The 9th month of pregnancy is filled with exciting preparations
You’re folding the tiniest, cutest little onesies you’ve ever seen. Your floorboards are pristine and your backsplash is sparkling. Maybe you’re working extra hard at your side-hustle (or blogging like I do!) so that you can relax after your little one has arrived and just enjoy the newborn snuggles.
Bad news – you don’t know it yet… but baby clutter is about to take over your life.
Sure, decorating the baby nursery is a blast, but how on earth does an eight-pound tiny human collect so much stuff before they even enter the world?
Life can quickly move from nesting to one continuously uphill battle of trying to control the baby clutter.
Let’s be honest, babies are precious, but their stuff can take over your life if you let it. There are the onesies and sleepers, diapers and wipes, cribs, pack and plays, swings, receiving blankets, burp cloths, and… Well, you get the picture.
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So How Do You Control Baby Clutter?
The first thing you have to do to control baby clutter in your home is to recognize that it’s just like any other clutter. You either (a) need it or (b) don’t need it.
You keep the first and pass the second on to a friend who does, a crisis pregnancy center that helps moms in need, or donate it to the thrift store.
Obviously, your little one is going to need a place to sleep, things to wear, and nourishment. He will also need a car seat (and a stroller that works with it is a huge plus!).
Set Up A System Now To Control Baby Clutter Later
Here are some systems you can set in place now, before your little bundle of babe is even born. Having this all sorted out now will allow you to (hopefully) relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. (Well, as much as possible. I mean, I don’t LOVE being pregnant, but maybe you do.)
Related: 5 Tangible Benefits of Decluttering
Baby Clothes or Baby Clutter?
Ask yourself: How many onesies do I REALLY need in each size? How many sleepers? How many “special outfits” for photos?
The simple answer? However many fit in the baby’s dresser.
You’re going to be doing laundry – and plenty of it – so it’s not like you need a month’s worth of new outfits for your itty bitty. Save your faves and clear out the rest!
This is a simple way to control baby clutter and stop it from taking over your home. Your laundry pile will thank you, too!
If you’ve been given bags of too-big-right-now hand-me-downs, sort through them quickly right away.
Get rid of any that are obviously going to be the wrong season (that 12-month snowsuit is super cute, but if baby’s birthday is in July you don’t need to hold onto it just to declutter it in a year!). I also get rid of anything that’s worn or that I just don’t LOVE. There is SO MUCH affordable baby clothes in the second hand shop, I never put my baby in anything that’s stained or ripped. I love it when he looks adorable for pictures any time of day!
Free stuff is awesome, but only if it’s really useful. Otherwise, pass it on.
If you have too many clothes and not enough space, you’ve got to reduce what you have. Clutter is only going to steal your new baby bliss, and you don’t want that.
Remember, too, that your little one is going to grow quickly. Stay ahead of the clutter by having a plan for the clothes he’s going to outgrow every few months.
Consider keeping a cute, empty basket in the corner of the nursery (or in your bedroom closet or by the laundry area). As your babe outgrows things, put them in the basket.
As soon as the basket is full, take its contents to the thrift store or hand them off to an expecting friend.
Controlling Baby Clutter System #1: Only keep what you need and have room for. Have an ‘exit strategy’ in place for items your baby has outgrown.
Baby Gear or Baby Clutter?
Babies need stuff. When I was pregnant the first time, I started out so excited over all the cute baby things. But it quickly became overwhelming.
Yes, you need a bed for the baby (Or, if you’re like me, you might need five baby beds. Yes, we bought 5). Yes, you need a car seat. But do you REALLY need a swing, a bouncer, a hammock, a jumper, a backpack baby carrier, a sling, and a Moby wrap?
Decide what you need. And then decide what you need to actually own.
That’s right; consider borrowing some of these things from your friends that hold onto them. We borrowed TONS of things! Borrowing items that you can return as soon as baby outgrows them is a great way to control baby clutter; you just send it back to where it came from with a thank you note (and maybe cookies?)!
Controlling Baby Clutter System #2: Borrow whatever you can and return it as soon as you’re done using it.
Diapers and Wipes and Clutter, The struggle is real!
Obviously, you’re going to need diapers and wipes and baby rash cream. But how much of it do you need right now? (This is a great article on how to know how many diapers you need!)
Whether you cloth diaper or use disposables, diapers are going to be needed. But consider only having a pack or two on hand. It’s 100% okay to buy them as you need them. (I am a shameless fan of disposable diapers. And I have no problem just buying a new box when one box runs out.)
The same with wipes. That adorable little bottom isn’t going to need you to have 7,562 wipes at the ready. I promise.
And if you cloth diaper, as cute as fluffies are, you only need a couple of dozen on hand and two good wet bags for the house and 2 for the diaper bag. Resist the temptation of a huge collection!
Controlling Baby Clutter System #3: Only have on hand what you’ll need right away; it’s okay to buy as you go.
Control Baby Clutter By Controlling Mommy Clutter
And speaking of diaper bags, how much baby gear do you need?
You’re for sure going to want – ok – need a super functional and totally fabulous diaper bag (who doesn’t?), but you don’t need one for each of your favorite outfits.
Even if they were all gifts. You can exchange them for gift cards to buy things as you need them.
It can be hard to say no to all the fun baby accessories for mama, but if you want to control the baby clutter in your home before it takes over, you’ve got to say ‘No, thank you’ to all the cute stuff you don’t need.
After all, there’s plenty of it that you do need and you can enjoy that!
Clutter will only stress you out, but having a place for everything and everything in its place will be calming…both for you and for you growing family.
So relax, mama, and get some sleep! Your little squish will be here soon and you’re going to be ready.
Controlling Baby Clutter System #4: Remind yourself that you don’t need all the extra stuff and say ‘no, thank you’ to the clutter so you can say ‘yes, please’ to the calm.
Control Baby Clutter Before It Controls You
You’ve got this, mommy! The fact that you’ve read all this shows you want to be able to enjoy your growing family without the clutter growing, too. And you totally can!
Bonus Tip: Recognize that you can’t keep it all under control all the time…and that’s okay. Have a basket in each room you can quickly toss things into to put away when you have a moment. At least it will all be in one spot and not strewn across the room. This is a time for simplicty and grace!
Becoming a mother will change you completely in the most amazing ways possible; don’t let unnecessary stuff steal that joy.
Remember these 5 Tips to Control Baby Clutter:
- Only keep what you need and have room for. Have an ‘exit strategy’ in place for items your baby has outgrown.
- Borrow whatever you can and return it as soon as you’re done using it.
- Only have on hand what you’ll need right away; it’s okay to buy as you go.
- Remind yourself that you don’t need all the extra stuff and say ‘no, thank you’ to the clutter so you can say ‘yes, please’ to the calm.
- Recognize that you can’t keep it all under control all the time…and that’s okay. Have a basket in each room you can quickly toss things into to put away when you have a moment. At least it will all be in one spot and not strewn across the room. This is a time for simplicty and grace!
Just set up these systems now, and you’ll be ready to go!
You might also enjoy this Kick the Clutter Collection of blog posts