Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reader's Questions: Making Room for Baby

(jenna lyon's home via domino. photo by melanie acevedo)

Sayedeh asks "Since you helped us fix our apartment, I have furthered the endeavor, gotten rid of more stuff and continued the organization process. Now we're expecting our first baby and trying to carefully plan how to fit things into our one bedroom. If you have any suggestions on how to manage 'baby stuff' in a small space that would be great! Fitting a crib is a challenge."

Congrats on your pregnancy! Here are a few tips to help you keep the 'baby stuff' explosion at bay...

My theory with organizing is to clear out what's not important in your life to make room for what is. Take this time to go through my process to edit your things down to help make room for the new things about to come in.

Figuring where to put the crib should be thought in terms of practicality. How close do you want it to be to where you sleep is the first step. Then think of what can be easily moved in your space to make room for it. Think also if there's anything you already have storage wise that can be repurposed to hold the essentials.

People tend to go overboard when having a baby, getting everything on the market, and then their friends and family give them so much. Talk to your friends and family members who have a child(ren) to find out what they agree are the essentials, and what isn't worth getting. Knowing what you'll need will make creating proper storage that much easier. And having a place for things is more than half the battle.

Set up a savings account (or similar) for your new one and ask those people who feel the need to give you something, to give to your child's future and not clutter it's present. This isn't always the easiest sell at first, so make sure you get at least one person on your side with the idea so he/she can convince others to go along with it.

Toys are usually an issue and most of the moms I know agree that the more is NOT the merrier. Not only is it a pain to store but it seems it doesn't benefit your child to have so many things to choose from. I thought this article about toys limiting a child's imagination pretty interesting.

Even when you limit what comes in, there's still a need for a system to deal with the clothes, toys, etc that your little one will eventually grow out of. If you want to save certain things for the next one that's great but you must have a system for taking those things out of the mix and storing them in a way they'll be clean and available for if and when the times comes. Mark your calendar for every month or three months to quickly go through things to see what is still relevant. The Container Store Clear Boxes are great for storing what you'll be keeping for later. Be sure to label it properly so you know what's in there (clothes sizes 0-6 months). Just make sure you weigh the cost of storing something vs the cost of replacing it; just remember that you pay for things not just with money but in time, energy, and space.

I hope this helps! If anyone out there has any other ideas, let us know :O)

1 comment:

Sayedeh said...

Thanks Laura! Great article about toys, I love that. I can't tell you how often I refer to your organizing principles as I am going through my stuff. You should write a book!