Monday, December 7, 2009

Controling the Baby Clutter

No doubt about it... babies take up a LOT of space.  There is a gadget for everything we could need or desire, it seems.  We were fortunate to have several things loaned or gifted to us with Little Buddy.  We had precious few things left over from when Bear was a baby, so I was very excited to have so much gear.  But, boy, it accumulates quickly!  Because we had just moved into out house when Little Buddy was only 3 weeks old, most of my time was spent trying to get unpacked.  I was so used to setting up house in less than a week from our previous moves.  This time it took months and months.  Needless to say, baby organization was not at the top of the list (not when I could be sleeping instead!).  Here is what the living room looked like at the pinacle of THE BABY IS TAKING OVER!:

Here are the tips:
For the big items (like exersaucers, swings, bouncy seats, etc.):
1.  Determine what the baby really enjoys and purge the rest.  Take one to a relative's house you visit regularly, donate one to the church nursery or pass one along to a friend who needs it.
2.  Make stations thorughout your home.  Do you need 4 contraptions in one room?  Keep one in the kitchen, your bedroom, dining room, etc. so you have a place to safely keep the baby while you are in those rooms.  You can move them around to keep it interesting for baby.
Baby toys:
3.  Give guidelines to relatives regarding your desires.  They are usually more than willing to purchase something they know you really want, rather than waste their money. 
4. Make a wish list and give it to Nana, for example, and ask her to help make sure the family goes by it or as close as possible..
5.  Ask a friend to help.  Many hands make light work and she will likely be able to move more quickly through the purge than you, as she is not as emotionally attatched. 
6.  Keep a box and bag by the changing table.  When something gets too small you can check it for stains or wear.  If it is in bad shape, throw it out.  If you want to save it for future babies, toss it in the box.  What you do not want to keep can go in the bag for donation.  When the box is full label it with the size and store it.  When the bag is full go ahead and drop it off. 
7.  Every 2 weeks or so do a a quick purge of all the clothes to pull out sizes that no longer fit.  This will only take a few minutes and will help you see what you have and keep from forgetting about outfits that were buried. 
No closet for baby clothes? 
8.  Use a wire shelf mounted on the wall.  It does not even have to be the type specifically for clothes hanging.  They are more expensive.  Baby clothes are small enough to work on the standard shelf.  One or 2 hangers will fit in each notch.
9.  Use a drying rack tucked in the corner to hold clothes on the hanger.

Just remember, the first year goes by so quickly and before you know it all the baby stuff is gone.  The less you have to tame, the simpler your life will be.  Enjoy this season while you have it and don't obsess over absolute order!

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