One thing that living in a small house has taught me over the last two years is that organization is vital.
I cannot emphasize this enough – our family has a lot of stuff, no matter how hard we try to keep our belongings to a minimum, and the only way we can survive living in a 1,100 square foot house is by making sure every inch of it is as organized as possible.
Brayden's nursery is, honestly, probably the most organized room in our entire house – and there’s a reason for that. Babies are exhausting, and they need a lot of stuff. Often at inconvenient times, like 2:30 in the morning. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m dealing with a diaper explosion in the wee hours of the morning and I need to locate a new diaper, wipes, fresh pajamas, and a new swaddle for my kid, I want to be able to grab everything I need on autopilot. Because I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that my brain isn’t exactly functioning at full capacity when it’s the middle of the night, I’m dealing with a screaming baby, and I’m running on a grand total of approximately zero hours of sleep.
Babies are hard.
But, keeping the nursery organized is a tiny little step that makes the whole newborn thing just a little bit easier. And I’ll take every single win I can when it comes to making my life easier right now, you know what I mean?!
So, for all of you other sleep-deprived (or soon-to-be-sleep-deprived) mamas out there, I wanted to share some tips with you! My tips may or may not work for your exact setup, but when I was planning the nursery I was soaking up every single blog post I could find about nursery organization to make sure I didn’t miss anything that might help! So, here’s my addition to your nesting-induced frenzied research.
NURSERY ORGANIZATION TIPS
First, a few general tips. I might not be the most seasoned parent out there, but I’ve designed and organized two different nurseries and neither of them was larger than 10X10 – it’s a manageable size but it definitely requires some serious creativity to organize such a small nursery!
Stick to the basics. If you’re working with a small nursery, you don’t want to add anything crazy like one of those giant stuffed giraffes or a big dollhouse. Your baby doesn’t really care about those things yet anyways, so while they’re little you want to keep things as uncluttered as possible. Even if you have a larger nursery, I highly recommend keeping it simple in the early years. Soon enough, they’ll be preschoolers whose room will look like a tornado blew through it 100% of the time, so embrace the minimalism while you can.
Baskets are your friend. I say this every single time I talk about organization, but there’s a reason – it’s probably the simplest and most important tip I can give you. I use baskets for everything, and they’re such an easy way to keep clutter to a minimum while also keeping things easy to find. In Brayden’s nursery, I have a basket for his pacifiers, a basket for dirty clothes, and a basket for his toys.Basically, if you’ve got something taking up space and you aren’t quite sure where to put it, a basket will probably solve that problem for you.
I recommend hanging onesies. This one might be a little controversial – I know a lot of people will think this tip is crazy. However, I find that it’s much easier to keep things clean and organized if I hang baby onesies and outfits. The only exception to this is newborn clothing – it’s too tiny to fit on even the babiest of baby hangers, so I don’t start this until they fit into 0-3 month clothing. Why do I recommend hanging onesies? First of all, it’s highly likely that your nursery has a closet with hanging space. If you aren’t using it to hang onesies, then that space is just being wasted (and please don’t use it as a space to store your extra clothes – soon enough your kid will need it and then you’ve got a serious storage issue on your hands!).Why not use that space to hang up the onesies and free up drawer space elsewhere in the room for something else? Also, I would argue that in terms of time spent hanging up clothes, it’s doesn’t take any longer to toss them on a hanger than it does to fold them in a drawer. Plus, then you have the added bonus of actually being able to see all of your kid’s clothing, which means you’re less likely to just grab the same things over and over (which, I totally do if the clothes are folded up!). Pants, shorts, and pajamas get put into a drawer in our house, but everything else is hung up!
Know that things will change often. In the first year or so of your babies life, their needs will rapidly shift and evolve and you’ll feel like you’re constantly re-arranging things. That’s totally normal, and an expected part of keeping a well-organized nursery. For example, since Brayden was born I’ve already re-arranged and adjusted things at least twice as we’ve gone through some of our diaper stash and he’s outgrown newborn clothing. Our nursery is set up so that as he grows and starts to use more of the clothing that is currently stored in drawers (more on that in a second), storage space will open up for toys and other things that older kids need. Basically, just remember that you will probably find yourself re-organizing things every few months, and that’s perfectly fine – in fact, it’s the best way to make sure things actually stay organized!
Drawer organizers are key. You absolutely must have drawer organizers if you’ve got a dresser in your nursery. We love the SKUBB storage boxes from IKEA and use them in all of our bedrooms.
Have a place for everything. I know – organizing 101 right here. But, seriously – if you’re working with a small nursery and you want things to be organized, you have to make sure every tiny little thing has a designated spot. That way, if it’s the middle of the night and you desperately need the gas drops or some diaper cream, you don’t have to go searching for it – you want to not only know which drawer it’s in, but also where it is in that drawer! Because, I’ll remind you again, your brain power isn’t super great when you’re sleep deprived. And you will be.
Here's a peek into my dresser:
- The top drawer of the dresser in the closet stores overflow diapers – these are sizes he hasn’t grown into yet. Once he begins going through these, we’ll clear up some space in here, which will be lovely.
- The second top drawer contains pants! Jeans, sweatpants, all different kinds. Since his pants don't go easily on hangers I throw them in here!
- The bottom two drawers store clothing sizes (and shoes) that he hasn’t grown into yet. The dresser currently stores all of our clothing through 9 months.
Another way to sneak in some more organization is to use a dresser as a changing table! This way you can sneak in two dressers into the nursery. This is what we currently do in Brayden's room, and it is so helpful!
We currently use this one!
It is amazing!! On the top, (in the little section) I keep wipes, diapers, and cream. In the first drawer we have more diapers, nail clippers, nasal spray, medicines, etc. The second drawer holds sleep sacks, bibs, and small spit up rags. In the last drawer, I put my baby carriers/wraps! Since Brayden is almost two I don't ever use these anymore, but I really liked the ones I have so want to keep them for a future baby!
What are some of your must-have nursery organization tips?
Thanks so much for reading,