T-minus 41 days until our baby girl arrives (according to Babylist.com) and I’m in full nesting mode. Today I’m excited to share with you 10 Organization & Decluttering Tips to prepare for baby! This is my 4th pregnancy, 3rd child (we experienced a great loss four years ago), and I’ve learned a lot over the years about how to let go and not lose my mind – fully – let’s be honest.
Photo By: Lacey Irving
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Last year, I read A Simplified Life which changed my whole outlook on how we organize our home and our hearts. Being a working mom and homeschooling my oldest in 2017, I craved simplicity, routines, and space. I read this book out of desperation and once I closed the covers, I was a changed woman. Simplicity sparks joy within me.
Now we’re expecting our third baby in 3-6 weeks and I’ve gone into full organizing mode. Seeing how I’m carrying my 5th child while raising an 8 & 5-year-old, all while working full-time, I tend to be moving a little slower than I would like but by extending grace to myself and setting small goals, I feel accomplished. 6 weeks is plenty of time to prepare for baby and here’s where to start.
10 Organization & Decluttering
Tips to Prepare for Baby
1. Order the book
Before jumping in Marie Kondo style, order Emily Ley’s book, and dive right in. She offers FREE printables for the Ruthless Declutter Challenge on her website that is very helpful in scheduling decluttering time no matter how busy your schedule is. We will be joining Simplified’s team next week to do the full Challenge, and as a bonus to your ducluttering mission, start reading A Simplified Life – Tactical Tools for Intentional Living.
Emily breaks her book down into sections that focus on simplifying your space, style, meals, schedule, finances, hospitality, technology, self, motherhood, and faith. She gives advice on how to create routines, decluttering without hesitation and how to extend grace to yourself throughout the process. There are journal entries throughout the book to help you ponder what’s important to you and how to decipher what is working in your home and what needs to go.
From choosing easy-go-to meals to cook weekly to saying, “NO” to overcommitting your schedule, Emily reminds her readers it’s okay to make space for themselves, family and what sets their hearts on fire.
2. Create a Mood Board
How do you want your nursery and/or space to feel when the baby arrives? For me, I want our home to feel like a safe place that is comforting and welcoming as I journey into mothering three children. I do not want piles piled up in corners, stacks of toys or bills – etc. and I want everything to be in its place to ensure family members can find what they’re looking for while staying with us.
As I look back on my journey as a mother, I clearly remember the newborn stage and instead of sleep walking, I was “sleep writing” and making up feeding times because I was so delirious. I know what it’s like to be forgetful and instead of trying to figure out where items are, I’ll know because I’ll already have them in their place. As I’ve been decluttering, I’ve noticed some items I’m getting rid of are actually good things and in good shape but too much of a good thing is still too much.
Whether you use Pinterest, Photoshop, or a free app like Canva, gather images and quotes to begin thinking about how you want your space to feel. As you work to organize and declutter, this mood board will become the foundation for your goals and help you decide what to keep and what to let go of.
3. Declutter first, then Organize
Start in sections and draw up a timeline with set goals. For me, I started with our downstairs and worked my way to the nursery. The nursery is the last space I’m working on and it’s been so nice to focus solely on that because all of my other spaces are no longer distracting me. Our nursery used to be my office so I had a lot of decluttering to do. I had to dream up a new office space in our home while cleaning out a room for our baby.
Black trash bags became my best friend as I created piles: Throw away, Goodwill, Keep. Grab a bag and be ruthless about it. Old receipts, paperwork, magazines – toss. I even went through old baby clothes I’ve been keeping throughout the years. If I loved it, I kept it. If I was keeping it out of guilt – it got donated.
I know it’s hard to avoid the urge to purchase baskets and bins to organize the room and baby items but declutter first! Hold off on buying those items until you see what is leftover or even better, what you find during the decluttering process! This will help you save money and time in the long run.
4. Baskets & Bins
Your space is cleared and now you’re staring at a pile of items to keep. This is where the fun part comes in! I have a slight obsession with baskets and bins. Everything feels neater if it’s placed inside a basket with like-items or a bin that’s labeled. I’ve compiled a list of baskets and bins by style:
Charley’s Nursery – Earth Tones & Natural
Bold & Modern
5. Organize Baby Clothes by Size
I sorted all of the baby’s clothes we had on hand and washed all newborn to 12 months with Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Laundry Detergent (SMELLS SO GOOD). Yes, I have her first year of clothes washed, hung and folded – ready to go. I sorted her larger clothes (she has a big sister who handed down many clothes up to 3T) and placed those in large baskets in her closet that is labeled. Once we are ready for larger sizes, I’ll wash an hang them. This step alone has made me feel so accomplished, even if her room isn’t complete! We purchased a new dresser, organized each drawer with these dividers and now all we need is new drawer pulls and a changing pad to go on top!
Similar Items in Charley’s Closet:
6. Create a Diaper Station
We will have two diaper stations in our home – upstairs and down. As for upstairs, her diapers will be stored inside her dresser. Downstairs – I will organize them in a rolling cart in my bathroom next to my dresser (see below). We will be using both cloth diapers and disposables (overnight & on-the-go), so I will have all the necessary items for both scenarios. We are planning on having two diaper pails as well. This mama isn’t planning on running up and downstairs for each diaper change.
7. Pack an Emergency Bag to Keep in your Car
What kind of emergency? You may be wondering. Blowouts, spit up, spills – the list never ends. This bag will never leave your car will need to be repacked after every use. When my oldest was a newborn, my stepmother and I traveled to Seattle (we lived in WA state at the time) and he had a blow out diaper in the middle of the mall. I didn’t have a diaper bag on me (new mom?) and we cleaned him in the restroom and carried him naked, wrapped in a jacket as we made our way back to our car through the cold city. Poor baby!
Emergency Car Bag Essentials
8. Create a Nursing Station
I typically feed my babies on-demand. On-demand feeding means we do not have a nursing schedule. When the baby shows signs of hunger by biting hands, leaning in towards my chest, etc, I feed them. This means most times I just find a landing spot to nurse anywhere. But I highly recommend having a nursing station in your home. Begin thinking about where your favorite place in your house is and how you can make that a nursing station. Whether it’s the nursery or your bedroom, this place should be a quiet area with a comfortable chair with a side table full of the essentials. Not sure what those essentials are? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Think snacks, water, clock, candle or essentials oils and diffuser, Bobby Pillow, blankets, nightlight – the works.
Nursing Station Essentials
9. Assign Kitchen Area for Baby
Walk into your kitchen and think of an area that can be utilized for baby items. This can be pump accessory storage, bottle storage, feeding utensils, food, formula, etc. Clear out this space and declare it as the area for baby and baby only. This will help everyone find items as you need them and keep you from opening the pantry a thousand times a day trying to find what you need.
10. Have fun
Preparing for baby should be fun rather than a daunting task. This is where grace comes in. Have grace with your schedule, your goals and yourself. As you’re decluttering and organizing, be sure to take breaks to feel baby kick or smell the clean laundry. I promise you’ll thank yourself later for doing the hard work now because before you know it, that onesie you’re folding will be filled with the cutest blessing! Have fun organizing!