How to create a clutter-free home in time for your baby’s arrival
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Tracy Ross of Blissfully Organised advises on how to prepare your home for the arrival of a new baby
The arrival of a new baby to your home is a very special time, but it can also feel a little daunting.
Decluttering and organising is a great way to prepare for your new arrival – and a clutter-free environment will be easier to maintain, leaving you more time to spend with your little one.
Why declutter pre-baby?
• You’ll save time and money: you’ll find what you need more easily and avoid purchasing duplicate items (both for baby and home)
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• A well organised home will be less dangerous when you are moving around with baby
• You’ll be visitor-ready: everyone will want to meet your new arrival, so streamline your home to receive visitors without the stress of frantic tidying
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• You’ll have more time to rest when baby rests rather than rushing round tidying
• You’ll create space for the new baby things that you need to keep close to hand
Key planning before baby arrives
• Where will your baby sleep?
Initially your new baby will probably be in a crib in your bedroom to make night feeds easier. You should also start to prepare your baby’s own room. Think about what you need in this room, eg. cot, changing table/cabinet, comfortable feeding chair and appropriate lighting.
• Where will you feed your baby?
Think about where you will feed baby during the day and night. Make sure that you have everything that you need close at hand. Even if baby is sleeping in your room you may want to set up a quiet feeding area in the baby’s room if you don’t want to disturb other family members.
• How can you baby-proof your home?
Clear away odds and ends that will need to be moved before baby starts crawling. Consider how your pet will adapt to the new arrival.
• What equipment/clothing do you need to buy or take out of storage?
There are endless things that you could buy for your new baby. Before you buy anything it’s often useful to speak to friends and family to find out which items are essential and those that are nice to have. If your budget is tight you may be able to borrow equipment or purchase the key essentials second hand.
Keep a list of everything you need to buy, and those items that you have already purchased. If this is not your first child, I recommend that you audit the clothing and equipment that you have stored away or lent to friends. Gather everything together three months before your due date to ensure that you have enough time to wash all the clothing and check if any equipment is still in good working order.
• Assign a place for essential baby equipment
Start to create space to store your essential baby items in the most practical space in your home. For example, the steriliser needs room on your kitchen counter and a changing mat and supplies may need a space downstairs to make changing more convenient. You might also want to store your pushchair/baby car seat in the hallway, garage, cloakroom or in your car.
• Will anyone come to support you once baby arrives?
If you are planning to have helpers to stay, make a list of key information to make it easier for them
1. Discuss how they can best support you, from cleaning, cooking meals and shopping to looking after older siblings
2. Make a list of where key items, such as bed linen, towels and kitchen equipment, is stored
3. Create a list of emergency contact numbers, older children’s meal ideas and a guide to their routine
4. Stock the medicine cabinet with key essentials and - if you have time - batch cook a few meals for the freezer.
• How will baby fit into your routine?
Life after having a baby can feel very busy. Organising your home before baby arrives to find a space for everything and only having what you need will make your day-to-day life less chaotic.
Do you need support to get ready?
I have supported many of my clients to prepare their homes for the arrival of a new baby and they have all found it incredibly useful to create a state of order and simplify their home so that things are much easier to manage once baby arrives.
Contact Tracy on firstname.lastname@example.org or via her website at www.blissfullyorganised.co.uk