When we first found out we were pregnant, we planned on selling our current home to upgrade to a bigger one. We listed our house on the market, had showings, an open house and finally had an offer a couple of months later. Within a week of looking for a new house, we found one and our offer was accepted. Long story short, the person who was going to buy our home backed out, ultimately forcing us to back out of our deal on the new house. At this point, I was 20 weeks pregnant and did not want to go through the whole process again of showings and looking for a new house, although we contemplated it. We decided to upgrade some things in our house and stay for a couple more years. Since our mortgage is inexpensive, we will be able to pay down some debt and save a nice down payment for when we are ready to house shop again. Since we decided to stay, we knew we were going to have to be strategic with making room for baby. Our house is about 1000 square feet with the master bedroom downstairs and 2 bedrooms upstairs, a tiny bathroom and only 1 closet. You read that right, our house has only one closet downstairs where my clothes live. Our house is a cape cod and the layout makes it a little challenging to optimize the space we have.
1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter– I spent months going through every room of our house getting rid of anything that I could before the baby arrived. I realized just how much stuff I was holding onto because of emotional reason or because I thought I could possibly use the item later on. For items I was unsure on I asked myself- have I used this in the past year? Does it make me happy? If the answer is no, I got rid of it. This will help keep things organized and make room for needed baby items.
2. Have babies clothes organized by size. As I mentioned, we have 1 closet in our entire house, so needless to say there is no closet in our babies room. All of his clothes are in a 6 drawer dresser. Before he was born, I had his newborn, 0-3 and 3 months clothes in his dresser. The rest of his clothes fit into 2 boxes: one for 6-9 months and 9-12 months. Once he outgrew newborn clothes, I pulled out his 6 months clothes and put them in the dresser. As he outgrows clothes, I have a separate box to put all of the outgrown item in.
3. Be strategic about where you can store items. One thing I wanted to do before our baby was born was to stock up on a few items we use often like paper towel, toilet paper and diapers and wipes for the baby. We were in the market for a new bed frame, so I purchased a bed that lifted up for storage underneath it. This is the perfect place to store some stockpile items. You can do something similar with under the bed tubs to store things like extra items, blankets etc.
4. Have a designated place for everything. Since our bedrooms are upstairs, I set up a pack and play in our downstairs living room for items I would need regularly. Instead of having to make the trip upstairs to change his diaper or change his clothes, I had that all in the pack and play. We used the changing pad portion often.
5. Review baby items before purchasing. Baby items are big! And there are so many different items available, its hard for first time moms to know exactly what is really needed. Before deciding to purchase an item, read reviews to see if the item is worth it and what other moms are saying about it.
I hope these tips help!