Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Organizing a Nursery, Part 1

The Prequel

In just a few days, my husband and I are having our first child. We are truly thrilled about becoming parents and we’ve tried to prepare as much as possible. I’m putting my organizing skills to the test in a brand new way, by planning to have an organized nursery and a home that incorporates a new baby without introducing a lot of clutter.

Here I am at 38 weeks! This photo was taken by Hylah Hedgepeth who is an incredible natural light photographer.

There’s plenty that I don’t know about what the coming months will bring, so I’m calling this post The Prequel. I’ll post an update in a couple months or so, to let you know how my organizing ideas worked out when tested against new-parenthood. But here’s a glimpse into what I am hoping will be a successfully organized nursery.

Nursery Floor Plan

We’ve got a 2-bedroom condo, with loft space that I have transformed into a home office and is where my incredible Office Manager Anna and I run Operation Organization. The second bedroom is now going to be the nursery.

The biggest space maker would have been to remove the guest bed, but we opted to keep it. I plan to spend late nights in the nursery with the baby. And we do expect to have guests in the future.  It’ll be easy to put a small crib in our master bedroom when needed. 

But that means less furniture for storage of toys, books, diapers, clothing... everything.

We chose to keep the room simple and not overly decorated.  My husband and I like a modern look and neutral colors...can you tell?  We want our room to grow with our child and his style, so we will add to it as he gets bigger.  For now, we have a few decorative things to start us off.

The prints I got from Etsy.
I made some easy art by framing a page out of a favorite childhood book.

This little car I found at T.J.Maxx.

This is my hubby when he was a baby!

Gift Management

First of all, thanks to everyone who sent us gifts! Second, what are we going to do with this stuff!? Some people were thoughtful and sent us slightly larger clothing, which will come in handy later on but needs to be stored for now in a way that ensures I won’t forget about it. We’ve got lots of things we’ll use every day, and some things we will only need every once in a while.

Clothing - Newborn sized onesies and pajamas are handy, just below the diaper drawer in the dresser we’ll use as the changing table. To make best use of the nice big closet, I divided it into sections that work for baby clothing. The hanging baby clothing is organized in order of size, with labeled dividers so we can see sizes at a glance. Other things, like shoes, hats, and baby blankets, are sorted into baskets. The baskets are labelled so I’m not tempted to shove things in the wrong places. Labels keep me honest!

                       Onesies organized by size.

I got these these baby clothing dividers from Amazon.
The hangers are no-slip baby hangers by Closet Complete.

Water Hyacinth baskets from Container Store fit perfectly on baby's closet shelf.

Diapering - I didn't want to invest in a traditional changing table because a dresser will be so useful down the road.  I also don't enjoy looking at diaper creams and wipes out in the open.  Call me crazy, but for now, I am saying "no" to a wipes warmer (against the suggestion of my new mommy friends). Instead, I dedicated the top drawer of the dresser to all of baby Teeple's bottom booty!  I will let you know how this works out.

Books - We don’t have a ton of floor space in our guest-bedroom-turned-nursery for extra furniture, so I put in a number of floating bookshelves to maximize the usefulness of wall space.  The books sit right above the rocker in the "story-time" nook for easy access.

These Umbra floating bookshelves are a steal from Container Store!

Toys - I don’t like the look of toys everywhere, because of my general clutter-phobia.  I’ve used bins on the floor for toys. I’ll have one toy basket in the living room, but I’m going to try to keep the majority of kid things in kid space.

In the bathroom, I’ve organized the medicine cabinet so baby medicines, creams, and powder will be handy. On the inside of the medicine cabinet door I’ve taped up an info sheet with details about what’s safe to give to a baby.  I left the bottom two shelves with toiletries for our house guests.

I wanted to make sure I have access to baby washcloths during bath-time, so I repurposed this three tier storage basket from Pier 1 Imports.  I also installed a white hook for drying hooded towels.

A Major Life Transformation

Everyone says having a baby is going to be an unpredictable life transformation and will really mess with my organized life-style. No matter how much we plan and prepare, we know that the feelings will be new and the exhaustion potentially unprecedented. But I’m resisting the urge to transform the whole house.

Incorporating a Baby Into the Everyday

Life is going to continue. I’m fortunate enough to like my work, so depending on how it goes, I’ll be back to work at least part-time about a month after the birth. That may only mean I’ll be spending nap time in the home office, so I’ve got a spare crib behind my desk.

We’ll have baby stations of varying sizes around the house so the things we need will always be within reach. We’ve also been able to use otherwise dead space, like the space under our spiral staircase, in novel ways like for storing our stroller and baby swing.

I’ve also got this great mommy-baby basket from my Doula (Emma Goodman-DaSilva) that I can easily bring from room to room. It’s got the essentials, like a few spare diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and a changing blanket, as well as a few things for me, like snacks, a book, lotion, and tea bags.  She says if I’m happy, it’ll be easier to keep the baby happy.

Are We Ready?

As ready as we’ll ever be. Maybe we’ll realize that with a real baby around, some of the systems we put into place won’t work the way we thought. It’s highly likely that we’ll have to adjust for reality. But a big part of being organized is trying things out and seeing what works.  For me, when I feel prepared, I feel positive and that is how I am entering into motherhood.

More experienced parents, maybe you have some ideas to contribute? Tell me about it in the comments - I’m open to all the help I can get!

~Katrina Teeple
Founder of Operation Organization

Photo by Hylah Hedgepeth

1 comment:

  1. You're AMAZING!
    p.s. I NEED your fabulousness in my life.......and home. Seriously, next time your in Mendocino, I NEED to hire you.