They may be little, but babies come with a whole lot of stuff. Moms who work as professional organizers reveal the ways to keep it together.
Tame the paperwork. You’ll come home from the hospital with all sorts of Very Important Papers. Scan the key ones, like birth certificates and vaccination reports, store them on a flash drive, and file away the originals, suggests Kathleen Reynolds, a professional organizer and mom of one in New York. Place other papers, like insurance forms, in an accordion folder labeled A to Z.
Sort the clothes. Between baby showers, office gifts, and hand-me-downs, you may wind up with clothes in every style, season, and size. "Put the newborn sizes in the top drawer of the dresser, 3 to 6 months below that, and 6 to 12 months on the bottom," suggests Debbie Lillard, a professional organizer and mom of three in Philadelphia. Or stash outfits in the closet in labeled bins.
Save the sentimental stuff. Your first sonogram pictures, that tiny hat from the hospital, all those lovely cards from your friends—sweet memories can pile up! If you just had the baby, toss everything in a box. In a few months, when you’re sleeping more (yes, that day will come), you can enjoy organizing everything into a scrapbook.
Prepare a guide for your sitter or day care. One easy way: Keep a document on your computer with phone numbers, a feeding schedule, and notes about whatever the baby is into ("If she’s fussy, try the toy caterpillar").
Make straightening up a breeze. "Your baby might not have a lot of toys now, but she will soon," says Reynolds. "Place a few open-top plastic or mesh bins on the floor, and label each with both a word and a picture—for books, dolls, blocks. That way, everyone from the baby-sitter to the baby will know exactly where each toy goes." Teaching the baby to organize herself? Genius.