Wanting to stop the baby stuff explosion by organizing for new baby?
Clutter has always made me tense up. But, baby clutter is a whole other level of stuff explosion.
You know the feeling – you sit on the couch after a long day with the baby and you are SURROUNDED with all of their cute little tiny things.
Spit up rags, tiny baby toys, little tiny cardboard books, bibs, tiny socks, baby wipes, tiny [most likely] dirty baby clothes, the Nose Frida, blankets, and AHHHH.
Let me take you through our apartment and show you how we organize our baby’s things in a limited space.
How To Organize For A New Baby Like A Boss (Step-by-step guide)
Organizing Baby Clothes
I’ll tackle this one first since it seems to be the main question that my readers have.
We have actually recently changed our baby clothing organization. I love the new system so much more than the old system we had.
Old system: some of the baby clothes were folded in baskets on a bookshelf. All other clothing was hung in the closet. This worked pretty well for our small space. Mostly because of the fact that we had a bookshelf and no dresser. Work with what you got!
But – hanging baby clothes is tedious. Putting clothes away was always a challenge with the old system because I couldn’t put the baby’s clothes away while she was asleep in her room.
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Having fewer clothes for the baby creates a need to do more laundry but it saves on space and clutter. Score!
New system: Now that we have a dresser, everything for our baby girl is in the dresser.
Only dresses and coats are hanging – we love it! I really like that I can fold all of her clothes while she is asleep. Then, when she is awake, I take them out of the laundry basket and plop them right into her drawer. Easy, peasy.
We fold almost all of the baby clothes with the KonMari method. Folding this way saves on space and allows you to see what is available.
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Do not hang onesies upside down as a space-saving hack. Snapping and unsnapping takes forever! When you need a onesie in the dark, with poop on your hand and spit up in your hair, you don’t want to have to one-handedly undo the snaps.
Organizing For New Baby: Put Baskets Everywhere
Baskets, baskets, baskets. Get some baskets! They are super cute, add tons of storage space and help with organization. We have baskets all over our home because they are so helpful for organizing. Here are some of our baby related baskets; read to find out where we put them and what is inside.
(Links provided are affiliate links- all that means is that I make one million dollars everytime you buy something. Ha! Not really. I make a tiny profit off of your purchases through my links. I only link things that I actually use and recommend.)
Organizing with a Nursing Caddy
This basket is always right next to my spot on the couch for easy access during feedings. Inside you will find:
- Nursing pads
- Nose Frida (and extra filters)
- Nail file
- Hand sanitizer
- Daily devotional book
- Spit up cloths/burp cloths/whatever you call them
- Hakaa hand pump
- Saline spray for babies
The nursing caddy’s contents have changed many times. We used to use this as a living room diapering basket. So, it had tons of diapers, wipes, butt creams, etc in it.
Then once it switched over to my nursing basket, my baby was still really young and it looked far different than it does now. I had a lot more things stocked. My favorite nipple butter, more nursing pads, bibs, tons of spit up rags, and snacks.
Now that my baby is 10 months old, I don’t stuff the nursing caddy with as many things. I mostly use it for my nursing pads, chapstick and books.
Side note: we have enjoyed our nursing caddy but sometimes have had space issues with it. It is a bit on the small side. If I did it all over again- I would buy this one! The best thing about the Lil Dandelion caddy is that the dividers are removable.
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Tidy up throughout the day. Spend 5 minutes at the end of every day to tidy. I often tidy while I brush my teeth… just keepin’ it real, folks.
Organizing Baby Toys
OK – real talk. I found my perfect toy system 3 weeks ago. My daughter is 10 months old and I just found out about this. Toy rotating is a game changer when you have older babies/kids.
So, I have three baskets full of toys. Two out of three baskets get used each week. One basket is in my daughter’s room for her to play with during independent play time. The other basket stays in the living room.
Every week, we rotate the baskets. The basket that was “on vacation” goes to the living room, the living room basket goes in my daughter’s room and her basket then goes on toy vacation.
This system is gold. My baby plays so happily on toy rotation day. It is like she has never seen the “new” toys before. You know how your kids always play better at other people’s homes because they have cool toys? Well, with toy rotation, that happens every week. That, my friends, is a stay at home mom win.
What is in each toy basket?
I started by separating types of toys into different categories.
- Plush toys
- Noisy toys
- Big toys
- Developmentally stimulating toys
You can categorize a few different ways but this is what worked for us with our current toys.
Once your toys are in different piles, divide them into your baskets. Try to have a good blend of different types of toys in each basket.
