Baby Hints & Tips

Getting the house ready for a new baby

by Janell from Baby Button 

Getting a house ready before a baby’s arrival can seem very daunting!  We live in a 3 bedroom house and wanted our two children to have their own rooms so we started the major task of emptying out the study/junk room.  Whatever your situation or however many bedrooms you have in your house, I’ve never known anyone to just have an empty bedroom ready for a new addition to go into.  So here’s how we went about it.

The worse part first: Have a major clear out of all rooms.  

Be ruthless.  Husband and I started with our wardrobe.  We had a bag of clothes suitable to give to charity.  If you have a lot of clothes that are too far past their best to be re-sold check with your local charity shop if they take damaged clothes that they convert to rags.  Some charities have bags of rags that they sell to mechanics and the like to use to mop up oil etc.  Old t-shirts with holes in are perfect for this.  Remember that unless it’s your occupation you only really need 2 sets of old clothes to be put aside for painting, decorating and gardening.

Room by room, make sure you check at the back of cupboards and the top cupboards that are out of reach.  This is where we found a lot of things we hadn’t used for years so were obviously not needed and were just taking up storage space.

As well as sewing I also spin and knit and had endless bags and boxes of odds and ends.   You have to get real and think if or when you will have the time, inclination or desire to use some of those left over craft items.  I wasn’t sure what to do with what I had decided not to keep, then out of the blue we got a letter home from our daughters daycare asking for donations of various items.  Next time I went in I described some of the craft items I was looking to get rid of and they said they would be perfect for the kinder room.

Re-organising what you are going to keep

Sort items that you want to keep so that similar items are kept together.  Shoe boxes and nappy boxes are an ideal size to store items in that are going to be placed on shelves and in cupboards.  They are generally strong and won’t get too heavy with not being too large.  Clearly label the end of the box that will be facing out.

If you are re storing items in a number of different rooms try again to keep similar items in the same room.  It will make it easier when you are trying to pin point something in a year of two’s time.

New storage units

Before going out to buy new storage units, have a stock take of what you already have at home.  You might already have something that is not used to its full potential and would better serve you in another room.

We put new shelves in our laundry to utilize the unused wall space.  This can be done fairly cheaply because it’s not a room that is generally on show.  We chose to put in shelves that are attached to horizontal and vertical tracks so that the shelves can easily be reconfigured.  If you have a dryer in your laundry room you just have to be a little more careful what you store in there because of the steam produced by the dryer.

When we were looking for storage units for our daughter’s room we were conscious that we wanted something that would possibly last her into her teenage years rather than something aimed specifically at small children.  In the end we chose an Ikea storage unit with square shelves that you can either leave open or have pull out boxes/baskets in or put cupboard doors on.  The one we bought has 8 shelves and can either stand so it’s a tall narrow unit or a low wide unit and added 4 colourful pull out boxes to store toys in.  These can always be replaced at a later date with something more grown up looking.

We ended up taking a couple of weeks to find new homes for everything that we moved out of the old study.  I did a great job though because when I showed the room to my Mother-in-Law she was genuinely shocked at how good it looked and wanted to know where all our stuff had gone. Take each project one at a time and make use of the room you have the best ways possible!

How did you get your home organised for your new addition?
Did you have a major clean out or did you just move some things around?

Janell Fowler

Janell is the creator of BabyButton and makes products for mums from a mum. Head over to her website to purchase large, very absorbent, adjustable bibs today! To see all of Janell’s articles, click here.

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