Keeping the Nursery Organized

Most years right around this time, I like to do what I call the February Organize-A-Thon (see 2013 here and 2012 here). It’s a very effective way to get the house back in order for the new year, and I always have a lot of fun with it.

But, um this year there’s a new addition in our home that puts organizing a bit lot lower on my priority list. But I can’t let the entire month go by and not even MENTION organizing, because I like traditions and hate to break one. So today, we’ll be chatting about the organization in the nursery. It’s a tiny, tiny room so it was quite a challenge figuring out where to put everything – but I think we did a pretty good job getting it all arranged! It’s too soon to tell if this set-up will really work for us, but it’s a good start if nothing else.

Let’s start in the closet.

We’ll work from top to bottom….

The shelf at the top of the closet is currently a bit of a dumping ground for things we don’t need yet. We have an extra stash of diapers (the next size up from what we are currently using) as well as a few random toys and toy containers that we aren’t using yet. It’s not particularly organized at this point, but it keeps this stuff out of the way, so I’m happy.

Then, of course, we have tons of adorable baby clothes. Love. I have some clothing size separators that came with our closet organizing kit (more on that in a second), so that’s what I’m currently using to keep the sizes apart. I haven’t figured out what will work best for us long term in terms of storing clothes (do we keep them all in here? Just the ones he currently fits into? Where will we put them when he outgrows them?) but for now we have everything in here and are going to play it by ear. I’m sure I’ll come up with some sort of a system eventually.

Now we’ve got the heart of the organization in here. We got this closet organizing set from Target (it’s not sold online, but it’s found in their baby section and it’s the most awesome thing ever) and it came with this hanging system, those cloth boxes you see, some velvet hangers, and the clothing size separators. It’s not the prettiest set-up ever but it’s totally functional and I love it. We had originally planned on building some shelving into the closet, but in the end this was much cheaper, and it was temporary which is a perk – the little Monster’s needs are going to be ever-evolving as he gets older, so it seems silly to put something permanent in now.

In the top four cubbies, we have pants, his diaper bag, accessories, and socks/hats. The box on the top left currently holds pants.

As of right now, I just have a few sizes in here (I think these are all of his pants from Newborn-6 months) and I have the larger clothes stored in the bookcases. I tried to fold them in a way where they’re all easy to access and see what our options are, but we’ll see how long this lasts. So far it’s been a good system!

The little basket you saw above holds his “accessories”. There aren’t many accessories that go along with having a boy, but we have a few little bow ties from my baby shower as well as a couple of ties. I’m sure we’ll accumulate a few more things over time, and along with this basket we have his shoes (he currently only has one pair) stored in the cubby hole.

And, in the other storage basket you saw above, we have hats, socks, and white onesies.

I’m obsessed with little baby hats and I am determined that he’ll get great use out of these. Are you seeing how adorable that little bear hat is? I die!

And finally, we have the bottom two cubbies (plus the floor of the closet):

In the left we have our ErgoBaby – it probably won’t really stay here long term, since we’ll mostly use it when we’re out and about, not when we’re at home, but this was a good place to keep it for now. On the right, we’ve got extra sheets and mattress protectors. And in the very bottom is an extra basket that is currently empty. Room to grow!

We’ve also got a little bit of room on either side of the hanging organizer – for now, we have extra shelves for the bookcases on one side and his play mat on the other side. As with everything else, I’m sure this will all evolve as his needs change!

Next up we have the bookcases.

We have quite a bit of covered storage in these guys, which is awesome, but I have to be at least slightly careful about what we store in here because it won’t be too long before he’s able to get into the doors. This is still a work in progress and we’ll probably not land on an official organization system for this part of the room until we actually use it for a few months, but we have a solid start!

We have a bit of stuff hidden in the open part of the shelving – those three brown boxes you see at the top are a perfect storage place for some of his larger clothes (like pants and pajamas he doesn’t fit into yet) – one box is for clothes up to 9 months, and the other is for 9 months and up. Neither of them are very full yet, but we have them ready to slowly fill up over the next months! The third box is a memory box with things like cards from the baby shower and letters Corey and I wrote to him in the weeks before he was born. I can’t wait to watch that box fill up!

Now let’s peek into the closed storage…

This is the far right section of our bookcases. Not much in here for now – the top two shelves are pretty much empty, and the bottom one has been designated as the place we keep all of the hand-made blankets he has. I’m shocked at how many we were given, and I think these will all be special to him! I love that we have some room to grow here – I’m sure this will end up being a place we store toys and things we don’t mind him getting into, as it’s the most easily-accessed section of the bookcases.

