Congratulations! You are expecting a baby! Your family is growing, and your life will be changing dramatically. Whether this is baby #1 or baby #5, changes are to be expected.
As you jump into the journey of motherhood, there are many exciting things happening. Soon it will be time for a gender reveal and baby shower, and before you know it you will be celebrating the birth of your little one. People will be quick to give you unsolicited advice of all kinds. They will say the funniest and craziest things one can come up with. Trust me, I have done this twice now… They will also often times lead you to believe that life as you know it is over. The thing is, it’s true. Your life as you know it will never be the same. You will have a growing human around to challenge you, to change you and most importantly to love you. Motherhood will be the most challenging yet rewarding job you have ever had.
In becoming a mother I have learned that there are many topics of conversation that we are not so good about discussing. Baby sleep, PPD and what we are taking about today…. Stuff… there is going to be so much STUFF filling up your home, your space and taking away your sanity! There, I said it. You are giving the gift of life and you will be getting so much stuff you never anticipated. There are many lists out there of “infant must haves” or “top baby products”, but what you don’t find is conversation around how to keep it all from taking over your home.
Having a cluttered home will get in the way of your mental clarity. Truly, you’re learning how to be a mom and a space that is out of order or one where you can find what you’re looking for is stressful and with a new baby, it can even be a hazard. Because I have done this twice now I decided to share a list of my favorite tips to help you keep a neat and clutter free home even as you dive deep into motherhood:
- Talk to your mom friends – there is an entire tribe out there willing to keep it real! They will share with you all the truth about products that they never used or that they only used once. They will also tell you about all of the things they couldn’t imagine getting through motherhood without. After all, momma knows best!
- Stick to one or two gift registries – this is a great way of making sure you don’t end up with ten bottle brushes or 15 bottle warmers. One of the great things about creating a gift registry is that once an item has been purchased, they automatically remove it from the “to purchase” list. Target was my personal favorite. Click the link to learn more: https://www.target.com/gift-registry/create-baby-registry
- Get rid of repeat items – don’t be afraid to get rid of things that Aunt Sally and Grandma Susan both purchased for the new baby. Inevitably they both had great intentions, but there are few things that you will need to have repeats of. Check the gift for a gift receipt or ask where the purchase was made. Often times if an item is purchased from a registry, the store will allow you to take it back. There is no shame in returning or exchanging, but if that fails, you can always donate to someone in need.
- Be practical, not perfect – I wish I knew this with my first child… there are so many cute outfits out there for babies, oh the cute socks, matching hat and such. There are also so many cute pajamas out there. For the first few months of life, I realized that the best option was to be practical and not perfect. This also meant that I was a HUGE fan on onesies… no sorting, matching or searching needed. It was simple, if the onesie is dirty, you wash, dry and put away. We get so caught up with trying to have the “perfect outfit” on our baby these days, that we forget that as long as baby is clean, fed and well rested he or she will also be happy. No need to make it harder on yourself.
- Organize clothes by stages: 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months and 9 to 12months. There are around four categories of baby clothing sizes that they will go through in the first year. My best advice is to keep it simple. Sort the clothing by stages and ONLY keep the one they are currently using out. I promise that even your husband will thank you. Say goodbye to the days of running around searching for the outfit that fits. Simply when they outgrow a size, pull out the new stage and put away out the old one. I truly enjoyed using vacuum sealed bags to maximize space and simplify this process. Also, don’t forget to properly label for each stage. If you plan on having more babies in the future, this is also a great system for keeping baby safe and sorted for the next baby.
- Be kind to yourself – remember that even if you’ve done this before, every baby is VERY different and because of that you are always learning. Remember to be kind to yourself no matter how tough things get. Check your expectations. Your body, mind and home are going through a HUGE transition. Allow yourself and your surroundings time to adjust.