Tips to help new parents stay organized with all of baby's gear

Three Chicago-area organizing professionals share their best tips for helping new parents keep everything baby needs in check.

 

Babies are super tiny and portable, but boy do they require a ton of stuff. From nursery essentials like diapers, wipes and onesies to more unwieldy items like jogging strollers and Exersaucers, these items can quickly take over your home-and even your car.

We consulted three of Chicago's top organizing professionals for their best tips for helping new parents get their baby gear in check.


Meet our panel

Sarah Giller Nelson, owner of Less is More Professional Organizing Services

Erin Kelly, owner of Arranged By Erin

Pooja Gugnani, founder of Organizing with You

 

The diaper bag

Diaper bags tend to be large, which means small items easily can get lost. Use colorful plastic or nylon pencil pouches to store kits of supplies: one for milk/bottle supplies, one for solid food, one for diapering, etc.

Sarah Giller Nelson

Keep it simple. If you have a nanny or regular babysitter, make sure they have their own bag to use. Don't let this bag become a "catch-all." Keep just basic items like diaper changing supplies, snacks and medical supplies. Refill bag at end of each day.

Erin Kelly

Use see-through bags and sort by category for: medicines, snacks, games, outdoor activities and baby items. This is a great way for the diaper bag to hold all the essentials that a mom will need to lug around with her.

Pooja Gugnani

 

Baby clothing

A hanging sweater bag in a closet makes good storage for baby clothes. Most of the clothes can be folded to save space. Purge clothes after each season.

Erin Kelly

Even babies and young kids have seasonal wardrobes. You can re-use the same storage tub for two seasons. For example, label one side "winter clothes" and the other "summer clothes." In the summer, store your winter clothes in it and have the winter label facing forward, and reverse in the winter. This way you don't have to make room for four different bins. You can apply the same storing concept to other things as well.

Pooja Gugnani

Keep a bin or basket labeled "outgrown" in a handy place in the nursery closet. As you find clothes that no longer fit, put them in the bin. When that is full, move the contents to a storage space that is a bit more out of the way.

Sarah Giller Nelson

 

Toys/Play area

Avoid using large toy chests, as they tend to become catch-alls for all sorts of things. Instead, store smaller groups of items in their own bins or baskets. Save the larger containers for a single category of large toys, like stuffed animals, large trucks or big blocks.

Sarah Giller Nelson

Use your old laundry baskets or even inexpensive colored mesh laundry baskets to store different types of toys such as stuffed animals, cars, blocks, etc. Train your toddler to be organized at an early age and make it easy for him or her by attaching a picture of the type of toy on the front of each laundry basket, so it's easy for them to learn how to put it away as they learn visual cues.

Pooja Gugnani

Containerize/categorize as much as you can. Put toys out of reach that you don't want kids to have direct access to (i.e. games with many pieces). Encourage your child to take out one thing at a time.

Erin Kelly

 

Car

Sometimes toys can take control of the interior of your car. Keeping items contained in plastic boxes to fit neatly beneath the seat with each storage box labeled for each child's name can help keep things organized. In addition, keep a supply of clear plastic bags inside the car to store dirty/wet clothes/bibs until they can be brought into the house for washing.

Pooja Gugnani

Keep a mini baby kit in the car, stocked with diapering items, extra pacifiers and snacks, just in case. Make sure to update the diaper size and any clothing as the baby grows!

Sarah Giller Nelson

Keep your reusable bags in the car for groceries, cleaning up and other uses. That way they are always available in case you have a need for them.

Erin Kelly

 

Changing table

Use your dresser as a changing table by using the drawers to store your diapers, wipes, lotions, burp cloths, etc., and use the top as a changer by placing a changing table pad on it. The same dresser can then be used when your baby is older to store clothes, blankets, socks, etc.

Pooja Gugnani

If you have a multistory house or don't want to trek to the nursery every time a diaper has to be changed, create a portable changing station. Use a basket or a bin to keep a small supplies of diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, plastic bags and a leak-proof changing mat neat and contained.

Sarah Giller Nelson

It sounds simple, but be sure to place your Diaper Genie and trash can right next to your changing area and keep all of your other supplies within reach so you easily can reach everything without having to step away from baby.

Erin Kelly

 
 
 







 
 
 
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