When you are generously bombarded with thoughtful gifts, wish to hold onto keepsake items, and also covering basic needs, baby clutter can easily reel out of control. This problem is compounded if you, like me, don’t have the luxury of ample storage in your home. Here are a few strategies I have employed for keeping the baby stuff close at hand, but not part of the decor in our small apartment.
1. I use an antique dresser as a changing table. It offers more useful storage than just a changing table, is a better use of space, and blends in nicely with the rest of the furniture in our bedroom. Diapers and clothes of baby’s current size fill the top drawers, while the two lower drawers hold clothes for the next few sizes, blankets, crib sheets and extra wipes.
2. Our Expedit bookcase from IKEA is fitted with baskets to hide all of the toys, books, and supplies that we won’t need for a while like bibs, sippy cups and toys for the bath.
3. In the closet, I keep one tub that holds the following: salvageable clothes that Thomas has outgrown, clothes for future growth, and miscellaneous baby items or gifts that we aren’t using quite yet. I also keep a stock of diapers on the upper shelf. (As organized as I try to be, there is no way I am taking a photo of my closet today, so use your imagination!)
4. Something I don’t have yet, but could really use, is a great looking storage basket for the boppy pillow and blankets we use for playing on the floor in the living room. This one from World Market looks nice and is large enough. I could also scour second hand stores for a small trunk that would serve the same purpose.
5. When he is a little older and wants to play with more toys in the living room, I think I’ll invest in a storage ottoman, to replace the one I have now, which doesn’t pull double duty. This is a great one from Target ; its only $40 and the fabric actually compliments my current color pallete!
Of course, the number one piece of advice I can offer is to try as hard as you can to prevent unnecessary items from entering the house in the first place. It’s such a challenge, I know. If it’s too tempting to bring home the cute stuff, just make sure to set aside time every month or two, and donate the things your baby has outgrown or is no longer interested in. The hope is to discover that balance of what comes in vs. what goes out so you can keep order in your home. You will reap the benefits everyday!