Do you already struggle to keep things organised and tidy? If so, welcoming a new little human into the mix is going to test you, especially when you realise how much stuff babies actually need – not to mention that they grow out of things and get over toys, books, bits and bobs in a flash as they grow and develop.
So, learning how to store and organise your baby and/or toddler’s gear is essential to cutting down on chaos and introducing some semblance of order.
First of all, you should assess your house and do a quick spring clean to make sure you are able to actively utilise space that otherwise would be cluttered. Getting rid of clutter can relieve stress and help you get organised at a time in life when you really need to keep your head on a swivel with active little ones.
It is also recommended that you buy some baskets – go for a range of sizes and shapes including big, small, tall and cubed. They’re fantastic storage for almost anything but are absolutely perfect for babies and toddlers and their odds and ends, and clever selection of materials can add some style points to the room (think wicker, not plastic).
Here are some tried and trusted storage hack ideas you can quickly and easily introduce at your home:
- Cube shelving is a great tool to use for storage. They come in many sizes and have so many uses! You can utilise the cubes however you want, for example: a nappy change cube, summer clothes, winter clothes, toys or a book cube. The possibilities are endless. Using the small baskets and storing them inside the cubes is a great way to organise more bulky things and keep things looking nice and neat. Plus, you can get them from Ikea in a myriad of configurations and colours at an affordable price. Just make sure you secure your furniture to prevent it becoming a tipping hazard.
- You should adopt a good rotation system for your child’s clothes. As baby grows, the clothes that fit them last week, that they only wore once, will be too small in the blink of an eye. Organise all of the clothes you have into sizes and seasons, then store. This way you can grab the box, with the size you want, when you need it. Once the clothes are outgrown, box them up again, label them (get a label maker if you don’t already – you’ll thank us later!) and store. You can now donate, reuse for another time if you’re game to have more children, or give to friends and family who are expecting.
- Have a baby basket in the rooms you frequent most commonly. This basket should include nappy change items, some small toys, wet wipes, tissues and bibs. This will save you a lot of time and be more convenient for anyone taking care of the kids.
- Toys are one of those things that are accumulated quickly and outgrown just as fast. So, in addition to a rotation system for clothes, try to do the same for toys. Even with multiple children’s collections of treasured toys, you can engineer the situation to appear tidy. This can be achieved by rotating the toys based on how engaged your children are with them on a regular, ongoing basis and packing the excess toys in storage. Rotate maybe once a fortnight to keep your kids more entertained and the bedlam more restrained. A basket or plastic bin works well and makes it easy for them to put their own toys away – if you negotiate effectively with them!
- They may not be at the peak of interior fashion, but using plastic tubs with lids can save you a lot of space and keep everything organised. You can get almost any size to fit the desired placement. Under the bed sizes are great for storing things like linen, winter shoes or bags. You could even utilise the space under the baby cot, and if you don’t like the look of things being underneath, you could always get a cot skirt to hide things but still keep them handy.
- Trolley shelves are a great way to have your baby items stored and easily moved or transported. Having the freedom of movement opens up a lot of possibilities and can facilitate quick and easy transition between rooms or between children – an important consideration for those with one child or an entire brood of growing little ones.
- Make sure you label everything or sort out a system to know where everything is – the last thing you want is to forget where you put something and then waste hours trying to find it. Chances are you’re already stressed enough, so save yourself the hassle by making sure everything is crystal clear at all times.
So, believe it or not, it is possible to have kids and a tidy, organised house. Use these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a storage pro (look out Marie Kondo)!