Organizing for New Baby: Books
To be completely honest, I am not a fan of how we organize books at the moment. Our current system is to have our books divided evenly among our toy baskets.
My theory was that this way mom and dad won’t get sick of reading the same books all the time. Unfortunately, when you only have 5 books in each basket you get tired of reading them pretty quickly.
Additionally, now that we are going to the library every week I don’t know where to put the library books. Should they go in the living room toy basket? I’ve been putting them on the TV stand but I’m not sure that I like the look of that. I’m pretty sure that Marie Kondo would not approve of my book organizing.
The best solution for books would probably be if we had an actual bookshelf in the living room to use. Ha! Bright idea, right? Use a bookshelf to store books.
Organizing Baby Toiletries
We have a bath time basket that is stored under our bathroom sink. This makes it easy for anyone other than me to give Little Miss a bath… wait, who am I kidding? It makes it easier for me, too. Organization saves my brain from having to remember where every little thing is in the house.
We always have these things in our bath time basket:
- Bath soap
- Bathtub drain cover
- Baby hairbrush
- Tear-free waterfall rinser/shampoo rinser thingy
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Everything should have a home and should be returned to its home by the end of the day. When you’re too tired to remember your last name, you don’t want to be rummaging around trying to find everything that you need. Organizing will also help the people that are helping you with the baby. (ex. babysitters, grandmothers, friends)
Organizing Extra Storage
Hidden storage is vital for small spaces! If you don’t have large rooms and/or ample storage space, get some under the bed storage totes or vacuum seal bags that slide under the crib/bed.
This is what we store under the crib:
- Maternity clothes
- Maternity lotions, vitamins and postpartum pads
- Pregnancy pillow (I used this one and really enjoyed it! Great for small spaces.)
We also have large totes for baby clothes that Little Miss has outgrown stored in her closet. I have each size range labeled within the totes so that it is easy to pull out one size at a time for the next baby. (That is if we have another girl.)
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Babies don’t care if their nursery looks cute. They care if they are taken care of! Focus more on giving your baby a safe sleep environment, a fresh diaper, clothes to wear, and someone who loves them.
Organizing the Changing Table
Like many of the other things in this post, our organization for the changing table has evolved over time. Currently, we have these items stored on the changing table shelves.
- Cloth diaper basket
- Disposable diaper basket (our diaper creams are also in this basket)
- Cloth wipe solution
- Electric breast pump
- Pump equipment (see below)
- Extra disposable diapers
- Cloth wipes
- Random stuff that doesn’t have anywhere else to go… because even the most organized of moms have miscellaneous stuff floating around.
On top: (which will soon be on a floating shelf above the changing table)
- Wet (ready-to-use) wipes
- Washcloths: to dry off baby’s bottom and for general use
- Coconut oil: nature’s diaper cream, safe for cloth diapers
You can buy our favorite changing table on Amazon – keep your eye out for sales, this changing table goes on sale fairly regularly.
A Note on Pump Equipment
I have a three drawer organizer for smaller pump parts. I keep flanges, bottles and pump in a bag so that I can grab and go when I need to. My hands-free pumping bra is also stored in the pumping bag.
Organizing for New Baby: Cloth Diapers
We use a basket system for our cloth diapers. I have two baskets for cloth diapers: when one gets empty it is time to wash and use the other basket. Basically, one basket is in the washing process while the other is being used.
I have a wide basket for our pocket diaper inserts. I rotate the inserts so that I am using the “oldest” inserts first. This ensures that I am not using the same 10-15 inserts over and over again.
Our folded cloth wipes and our homemade wipe solution go on a shelf on the changing table. If you run out of wipes mid-diaper change, you can’t leave the baby on the changing table to go grab more. So, keep them close!
Organizing for a New Baby – Quick Tip: Small spaces require lots of moving things around. As baby gets older, organizational systems change. (ex: pump parts move out and baby utensils move into the kitchen cabinet)
The Last Thing You Need To Know About Organizing For A New Baby
Being organized with a new baby in tow is a wonderful goal to have – but, don’t let having a perfectly tidy and organized house distract you from the early days with your baby.
My top tips:
- Get baskets and use them everywhere!
- Change up your organizational system when you need to.
- Tidy throughout the day and for 5 minutes at the end of the day.
Organizing is to help you. Don’t let having a consistently organized house become your prison. And for goodness sake, DON’T let organizing and tidying take away time from your new little one.
Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!Song for a Fifth Child, by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby, loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.)
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.
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