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It’s amazing how much stuff comes along with the birth of a tiny baby! The little pieces of clothing, the diapers and related supplies, the bottles and binkies, the blankets and toys, books and bath toys. It’s really almost in-comprehensive how much stuff there is to manage for this little bundle of joy. So, what do we do with it all

Create Zones – this is a critical, in any space. It may seem like a basic idea, and it is, but when you’re a new mom, basic systems are a lifesaver. Baby’s grow very quickly too. Before you know it, you’re rotating clothing from 0-3 months sizes to 3-6 months and so on. So, keep it simple, and you’ll do just fine! Here are organizing and zoning suggestions for the main rooms in your home:

Starting in the Nursery, zone the room to include sleeping, changing, reading/rocking, and clothing/storage. Leave room for floor play, if possible. The benefit of zoning in the nursery is that only what's related to those areas actually gets put in those areas. Therefore, unrelated items don’t wind up all over the room. It also makes it easier for others to help too because everything is in a logical place.

In the Kitchen, choose a baby zone. This may be one shelf of the pantry that is designated for bottles and binkies, initially, then baby food and small bowls once baby starts on solids. Either way, designating a space now will help ward off the counter clutter that could come from the baby paraphernalia. Use baskets to contain related items.

The Family Room can also quickly and easily become the equivalent of a daycare center, if one is not careful. Create space for baby’s stuff. Try dual-functioning pieces, such as ottomans that also provide storage. At the end of the day, baby’s toys can easily be tossed into the ottoman and the family room is once again an
adult-friendly space ready for an evening of relaxing. Covered baskets also work well.

I look forward to blogging on Meridian Momtourage each month and participating in discussions. Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have questions after reading it. Congratulations on welcoming your little one to the world!

For more room-by-room organizing tips, checklists, and more get The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You and Baby One Step at a Time.

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Comment by Tria Karamanos Deibert on November 24, 2010 at 7:59am
Great article! I have our house organized similar to what you outlined. It is working well so far (he's only eight weeks) but I have to say I was amazed how much stuff infants come with! I am home right now so I am constantly on top of the clutter. I have a feeling keeping the house clutter free might be a little bit more difficult once I go back to work. I will continue to follow the "zone defense" you recommend!
Comment by Stacey Crew on November 21, 2010 at 4:57pm
Hi Brandi,
The best way to start perschoolers/kindergarteners/tweens and messy kids off is the following:
1. Have a place for everything, so when it comes time to put things away, it's clear on where it goes
2. Teach children that if they take something out, they need to put it away
3. Minimize excess. Rotate toys by packing some up, putting them away for a period of time and then rotate when it appears they are not interested in what's out.
4. Organize toys and "stuff" in manageable bins. For example, toy boxes were a great idea once, but generally they become overwhelming because kids usually only play with what they see. Therefore, use clear containers that hold no more than 2 categories of items.
5. Get kids in the habit of "donating" what they no longer use or play with. This is a teachable moment where they can learn than in order to fund new purchases, something must go. You'd be surprised how well kids (probably ages 7+) begin to understand this concept.

Let me know if you have more questions. :-)
Comment by Brandi Best on November 19, 2010 at 9:07pm
Loved the article Stacey. Could you give me some tips on organizing for preschoolers/kindergartners/tweens/messy kids?


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