This is the middle section, and I’m not in love with how it’s “organized” but I’m waiting to do much to it until I really know how we’ll use it. For now, the top shelf has extra wipes, the middle has a basket with extra hangers for the closet, and the bottom is a bag with lots of extra little toiletries and hygiene products for when we run out of what’s in the changing table. I doubt this will stay like this forever, because I’m sure we’ll need these shelves for other things as we accumulate more baby crap, but it’s a start!

And here we have the last section of the bookcases, the one that sits behind the crib. This is the one that’s the hardest to access and will be used mostly for stuff he doesn’t need yet or that we don’t need to use very often. For now, we’ve got some random stuffed animals on the top shelf (though I’ll probably end up moving those over to the side with the blankets, so he can play with them once he’s a little older). On the middle shelf are two boxes with diapers – they’re size 2 diapers that were made into a diaper cake for one of my showers, and I figure we won’t need them for at least a couple of months (let’s hope), so they’ll stay here until he’s big enough for them. And the bottom shelf just has a couple of random things that should probably find a different home – basically, more room to grow!

As you can see, there’s lots of room left in the bookcases, which is a good thing because the changing table is just about stuffed to the brim. It doesn’t really have a lot of space to add more stuff in the long term (though there is a little!) but hopefully that won’t be a problem – I was surprised at how much organization we were able to get out of this little thing!

Let’s look inside, shall we?

The top drawer of the dresser has been designated as diaper central. I’ve got a stash of diapers (as you saw, we keep the extras in the top of his closet, and just re-fill this as we go), lots of little baby toiletries like baby powder and ointment, and wipes. We’ve also got an extra little bucket in this drawer for the extra stuff that I know will accumulate.

In the second drawer, we’ve got a compartment with burp cloths and a few wash cloths (which may end up getting moved to the bathroom, depending on how we end up using them), one with Gerber cloth diapers (to be used as burp cloths, since I hear they’re the best), trash bags for the diaper pail/trash can, a compartment with various grooming/health products (things like the thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, etc) and a compartment for pacifiers (we don’t have many, but this was an easy way to keep them centrally located, though I imagine they’ll probably end up all over our house in the long run). There’s also an extra small bucket in this drawer, since I’m sure we’ll need it…more room to grow!

And finally, the bottom drawer of the changing table is devoted to blankets and pajamas. There are three compartments in this one – the one on the far left is for receiving blankets, the middle one is our Aden & Anais swaddle stash, and the final one has his pajamas. There’s also an extra swaddle blanket sitting in front of one of the compartments – it’s one of those fancy ones with velcro and everything (no idea what brand it was – it was gifted to us), so we’ll see if we end up using that or the muslin blankets more.

And that, my friends, is how the nursery is organized (for now). I spent a lot of time throughout my pregnancy thinking of what the best ways to keep everything organized would be, but I’m sure a lot of this will go out the window as we adjust to this crazy new life. If nothing else, I feel like this is a good start and at least Corey and I know where everything is and we can live with it like this for a while until we figure out what really works for us!

What have you been organizing in your home lately? Anyone willing to carry on the Organize-A-Thon tradition since I can’t this year?


6 thoughts on “Keeping the Nursery Organized

  1. You will definitely change how you have things at some point. I did twice with my first and now that we’re having a second, I’m doing some different things.

    One thing I’d suggest if you feel like you’re short on space is an under the bed storage compartment for under the crib. You can tuck it away and store it with things you don’t use often, or for clothes that don’t fit yet.

    Speaking of clothes, we held onto everything, since we were going for a second, and possibly a third someday. I organized in big rubber maid containers by size as baby outgrew and put them away.

    You may also find that having some burp rags in your kitchen or main part of your house is helpful, as well as a diaper changing station so you don’t always have to bring your little man into the nursery.

    One thing I’m doing this time around is hanging a pegboard on the wall above the changing station, that way I have more space for things on the wall such as lotions, diaper creme, etc.

    And, I’d suggest getting some of those toys out of there and putting them in a basket for easier access. Gives you more storage space and something for your guy to play with!


    Amanda Reply:

    Great tips! We’ve ended up with burp rags, diapers, and a general “baby station” in almost every room of the house, haha – it’s very helpful! And yeah, the toys will definitely move to a more accessible area once he’s old enough to use ’em!


  2. Be careful about the mirror above the changing table. I had the same one in my office and it just fell right off the wall. The bracket broke. Wouldn’t want Monster to get hurt!


    Amanda Reply:

    Eeek, thanks for the warning!


  3. Looks great! We’re slowly starting to organize the nursery and your post had a lot of great tips! Quick question – where did you get the organizers/buckets for the drawers in your changing dresser?


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