As a proud mommy-to-be, you’ve probably already received some very generous gifts and hand-me-downs from family and friends. Maybe you’ve even started to do some significant shopping of your own to prepare your nest for baby.
If you’re starting to feel panicked by the growing pile of bags bursting with baby swag, it’s probably time to put nursery organization at the top of your to-do list. But are you really ready to take on the challenge?
“One mistake that many parents tend to make when trying to organize a nursery on their own is that they don’t come up with an overall plan before they get started,” says Mandy Pinkston, certified professional organizer and co-owner of the Denver-based professional organization company Major Mom. “They look around at everything they have to organize and feel extremely overwhelmed because they don’t know where to start.”
Timing is critical too. Your second trimester is the perfect time to start organizing your nursery because you will likely have officially announced your pregnancy. You might want to avoid starting major organizational tasks in your third trimester; you’ll probably be feeling way too exhausted by then to take on big projects.
Feeling motivated now? Here are some professional organization tips for your nursery to help get you started:
Think big picture
This is where you come up with your plan. Consider how you want to set up your nursery. Think about the furniture you have and the pieces that you want to buy. It might even be helpful to sketch out the furniture arrangement to help you envision how everything will fit into your space.
Clear out the clutter
You probably don’t have a room or space in your home that is completely empty and ready to be converted into a nursery—so you’ve got some work to do. “Clearing out the nursery space is the biggest organizational challenge parents face,” says Pinkston. “Starting with a clean slate is important, so anything that does not belong in a nursery should be taken out of the room.” Sorting things by what will be stored or donated can help keep the process manageable.
Create a kid-friendly closet
If you don’t have a closet system in place yet, consider choosing one that is adjustable. Not only will this help produce an organizational system that works for you, but it also takes into consideration the needs of your future toddler. Having shelves or hanging rods that can be lowered when the time is right helps make clothing accessible for little ones who want to wear their favorite shirt (again) or are ready to learn how to get dressed on their own.
Set up a clothing rotation system
According to Pinkston, one of the toughest things to keep organized in a nursery is baby clothing because it gets outgrown so quickly. Storing new clothes without removing items that no longer fit baby will quickly result in overloaded closets and drawers. To avoid this organizational mess, keep an empty bin or basket in the closet so that you can immediately rotate out any outgrown items that turn up in the laundry basket. Stash a second bin with baby clothing in the next size up under the crib or in the closet to stay super organized and make it quick and easy to rotate new items in.
Plan a space for keepsakes
Special items like baby’s footprints and congratulations cards can be damaged, stained or even destroyed if they’re stashed and stored in random places. That’s why setting up a designated storage space for these precious mementos before baby is born is a must. Placing a special keepsake box on a high shelf in baby’s closet ensures that these items will be protected and preserved.