional benefit is that you will have fewer items to pick up when straightening up.
Another effective habit to get into is doing the “5-minute tidy” at the end of each day before going to bed. You may feel tired, however, your morning will start off much smoother if you spend just 5 minutes each evening to return items to their homes.
Create a memory box (each member of the family should have one) and safely store mementos like baby’s first pair of shoes, etc.
Of course, as with any routine or lifestyle change, we learn by trial and error. What may be useful for one person may not work for the next, try what’s best for you and tweak things as needed. You’ll soon see that organized spaces and routines create an environment where you can relax and enjoy your baby’s childhood.
Need accountability or hands-on assistance with any of your organizing projects? Call or email, I’m here to help, whether in person or virtually. Call 585-201-6009 or write to Yve@organizingbyYve.com.