By Sarah Newell
1. Buy storage-friendly furnitureGet a crib with drawers underneath or buy a crib skirt and some under-bed boxes, which are great for stashing all those excess diapers and wipes. Still short on storage? Consider a cube system like the IKEA Expedit, which can grow with your tot and be outfitted with drawers and doors to hold toys and books on the bottom. Plus, you can stash clothes they're growing into or growing out of on the top.
2. Trick out your closetUse every inch of space already available in your nursery by maximizing your closet's storage. Little outfits are short, so double your closet space easily using a double-hang closet rod on one side. Then use a portion of your closet to create flexible shelving by adding a sweater bag. Both can be found at The Container Store.
More from The Bump: Budget-friendly nursery tips!
3. Containerize everythingFind attractive open bins for the shelves of your changing table and give each bin a specific category. Inside your closet you'll want to use clear, stackable containers so you can see exactly what's there. Label them with size and season. For example, seeing "12-month, summer clothes" is a lot more helpful than having to take down a huge bin of hand-me-downs from the top shelf and then having to dig through. Important: Whatever you do, skip the toy bin! It just becomes a repository for all the tiny pieces, and ends up with stuff on top of it, so your child will never be able to open it to retrieve those stuffed animals anyway.
4. Go verticalHave a small nursery? No problem! Utilize your vertical space -- backs of doors and even the walls are often overlooked areas. Have excess toiletries or tiny shoes? Put an over-the-door shoe bag with clear pockets on the inside of your closet door so that you can compartmentalize all the small stuff and keep it from cluttering up your surfaces. Stick the thermometer in the top row right next to the Infants' Tylenol, so next time your baby has a fever in the middle of the night you know exactly how to find it (and it'll be too high for them to reach as they grow!). Have a ton of pictures or other keepsakes to display? Don't clutter your dresser -- hang floating shelves on the wall to show off your treasures. It will look intentional instead of haphazard, and once your child is more mobile, he won't be able to destroy them so easily.
5. Toss the junk Having a baby often means you're showered with gifts. But that doesn't mean you have to keep and love everything Cousin Gertrude gave you! Take a picture of your kiddo wearing the item or playing with it, write her a thank-you note and put it in the outbound pile. As a parent you need to constantly manage both the inflow and outflow of stuff in your space, so dedicate a bag or two for things that are no longer in active use, and once they are full, get them out. Store the items that you love that make the cut for a future child, but pass others along to a mommy friend with different taste or donate them. Swimming in excess samples from the hospital? Stash a few in your diaper bag, use up the ones you love and toss the rest! You don't need random stuff you'll rarely use.
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