Monday, January 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: Organizing the mountain of "stuff" that comes with a baby

As part of our guest blogging contest, here is a post that Ami was nive enough to share with us about organizing all the stuff that comes with having a baby.  This is a post that also appeared on her own Blog: Beyond Peas and Carrots in October 2010.  

Ami also will receive a $20 gift certificate as part of the guest blogging contest that can be used in our online store: Ottawa Cloth Diapers. Thank you Ami for sharing with us.  Here is her post:

Organizing the mountain of "stuff" that comes with a baby

When I first got pregnant everyone warned me about the mountain of "stuff" that you needed and receive when you have a baby. First, let me start by saying I think a lot of the stuff people tell you you "need" is really not needed at all. Holden is more interested in me dancing around like a crazy person and making funny faces than he is in half of the toys I have. He also is growing through clothes so quickly that half of the clothing I had for him in the early months he didn't even get a chance to wear! Having said all that, there is no denying that even if you live by the rule less is more your home is still going to explode a bit with the addition of a child. Being a type A personality I am, I prepared for this before Holden even arrived. I wanted to make sure that as the new stuff started coming in I had a spot for it, so my home didn't look like a Babies R Us exploded in it.

I wanted to share with you some of the systems that help us keep our home organized.

In the Nursery

I knew immediately when decorating Holden's room that I wanted an expedit bookshelf from Ikea. It makes it so easy to get baskets or colorful bins and store toys hidden away. It also has a lot of storage space for books (which is always an important perk in my house). I decided to go for some colorful bins (which I also found at Ikea) in alternating colors, since I had decorated the rest of Holden's room in more modern bright colors (mainly red, orange, blue and lime green).

When deciding on a change table I knew I wanted something with lots of storage space. I didn't want to be running all over the room to grab diapers, wipes, lotion, a clean outfit etc. I opted for this change table from Ikea because I liked the modern pattern and all the pockets on it. I also liked that all the parts can be removed for easy cleaning. I use the pockets to store cloth wipes and a spray bottle, diaper creams, lotion and baby oil for after bath time, extra outfits for easy changing and a couple toys to easily distract Holden during change time. As you can see I put some baskets on the bottom shelf of the change table and this is where I store some diapers and inserts (since we are using cloth). Alternatively you could get a more standard change table and use baskets on some of the shelves to keep things handy and a little more organized.
We are still in a rental townhouse right now and closet space is VERY limited. I needed a way to store all of the odds and ends that come with a baby (bibs, burp clothes, blankets, sheets etc) while still being able to use the closet and his dresser for clothes. I decided to get a couple hanging organizers for in the closet and that is where I store all those little items. The blankets I just fold in half and roll up and then I can fit a couple side by side in each slot. It is nice to have his sheets and blankets handy in his room instead of down the hall in the linen closet (plus this leaves me more room in the linen closet for our stuff).

I also put some blue bins on the top of his closet to store any items I want to keep out of his reach (like crayons and craft supplies). I also use one to store any items he has outgrown, until I have a chance to donate it. It is VERY handy to have that bin in his room since practically every day I am finding a new item he has outgrown. You will also see an extra laundry basket up on that shelf. A friend of mine actually advised I get an extra laundry basket for when Holden was born, with all the extra laundry I would be doing. It has been a LIFE SAVER. Most days I do at least a couple loads of laundry and having the extra basket means I don't have to rush and put it all away right that second if I am trying to watch my son. I also keep a separate hamper in the bottom of his closet so I can easily put any of his dirty clothes, sheets etc in there as needed (instead of throwing them on the floor or having to go to another room to get rid of them).

In the Living Room

Our living room is on a different level than Holden's room so it is handy to have some of his toys and other baby items where we spend the majority of our time during the day. I didn't want my living room to look like a toy box exploded in there though. I decided to get some baskets and put them on the bottom of two of the bookshelves in that room. Then I can just throw some toys, rattles, and soothers in there.

I also replaced our old death trap coffee table with all the pointy corners with this ottoman. Aside from being more kid safe, it also has a removable lid so you can store any additional toys, blankets, and bumbo chairs in there.

In the Kitchen

Our little rental townhouse also has a VERY tiny kitchen. Since I love to cook our cupboards were already exploding, so when I knew I would have to add bottles, sippy

I hope some of my tips help you out in getting ready for baby or organizing some of the exploding kids items you already have! If you have any great tips I would love to hear them!

Thank you Ami! I am an organized freak or at least I was before I had kids so I love reading any tips on how to keep things tidy.  I'd love to hear any of your tricks or see pictures if you want to share with us.



  1. Thanks Vicky! Love your store! Excited to get shopping :)

  2. Awesome. I adore organization. It's hard to tell though since I have three kids and a husband working against me. LOL

  3. Oh, I love the change table! With the arrival of #3 and only two bedrooms, son will be sharing a room with our new son arriving in May. I didn't want to buy and cram a change table into the room as well but that one would work; perfect and portable. (our house is a 5br but we have a library and an office).

    I love Ikea! I also love organization, cloth diapers and all things baby. What a great post :)