by: Stacey Agin Murray
You’re having a baby? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a great adventure. I should know, because my adventure started in the Summer of 2006 with the birth of my son. It’s an exciting time but it can also be exhausting.
With that in mind, I’d like to offer a few valuable pre-baby organizing tips and “can’t-live-without-them” organizing products to assist in creating a clutter-free environment for you and your new arrival.
Pre-Baby Organizing Tips
Sort and Purge—your own stuff
Get rid of the old to make room for ‘the new’ (your little one needs a lot of room!). Sort and purge through your own clutter in your:
Discard or donate any clothes no longer worn or usable. The clothes in your closet (whether they’re maternity or regular-sized clothes) should fit and flatter you and be easily accessible. There’s no time to pull together an outfit when your baby is crying in the next room. In addition, if there’s stuff in the closet that is designated for your child, sort and purge that one, too.
Clear out items such as old containers and expired food and relocate anything you use once a year to make room for bottles, baby food and sippy cups.
Linen closet or bathroom
Toss expired medicine and remove worn out linens to make room for baby’s linens and medical supplies.
Whether your ‘womb-mate’ is depleting you of your brain cells or not, you still have plenty to remember. Write down everything you need to recall. Make lists. Here are a few examples of lists you may wish to create prior to your due date:
There’s so much to do! Register for necessities, write thank you notes, interview pediatricians, look at baby furniture and keep up with the rest of your life at the same time. Keeping a to-do list will help keep you focused on what must get accomplished before baby arrives.
Unless you have many enemies, your child will receive gifts. It’s important to have a ‘gift’ list ready so keeping track of who gave you what and writing thank you notes will be a less chaotic task. Create the gift list on a legal pad or on the computer. Designate one place to store it so can find it when the UPS guy rings your doorbell.
Birth announcement list
If you’re planning on sending out a birth announcement, generate an address list of people you’d like to send an announcement to. The addressing of the envelopes is a perfect task to delegate. When friends and relatives ask how they can help you—hand them a pen!
If you’re having a religious or non-religious post-birth celebration create a list of people you wish to invite along with their contact information.
Set up a filing system for your child’s papers
You’re probably thinking—papers? For a baby? Yes, not only do babies create a lot of dirty diapers they also create a lot of paperwork. These papers need a home so they’re not cluttering up your desk or kitchen counter. Their home could be a space in your file cabinet or a separate file box.
Examples of files for new baby are:
- Birth certificate/Social Security card
- Medical records/Pediatrician notes
- Bank account/College savings account information
- Baby equipment instruction booklets (yes—you should keep them…)
- Gift list
- Buy bins/tubs
Purchase a minimum of 5-7 bins large enough for ample storage but small enough for you to lift if necessary (to an attic space or to stack in your basement). My personal favorite are the Rubbermaid Roughneck bins. Label them as follows 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 months.
People are going to give your child clothing as a gift, You may also receive ‘hand-me-downs’ from friends or relatives with older children. If the clothes you receive don’t fit your newborn yet, place them into the bin marked with the appropriate size for future use. Also, designate a bin for maternity clothes storage. As you drop the baby weight, drop the maternity clothes in the bin.
If you don’t have the space for bins/tubs, use Ziploc brand L-XXL bags for storage. They can be easily stored under a bed or at the top or bottom of your child’s closet.
A Few “Can’t-Live-Without-Them” Organizing Products:
You’d be surprised to discover how many different products need to be handy while your baby is on the changing table. Depending upon what type of changing table you have, either one of these diaper organizers will work for you:
Prince Lionheart Dresser Top Diaper Depot Organizer sits on top of a changing table or dresser converted to a dressing table
Prince Lionheart Diaper Depot Organizer – attaches to side of changing table
If you have no time or desire to set up a filing system for your baby, check out the Baby Briefcase. It is a baby paperwork organizer created by a mom amazed by the amount of documents her new baby generated. (www.organizedfromthestart.com).
Bottle Drying Rack
Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, a bottle drying rack comes in very handy. It helps to keep all of your baby’s bottles, nipples and breast pump supplies in one place post-cleaning. As your child gets older, it can be used for plates, spoons and sippy cups.
Getting organized is essential as you prepare for the arrival of a new baby. You’ll want to be able to find what you need when you need it—quickly—and sometimes in the dark! After your first sleepless night, you’ll be glad you took the time to create an organized environment you and your new bundle of joy.
About The Author
Article by Stacey Agin Murray, professional organizer and owner of Organized Artistry, LLC. Check out our blog at http://organizedartistry.blogspot.com and visit http://www.organizedartistry.com for your FREE e-list of ‘Top Ten Tips for Organized Living.’