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When you bring home your baby, the last thing you want is to leave unnecessary work for yourself during this time. You also don't want to be searching for certain items when you need them the most, i.e., diapers in the middle of a 3 am diaper blowout! I want to help you create a calm, organized, and functional nursery that anyone who helps take care of your little one can follow and maintain.
Here are my top tips for organizing your nursery:
1. Use your vertical space. The key to creating an organized space is making sure that everything has a home. One of the most overlooked ways to create more space is using your vertical space. This Elfa Utility Door and Wall Rack is one of my favorite ways to maximize vertical space. It can be mounted to the wall or hung on the back of a standard size residential door.
Jenna Kate at Home has a great example of what this Elfa system looks like over the door.
These racks hold a surprising amount of items and you can customize the size and function of each snap-on compartment. If you are in the Seattle area and want help designing an Elfa Door or Wall Rack, I can help!
2. Organize clothes by size. I recommend you only have the 0-3 month sized clothes out and organize the rest by sizes to swap out as they grow. For instance, group 4-7 months together, 8-11 months together and so on. The best containers to use for storing baby clothes that are not their current size are clear and stackable ones like the Our Sweater Boxes from The Container Store. I know, I sent you to containers made for sweaters! But sometimes, the best items are in a different section than what you are looking in! These super affordable containers stack beautifully and the lids lock into place without having to unlatch both ends each time you want to get into them. They are made to fit both 12" and 16" deep shelves.
Image by The Container Store via containerstore.com.
Pro Tip: Keep one or two of these bins for sentimental items. Limit yourself to just one of two to only keep the most prized possessions for your child whether that's special clothing, pictures, or books that they've outgrown but you'd like to keep.
You will want clear containers to quickly be able to see how many clothes you have in each size. As they grow, simply pack up all of the clothes that are too small and unpack the next size up. Don't forget to label the small clothes! This brings me to my next tip...
3. Label EVERYTHING. When purchasing bins or containers, be sure to keep in mind how you will label them. Labels are so important as they will make the system maintainable not only for you, but for anyone else who takes care of your baby like your partner, nanny, or grandparents. Set them (and yourself) up for success!
I truly believe every household should invest in a label maker. This Brother P-Touch Label Maker is a great choice for a simple labeler. At only $30, it doesn't break the bank either. The only downside to this one is that the max-width of the label is 1/2".
If you're looking for up to 1" labels, the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus is the one to get. With tons of font options and designs, you can create your custom label from your phone and print it to the device.
The clear bins I've recommended above will easily be able to hold the labels printed from either of these label makers. But if you have baskets or containers that stickers won't adhere to, I like to use these bin clips from The Container Store.
Image by The Container Store via containerstore.com.
They come in white, black, silver, and gold and clip onto containers that are up to 1/2" thick.
4. File fold most clothes. Only hang clothes if you know you will take the time to hang all of the onesies back up after each load of laundry. I recommend file folding everything besides large items like dresses, overalls, or coats. This will make putting clothes away quicker and grabbing them so much easier. Here is what file folding looks like:
File folding is usually folding the item in half or thirds the long way, then in thirds or fourths to make a small square. By storing them vertically, you can easily see what each item is and can grab it without unfolding all of the other clothes in the drawer. Inside drawers, you can use drawer dividers like these ones from The Container Store or these drawer organizers from Ikea.
5. Consider a portable diaper caddy. Here is a very popular one from Amazon but any basket or sturdy bag with handles would work.
Image by Amazon via amazon.com.
The idea here is to be able to stock it with diapers, wipes, cream, and anything you need for baby (and you!) so you can easily carry everything from room to room in one hand. Baby in one hand, caddy in the other!
6. My last tip is to take things out of their packaging. Diapers, wipes, and anything with packaging should be removed. Packaging is bulky and you can fit a lot more into an area when without it. Removing packaging as you bring items into your house will make for one less step when you do need to use the item. You will always know how much you have left and never go to grab the diaper box only to realize that you're down to the last few.
These tips will set you up for success but without a little maintenance, any room can become messy or unorganized. Remember that getting organized is not a project, it's a practice. Try to do a 10 minute tidy at the end of each day in your nursery. This will ensure that things don't get out of control.