Nursery room – part 2
Contrast that cheerful and streamlined nursery with a nursery belonging to an acquaintance of mine who was a shopaholic.
Gotta Get Organized
Any item or furnishing you buy will have to be stored somewhere, either now or as your child grows, so keep that in mind as you purchase goods. That’s another reason why I advocate the KISS principle, and here are my best suggestions for organizing all the stuff for your baby’s nursery.
- Don’t overbuy baby clothes in too many sizes, because all babies grow at differing rates. Your little one may never wear some of the larger outfits, or they may not be the right size for the right season.
- Label lidded plastic bins for clothes you need to store for future use. If you’re on a tight budget, large Pampers boxes work great as storage boxes. Write what’s inside on a piece of colorful construction paper glued to the front of the box. Baskets with fabric liners also work well for storing clothes and toys, and the wicker won’t snag delicate items if the baskets are fabric lined.
- Store items such as extra boxes of diapers under the crib. Skirt the crib if you don’t want the containers visible.
- If you already have a changing table, use stackable plastic bins on rollers to store personal care items and diapers instead of purchasing a dresser.
- Instead of purchasing a changing table, why not buy a desk that matches the other furniture and use it as a changing table? Cover it with a changing pad, of course, and later your child can use the desk for studying.
- Over-the-door clear shoe holders work great to store personal care items because you can easily see them at a glance. They also work great for small toys.
- Plastic or wicker laundry baskets or hampers make great storage for toys and stuffed animals.
- Five-gallon white plastic buckets with handles are available from your local home renovation store and work well for storing toys and stuffed animals.
- A bookcase can hold books, and also games and toys as your child grows.
- Empty wet wipes containers work great for storing baby socks and small stuffed animals and toys. Label the front.
- Remove any of your own items from the nursery closet so you have room to store the stroller and travel crib/playpen.
- Go through baby clothes and toys every six months and weed them out to avoid clutter since KISS is an ongoing process. Label a large diaper box or a plastic bin Donate and store items there until you’re ready to pass them along.
- Buy a label maker at an office supply store. It will serve you well over the years to label bins and boxes as your little one grows and the toys and clothing needs change.
- Before purchasing containers, look around your home and see if you already have things on hand that you aren’t using that might work.
Beautiful Baby Bath
Hopefully your nursery will be located near a bathroom for ease. Rubber duckies and other bath gear can quickly proliferate and take over your bathroom, so nip bathroom clutter in the bud by KISS-ing there too!
- Buy a plastic basket or a lidded plastic bin to keep all your baby’s personal bath care items in. You can either store it in the nursery and carry it to the bathroom, or store it in the bathroom closet.
- Keep a notepad in the bin or in a drawer for writing down items you need to purchase as they run out. You can also keep a magnetized notepad on your refrigerator as a master grocery shopping list.
- Keep a small plastic laundry basket in the bathtub to drain wet toys, or hang a mesh bag over the shower faucet. You can buy mesh bags in the produce section of many grocery stores.
Photo Albums and Memorabilia
From the moment a baby is born, photographs and memorabilia begin to collect. If you’re digitally inclined, set up a file on your computer for digital photos and for scanning in memorabilia. If you prefer to keep hard copies of photos, file them in stackable photo boxes that come with mini-file tab dividers and store them until you’re ready to put them into albums. Label the file tabs by date and event, and label the front of the box as well. You can do the same with larger memorabilia by putting labeled hanging file folders in a file bin.
Even if you don’t have the time or propensity for making scrapbooks, by having all the photos and memorabilia organized in files from the very beginning of your child’s life, once your sweet bundle of joy grows up and leaves home, they’ll easily be able to take their photos with them and perhaps they will be interested in making their own scrapbooks. Just last year I created scrapbooks from my own childhood using Creative Memories products, and I loved every minute of the process.
The Sound of Music
It’s nice to introduce your little one to music right from the start, so why not use your preferred high-tech method of piping in some soothing tunes for your little one?
I know you want to give your new little bundle of joy the very best start in life. As someone who has been personally challenged with environmental sensitivities and allergies for many years, I feel compelled to tell you about the health wisdom of making your baby’s nursery “green.” By that I mean buying and using the least toxic furnishings and products as possible. Below are a few basic “green baby” tips to get you started, and I’ve also given you some product resources at the end of this article.
- Organic wool or cotton crib mattresses do not have flame retardant chemicals that can cause a host of health challenges, so it’s best to buy an organic crib mattress.
- Use organic sheets and blankets to avoid the “no ironing needed” chemicals that are often found on commercial store-bought sheets.
- If you can’t afford organic linens, which do tend to be pricey, soak new bedding in your washer, using half a gallon of vinegar and two cups of baking soda in very hot water. Then wash with a nontoxic detergent and rinse a couple of times. This helps to remove any chemicals; I do it all the time when I buy new linens and it works quite well. Sometimes it takes repeat treatments and/or soaking them overnight in the vinegar and baking soda solution.
- Avoid laundering your baby’s bedding or clothing with scented detergents or fabric softeners because some fragrances can trigger asthma and allergies.
- Use chlorine-free and fragrance-free baby diapers and wet wipes.
- Only clean your baby’s room with nontoxic household cleaners that are fragrance-free. Avoid commercial cleaning products.
- Never use scented carpet cleaners; steam clean with hot water only. Your carpet cleaner can be trained to do it this way.
- Avoid plug-in air fresheners and air freshener sprays that can trigger asthma and allergies.
- Use nontoxic and fragrance-free personal care products made especially for infants.
- Buy an air purifier.
- Provide nontoxic natural cloth and wooden toys instead of plastic ones.
- Stay away from new carpeting that outgases chemicals. Better to steam clean the current carpeting in the room (use water only—no fragranced detergents) or to install hardwood flooring, cork, or natural linoleum.
- Aluminum mini-blinds are a nice clean window treatment available in many colors.
- Paint the room with no-VOC paint at least two months before the birth. And Mom, please don’t paint the room yourself while you’re pregnant.
As we end this article, I wish you great fun and happiness as you set up your nursery during this wonderful time in your life. If you keep the KISS principle in mind, you and your little dear one will be on your way to a serene and soothing space.