Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Baby's Clothes and Accessories

By Tatiana
If you are anything like me, you already have (or will soon have) the whole first year worth of cute baby clothes before your baby is even born. Some of them you got at your baby shower, some are hand-me-downs and the rest you bough in anticipation of your baby's arrival.  And while shopping for baby clothing and accessories is fun and easy, organizing them might seem like a daunting task. It might be tempting to just put things away until the baby arrives. But once the baby is born, life gets much more hectic and unpredictable. It's frustrating enough when your baby is fussy. It's even more frustrating when you can't find something you need while your baby is crying on your shoulder. So, do your homework now and organize your baby's clothes and accessories. It will make your life - and lives of other caretakers - easier in the future.

Before you start, go through the baby clothes you have and put away things that are too big. Sort them by size, fold them and put them in plastic containers labeling each container so that you can easily find the right size and clothing item later. You can store containers on the top shelf in the closet or in other easily accessible place. Also, prepare a clothing memory box if you are planning to keep baby's homecoming outfit, christening gown, fist holiday outfits and such.

The first thing to think about is whether you'll be keeping your baby's clothes and accessories in a dresser or closet. I will talk about both of them in the paragraphs below.

Organizing your baby's closet.  If you didn't have the closet custom-made for your baby, chances are the closet you are working with was designed with an adult in mind. You can create more storage space by lowering hanging bars, adding shelves and installing rolling carts with wire baskets which you can use to hold swaddling blankets, sheets, towels and such. Just keep in mind that the closet will still be used by adults and install shelves and hanging bars at a comfortable hight. You can also make room for a dirty clothes hamper in the closet.

Closet can be used to store pretty much everything not needed for changes. To organize your baby's closet you will need baby hangers, hanging dividers (which you can buy or make out of thick card stock), baskets or other containers. A great way to organize your baby's clothes is by purpose. For example, indoor play clothes will be separated from dressy outfits and from clothes meant to be worn at a playground. In addition, you can group baby and toddler clothes by size (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 2T, 3T and so on). If you decide to hang your baby's clothes, use labeled hanging separators for organization. Otherwise, buy and label baskets or containers to hold your baby's belongings.

Organizing your baby's dresser.  Dividers and containers will also help keep things in place in the dresser. You can buy containers or baskets that will fit inside the drawers or make dividers yourself our of thick card stock. Dressers are great for storing thing that you will need for changes (baby gowns, wash clothes, diapers and diaper ointments, etc.) as well as small items like socks and basic baby wear and accessories (pants, coveralls, bibs, blankets, etc.). The best way to organize things in the dresser is by type. So, baby blankets, extra sheets and swaddling blankets will all be in different sections (containers) of the same drawer. You can label the drawers to make it even easier to find things when you need them.

Other storage. There are other places in the nursery that you can use to store baby clothes and accessories. Doors are great for hanging canvas pockets or shoe bags which you can use to store shoes, baby hats and small rattle toys. You can also use small coat hangers to organize things like baby coats, hats and towels. If you are expecting a baby girl, designate a space for keeping her hear clips, bows and other hair accessories. You can hang a pretty ribbon by the dresser or place a small Tupperware containers insider a drawer.

Babys grow very fast, so make sure to go through your baby's clothes once in a while to put away things that have become too small. And remember, though organizing baby clothes and accessories may seem like a challenge, it will help all caretakers to easily find your baby's belongings and keep your munchkin's room neat and cozy.