Live your oh-so-organized dreams with these top home organization tips for busy parents
Written by Mia Weber
New Year, new you—it really is possible! Especially when it comes to whipping your home into shape. For new parents, it can seem like there’s always something to clean, put away, or that has gone missing at just the wrong time. That’s why it’s essential to take home organization steps that are manageable and easy to maintain, even when the whole family has a stomach bug or the washing machine is on the fritz. Trust us, you can do it!
Home Organization Tip #1: Take it One Room at a Time
It’s much easier to take on a home organizing project if you recognize that it’s unrealistic to get it all done at once. Make a game plan that involves taking things room by room. Maybe you want to start with your biggest project—a basement or garage storage space that hasn’t been reckoned with in years or kitchen cabinets with absolutely no rhyme or reason—or maybe you want to start small—the linen closet or the toys in the nursery—so you can check items off your list quickly before tackling the heftier projects.
Once you determine a room to start in, approach the issues strategically. Is the issue too much stuff? Stuff that is in disarray? Lack of storage space? An easy first step is to clear out anything that is broken, not in use, or in the wrong room altogether. From there, your road map to proper storage should become clearer. If the issue is a need for more storage space, consider bringing in new shelving to utilize your vertical space (and as an added bonus, you can then store things out of reach that you don’t want little ones to accidentally stumble upon).
Home Organization Tip #2: Commit to Donating
As you start clearing out unused (but otherwise in good shape) items, set them aside for donation, or gifting to a friend or relative who might need them. Not only is it more eco-friendly to repurpose, rather than discard, but when you frame your task as doing good for others, it will make it easier to let go of things you really aren’t using.
This goes double as your baby keeps growing. A lot of baby gear, unless it has undergone some sort of notable incident of physical damage, is totally safe to be reused (note: car seats are an exception here, so check the warranty and do some research if you’re thinking of giving away a car seat). And of course, clothes and toys are no-brainers to pass along when your little one has outgrown them. Check out charities like Baby2Baby and GOOD+Foundation, which specialize in donating baby gear to those in need.
Home Organization Tip #3: Shop Smart When it Comes to Baby Gear
If possible, it’s great to start thinking strategically about the baby gear items you bring into your home from the moment you start your registry. You’ll want to invest in items that grow with baby (like a crib that converts to a toddler bed or a high chair that converts to a regular chair), items that are multi-use (like a high quality pack-and-play), and items that are easy to store in a compact way (you’ll definitely want a stroller that is easy to fold and store without taking up too much space).
The more conscious you are with what you choose to bring into your home, the easier it will be to get organized, and stay organized. Often, you might be faced with spending a little more money for a more efficient or higher quality item—the reality is that it’s usually worth it if you end up with baby gear that lasts longer and fits into your life more seamlessly.
Home Organization Tip #4: Get Creative with Strange Spaces
Most homes, regardless of their size, have their fair share of odd little spaces. Be it a funny little corner near the window, a just-big-enough-for-a-person cupboard under the stairs (hello, Harry Potter), or a partially furnished attic or basement—all of these spaces have potential that can take the pressure off the rest of the house. Turn an unused upstairs corner into a reading nook—just lay down some blankets, pillows, and a small book case—and you instantly have more room for storage in the nursery where your books used to be.
The creative challenge can be a big part of the fun here—browse Pinterest and your favorite home design Instagram accounts for ides, but also ask your fellow parent friend for ideas and inspiration.
Home Organization Tip #5: Get Your Partner on Board
Finally, with any home organization project, it’s only as effective as the whole family’s commitment to it. Before you undertake a big re-org, be sure to sit down with your partner—and older kiddos if you have them—and ask for their thoughts on what could be improved and how you can work together to achieve your organizing, cleaning, and storage goals.