When you’re at the end of your pregnancy, it’s normal to feel – huge. You pee a lot, can’t move around, can’t sleep – you can’t believe how big you’ve become! But when you hold your newborn in your arms, you’re surprised at how tiny he is. Just look at those itty bitty fingers and toes!
And then you realize that no matter how tiny your baby is, he sure has a lot of things! From diapering to feeding to clothes and toys, babies need a lot of stuff. And you need to find a place and a system to organize them! What’s more, babies grow very fast, and you find yourself constantly replacing clothes and toys. As a result, organizing your baby’s nursery can seem like a never-ending process! But the fact is that keeping everything in its right place has many benefits:
- You don’t get enough sleep and it’ll help greatly if everything is always in the same place every time you reach for it
- You don’t want to leave baby without clothes right after his bath as you hunt for his onesie
- All supplies are instantly accessible in times of emergencies (read: diaper explosion)
- You don’t need to turn the house upside down looking for baby’s favorite book
- You’ll be able to keep your sanity intact – and we all know how important that is!
Besides, all your baby’s things will be in good condition even once they’re outgrown and can easily be donated or put away for your next baby. And isn’t it a good idea to train your little one to be organized right from the start? So if you’re going to have a baby soon or are already drowning in baby stuff, here’s help! We’ve got some super-simple tips to help you organize a baby nursery, without making a big hole in your pocket!
15 Tips to Organize a Baby Nursery
1. Find storage in all places
You might think that it’s easier to just stuff baby’s various things into different nooks and crannies of your own wardrobe or dressing table, but this is a recipe for disaster! It’s always advisable to have separate storage for baby, right from the start. It’ll save you time, keep things organized and leaves your existing systems in place. If you have a small home, demarcate a corner of a room for baby’s things alone.
2. Use Collapsible Furniture
If you’re short on space and don’t want to spend a bomb on new furniture for baby, go for less expensive ‘temporary’ furniture. These are the kinds of things you’d buy if you were in a rental, or a hostel room. A collapsible wardrobe is a great option to hold all of baby’s things. Many of them come with pockets on the side and the space on the top of the cupboard can also be used.
3. Utilize an old Book Shelf
A plain wooden bookshelf that’s lying in the corner is perfect for all kinds of kids’ storage, including baby stuff! Just give it a new coat of lead-free paint and you can change it any way you want. You can remove shelves and put in rods to hang, or you could add a drawer or two. You could also leave it as it is and put in baskets and boxes to hold various small things and leave the more essential supplies out for easy access.
4. Make use of Under-Crib Space
Most cribs are at a good height from the floor, leaving lots of space underneath. Now you could either let that space go to waste and collect dust – or you could use it! Get an under the bed organizer and store anything you like. We’d recommend using it for things you don’t need on a daily basis, like blankets, bedsheets, winter wear etc. A box with wheels makes it easier to push and pull from under the crib.
5. Keep Diaper Supplies in one Place
In the initial months, you’ll be spending a good amount of time changing your baby, so it’s well worth your time to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Invest in a diaper caddy or a basket, to hold all diaper changing supplies in one place. Most Indian Moms don’t use a changing table, preferring to change baby on any flat surface by laying a sheet on it. With a diaper caddy, you can carry it around and change your baby anywhere in your home. Use it to store diapers, wipes, tissues, sanitizer, diaper cream and maybe a toy or two to keep baby occupied.
6. Go for Hanging Organizers
If you’re using cloth diapers, you’ll need to have a good stock on hand, especially if it’s winter or monsoon and things don’t dry fast. A hanging organizer is perfect for the job, and if you’ve got some brightly colored diapers, it can double as decor too! You can get either the ones with shelves where you stack diapers or the ones with pockets where you can stuff a diaper in each slot.
7. Use Hanger Dividers for Baby Clothes
Sometimes it can be more convenient hanging baby clothes, considering how difficult they are to fold! If you have sufficient hanger space, make the most of it by hanging all your baby’s clothes on it, even ones that are too big now. Make your own wardrobe dividers as shown in A Step in the Journey and you can sort the clothes by age. This makes life SO much easier especially when your friends and relatives are gifting you loads of baby clothes!
8. Use Labelled Tubs
Now if you don’t have space to hang your baby’s large-size clothes, you can still keep them sorted with labelled tubs or bins. You can get clear or opaque plastic containers anywhere. Just sort your baby’s clothes by age, put it in different tubs and stick appropriate labels. You can get the labels shown in the image above from Typical Suburban Family.
9. Organize with Drawer Dividers
As you probably know by now, it’s the smallest things that give the most trouble! Baby accessories like socks, booties, mittens and caps can easily get lost, so keep them corralled in drawers with drawer dividers. Most of them can be adjusted to your drawer’s dimensions and are really useful to avoid a messy drawer overflowing with stuff!
10. Install Double Rods
You may actually have more hanging space than you think! If you’re reusing an old bookshelf or have just a narrow wardrobe, you can install a rod at mid-height, so that you have two levels to hang. You can also use the space under a shelf for this. Baby clothes are small, so they don’t take up much space vertically. Make sure the installation is such that can be removed later when you need to hang longer clothes or organizers.
11. Hang Baby Hairbands
If you have a little girl, then you’re bound to have lots of cute little hairbands! Keep them from getting lost or tangled with each other by hanging them on a hairband holder. Make one like this holder from Tinker With This – all you need are clothespins and a block of wood – and it still looks so pretty! This is particularly useful if you have headbands with large bows or flowers on them.
12. Find a Sustainable Toy Storage Solution
Okay, let me explain why I said ‘sustainable’. You’ll probably have a few toys for your baby already, but you need to remember that this collection will grow steadily over the next 15 years. So unless, you want to spend an hour or two every day picking up toys, it’s best to train your little one to pick up his things right away! Get a sturdy toy box or basket which is big enough to hold everything and which doesn’t have too many drawers or slots. The simpler, the better, for it’s more likely that your energetic toddler will actually use it!
13. Keep Books on the Wall
Baby books are usually bright and colorful, which make them quite useful as decor elements! Display baby’s books on the wall with will mounted bookshelves. You can even use a set of spice racks that are sturdy enough to hold heavy books. This also keeps all the books at eye level and off your other surfaces. Maybe it’ll also encourage baby to reach out for his own favorite!
14. Keep Low Level Storage Safe
Speaking of reaching out, as your baby starts crawling and exploring, it’s a good idea to have some toys and books at a low level for him to pull out and do as he pleases with them. Simple cubes stacked together work well, as long as you’re sure they won’t topple down. You can also use simple TV stands with open shelves where you can put in some toys and books for your little explorer.
15. Get Multi Purpose Baby Gear
A great way to stay organized and minimize clutter is to get baby gear that serve several functions. For instance you can get a baby rocker that also works as a gym and baby feeding chair, and later transitions into a toddler chair. Foldable high chairs and strollers take up less space and can even be hung or stacked away under the bed. Most multipurpose baby gear do cost more than basic models, but in the long run, the price is usually worth it!
Even if you co-sleep or don’t have a particular room dedicated to baby, you can still create a small corner in your room specially for your little one’s things. It’ll keep baby’s stuff from getting mixed up with Mommy’s and Daddy’s! You’ll also be more aware when supplies are about to run out and there’ll be no hassles when you’re about to go outside or it’s the middle of the night. It’s no wonder then, than an organized nursery results in a happy family!