A new baby fills your home with love, joy, and the most precious moments you’ll ever experience.
Oh, and stuff. A whole lot of stuff.
We’re talking strollers, bottle, diapers, light up bouncy chairs, animal-sound-making toys… tons of oddly-shaped items and things you’re going to want to stock up on in bulk. Regardless of how much space you have (or don’t have), preparing your home is key, if for nothing else than your sanity.
Not sure where to start? You’re in luck! We caught up with Cut the Clutter founder and organization extraordinaire Natalie Schrier about her best tips to get ready for your new little roommate.
- Set up the nursery as much as you can prior to the baby’s arrival. Babies don’t have calendar notifications on, and probably won’t follow your schedule. “If your little one decides to make an appearance earlier than expected, you don’t want to be caught any more off guard than you already will be!” says Natalie. “Some of the things you’ll want easily accessible are diapers, wipes, onesies, burp cloths, bibs, and swaddles.” If for some reason, cultural or otherwise, you aren’t able to prepare a nursery in advance, have a game plan for what happens when the baby arrives. Enlist your partner, friends, or family to be on the case to pick up the essentials so that your home is prepared between the time you deliver and come home.
- Store gifted items by size or age. “Be prepared to receive LOTS of gifts and hand-me-downs that are not remotely appropriate for your baby at the current time (it’s the thought that counts, right?). Store these items in bins labeled by size/age (e.g., 18-24 mos, 2T) so that you can easily find and integrate everything when the time is right.”
- Likewise, store outgrown items until you’re ready to use them again or hand them off. If you’re planning on having another child, or will be passing your baby’s used items down to friends/family, you’ll want to have a storage system in place, advises Natalie. “Again, bins labeled by size/age will help you stay on track. Make sure you have empty bins ready before you need them so you can avoid random piles of outdated items stuffed into your closets!”
- Dedicate space in advance for your baby’s things. “Having a baby means you’re not only increasing your family’s size, but you’re also dramatically increasing the amount of stuff you need to store in your home. Clear a dedicated space ahead of time for the endless barrage of extra diapers/wipes, toys/stuffed animals, and gear (strollers, car seats, bounciest, carriers, etc.), some of which is large or awkwardly shaped and thus challenging to store.” You don’t have to go full-on Marie Kondo if you don’t want to, but this is a great time to tackle those catch-all closet corners and dresser drawers (trust us: we’ve all got those), donate clothes and household items that haven’t been touched in the past decade, and clear out some space.
- Don’t forget about the kitchen! You’ll need counter space for drying bottles, nipples, and pump parts, and potentially for other things like a baby food maker, bottle warmer, bottle sterilizer, etc. Natalie notes, you’ll initially want to have at least one shelf in a cabinet available for extra pieces, and clear out some additional space as your baby grows to eat solids.