As we turn the corner on another year, many people make resolutions to do things differently in the new one. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, why wait until January 1 to take charge on your goals? However, this year, 2015, is a little different as it will mark a whole new chapter in my life – life as a mom. So as I head into the new year with only three months left in my pregnancy, I figured it is time to start getting ready for baby’s arrival.

Baby prep step #1: organizing your own life.

Sure, this can come in a variety of forms. But for a family of three living in a small condo with another one on the way, organizing our things before we add more is top priority. And I truly believe space informs mental and emotional functioning. If I can create an uncluttered, orderly living environment, I honestly think my family will be more relaxed, and the open space will create open space in our minds and lives for positive energy.

First task, to organize our closet. Here’s the steps how to did it:

Closet photo1). Take absolutely everything out, piling up similar items – suits, dress shirts, dresses, shoes, linens, gym clothes, ties, belts, scarves, etc.

2). We keep paperwork in our closet because we don’t have a proper desk area. Take all of it out and do the same thing, making piles of bills, healthcare papers, receipts, etc.

3). Think about what you need access to the most. For me I knew I had to put my maternity clothes at the easiest access point and hide all my civilian clothes, like the crop tanks I wore six months ago.

4). As you are going through your stuff, try to be objective on what you really need and use. If you haven’t worn a clothing item in a year but aren’t ready to part with it, put it in a pile for storage. If you don’t go looking for it in another year, maybe it is time to donate it or get rid of it.

5). Start putting everything back organizing my clothes by genre (dresses, shirts, pants, maternity) then by color in those categories. I did the same thing with my boyfriend’s clothes (suits, dress shirts, long sleeve and sweaters, polos). Helpful hint, having the same type of hanger can maximize space. I personally like the velvet ones. I also try to organize by shoes by color.

6). Put things you access least (extra linens) on higher selves and stuff you grab almost daily (gym clothes, jeans) on lower selves.

7). Organize paperwork in an streamlined system where papers are easy to find but the clutter is hidden. I decided to go with white IKEA magazine files and printed sticker labels myself.

8). The less ‘things’ you can see, the better. Cloth trays or bins (like this one I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond), baskets, jewelry boxes are all great to organize and hide accessories and knickknacks.

Although it takes hours to do a thorough job organizing a closet, it becomes well worth it each day as you find yourself managing your mornings better because you know where everything is or stressing less each time you open the closet doors. I really believe through organizing your material things you can expand efficiency in multiple aspects of your life.

Second task, organize my boyfriend’s daughter’s room. Baby and my boyfriend’s daughter are going to be sharing a room. She’s been in that room for the entire five years of her life, so I don’t just want to wheel the crib in and hang up baby mobiles. I want the transition to be smooth and for her to be excited about the changes. So I figured why not organize her stuff so when we add baby’s, it is less of a shock and less of a disaster zone. Like our closet, here’s how I managed her room:

Leena Room Photo1). Take everything out of bookshelves, toy boxes, etc. and pile things up by genre: arts and crafts, dolls, stuffed animals, books, dress up, games, puzzles, LEGOs, etc.

2). Put things in bins, drawers, baskets and shelves by category. Arts and crafts go in one bin, dolls in another, dress up in another, etc. This way she knows where to find her favorite things and when it is clean up time, she knows where to put everything. Helpful hint, Pottery Barn Kids has the cutest storage stuff.

3). Get creative with how to store toys – make them double as decorations. It is a kid’s room after all. For example, I had a entire puzzle with a missing box. I also had an empty plastic jar. It put the puzzle in the jar so it stayed together but also looks like a decoration. I did something similar with a plastic bucket with crafts. I took the clay that was in a long flat strip covered with plastic wrap and put it around the outside of the jar because the colors were cool. I look all the craft utensils and put them in the middle so they were hidden. Now it’s a shelf decoration.

Since my boyfriend’s daughter’s room has been organized, she has played more often in the space and is more empowered to play independently because she knows where everything is. She also really takes pride in clean up time, pulling us into her room each time so show us how she put everything away in the proper spots. You cannot beat that.

Four people living in a space that is really meant for one isn’t going to be easy. But the better we can maintain an uncluttered living space will help reduce the amount of chaos in our lives. Making sure the three of us feel good about our home before baby arrives has absolutely been a good step in preparing for her arrival.




New Year, New Baby

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