By Jane Marsh
Babies may be small, but they take up a lot of space in your heart – and your home. That goes double if you live in an apartment or tiny house. If baby toys and teething rings have commandeered every inch of your living space, it’s time to restore order with these seven tips to help you get organised.
It’s exciting – and often a good idea – to plan for your baby’s development. However, unused toys and oversized outfits will compete for space with what your baby currently needs. If your baby is younger than six months old, there’s no need to store jars of baby food in your pantry. Stow these items away or wait to buy them until they become age appropriate.
Another simple tip for making space is to pick up after your little one when they go to bed. Toss any toys, blankets or clothes into baskets so they don’t clutter up your floor or workspace. Doing this will give you more space to focus on your hobbies in the evening, even if it just means watching TV on a clean couch.
3. Utilise Hidden Storage
The best storage solutions stay out of sight and out of mind while giving you more space. Ideas for hidden storage include:
- Changing tables that fold out from a cabinet or down from the wall.
- Collapsible hampers and baskets.
- Folding strollers.
- Under-the-bed storage drawers.
- Pull-out pantry racks.
Do you have a basement or a large walk-in closet you don’t usually use? Turn it into a functional area to maximise every inch of your home. For example, you can use a closet as a diaper-changing station or a space for your baby’s crib. As long as you follow the proper building codes, you can even convert your garage into an extra bedroom to give your family more room to stretch out.
Downsizing when you have a baby is easier said than done, but it can be done. Set aside time to sell or donate anything you don’t need. Whether you have unwanted baby shower gifts, too many clothes or even excess furniture, you officially have permission to say goodbye to them.
In addition to helping you stay sane, reducing household clutter gives you more time to have experiences that will become happy memories. Take your baby on a stroll to the local bakery. Enjoy a day out at the zoo. Or, have a relaxing night at home. You can have a happy life with minimal clutter.
Are you still in the planning stages? Before you bring your new baby home, shop for compact versions of the gear you need. Try to find products with more than one use, too.
For example, you can buy a nightlight that doubles as an alarm clock and white noise machine. Sustainable baby brand Finn & Emma makes a height-adjustable play gym that grows with your baby. Clip-on high chairs attach right to your table or countertops so they take up minimal space. There are also small cribs you can easily tuck away in a closet.
Hanging storage is your best friend when you live with a baby in a small space. Use hanging book racks, over-the-door baskets and even wall-mounted baby toys to maximise space.
If you have extra space in your bedroom closet, install a second closet rod under your clothes. Baby clothes are short enough to hang under your wardrobe without taking up much room.
With a few simple changes, you can make even the smallest house feel big enough for everyone – including your new tiny roommate. Bringing home a baby can make life chaotic, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences. Enjoy every second of it!
Jane is the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she shares practical tips on how to live a greener life.