By Julie Casella, Certified Self Storage Manager
Whether you’re planning to have a baby, or you’re already expecting, there are a lot of items that you will soon have that you didn’t before. Many large items like a crib, rocking chair and changing table…the list goes on and on. You will buy a lot of these and be gifted the others. But regardless of where they come from, they are coming, and they will take up a lot of space in your home. We are here to give you tips on how to organize all of your new baby items and how using a self storage unit can really be a benefit during this exciting time.
I was blessed with my first bundle of joy in December 2016, and wanted to share my experience with organization and self storage that really helped me keep my sanity during that exciting time. After going through this once, I am now better prepared for if and when we decide to have more children.
After the baby shower all settled in at home, we looked around our little apartment and baby items were everywhere! Diapers were stacked in the living room, baskets of baby clothes in the bedroom, the crib, stroller and swing waiting in the nursery to be built. We felt overwhelmed. We had less than two months until our little bundle of joy would be here, and we had nothing done, not even paint on the walls in the nursery. We were blessed to receive so much from family members and friends, both hand-me-downs and new. But we had no clue what we had or what we still needed, and it was out of control. So, we started organizing.
The first thing we started with was the baby clothes. We had three large boxes of hand-me-downs given to us, in addition to the many new items from the baby shower. We started by washing everything. When it comes to baby clothes, it’s important to either use hypoallergenic or baby detergent. However, stay away from detergents and fabric softeners that are scented if you plan to use a storage unit to keep everything until you need it. Scented laundry detergent can attract pests, such as bugs and mice, to your storage unit. It’s also important to completely dry items as well. Moisture can also cause issues like mold and mildew growth.
Next, organize clothing by gender (if necessary) and size. I preferred to keep all the newborn and 0-3 month clothing together, because they grow so fast at that time! Plus, organizing by size will save time and stress when needing to size up later. Then fold each item neatly, and place it in a moving box or plastic storage tote with seal-able lids. Be sure to clearly label each box with what’s inside, especially the sizes. That way you can quickly grab the box of the next size when that time comes. When placing my boxes and totes inside my storage unit, I stacked the ones with newborn and 0-3 months on top with the larger sizes in order toward the bottom.
Helpful Tip: Never use free boxes from grocery stores or other retail stores for clothing. These boxes may have food residue or other irritants that could attract pests or compromise the clothing. They are also designed for short term use and will start to degrade rather quickly. We offer a variety of boxes for sale in our retail shop that are designed for the storage industry. They will not crush or sag over time and are specially treated to help prevent mold and mildew.
We received quite an array of active gear for our little one. Some were in boxes, others were used and built. We washed the removable cloth on the rockers, swings and activity centers and dried them thoroughly. We then sprayed and wiped down the rest of the parts with child-safe cleaner. The removable cloth parts were placed in a plastic bin, labeled with the contents and placed in the corner of the storage unit beside the physical pieces. We then placed the new boxed items against the back wall, and the used items in front.
We also had the crib which we still needed to assemble, and the changing table. We placed the crib against the side wall and the changing table next to it, but facing outward. That way we could store all the diapers and wipes given to us on the shelves. We had screws and bolts in a (double bagged) zip lock bag labeled for the crib, that we put on the shelf as well. The crib mattress still had the store cover on it, but we wanted an extra layer of protection, so we purchased a twin mattress cover in the retail shop in the rental office. We decided to leave the rocking chair and ottoman at home, because it was too comfy and we wanted to start using it right away! Because of where we placed the crib in the storage unit, we knew we could go back and get it quickly and easily then assemble it a little closer to our due date.
Toys, Books, Keepsakes and More.
We still had a lot of storing to do after all of the clothing and active gear. We had toys, stuffed animals, books, keepsake items and all of the other small items babies need. For being so small, they sure do need a lot!
We purchased a few medium and large boxes in the retail shop and organized them like this.
- In a medium box, we put the bottles, bottle brushes, extra nipples and other “feeding items”.
- In another medium box, we put all the health stuff, like thermometers, nail clippers, hair brushes, soaps and lotions. We ended up with handfuls of travel size lotions, soaps and baby powder, too – so we had a full box.
- In a large box, we placed the stuffed animals we received. As added comfort and an extra layer of protection for these, we placed them inside a very large zip lock bag first.
We made lists of each box and what exactly was stored in them, so we knew what we had and what we still needed to purchase. We also labeled the boxes clearly. We then placed all of these boxes, along with the small gear like the pack and play, baby bath and the highchair, in the middle of the storage unit.
Once we had everything packed into the storage unit, it was so organized! We had clothes on the left, easily accessible. The crib and changing table were on the right, as soon as you open the door. And, the “extra” non-necessary items were in the back. I knew right then that we could easily come to our storage unit and find what we needed quickly. I felt a huge relief knowing that we were prepared!
Setting Up The Nursery.
Because we organized everything and placed it into storage, we had plenty of room to get the nursery all prepped and set up. It took a few days for painting, steam cleaning the carpet and getting all the baby décor up on the walls. Then as soon as we were all done with the prep work, we were able to get the changing table and crib easily out of storage and into the nursery.
Our next step was to purchase a dresser so we could get the clothes and other cute little baby things such as bibs and blankets organized. We slowly moved diapers, wipes and bath items onto the shelves of the changing table. It was definitely a help to have everything labeled ahead of time. We were so glad we took the time to mark each box with the contents. We grabbed the box with health items and realized there was no diaper rash cream! I don’t know what I would have done if we didn’t realize that and I was home alone with baby and no car. That just goes to show you that a little time and planning up front before baby will pay off in the end once he makes his grand entrance.
Having everything out of the house and put away neatly in our storage unit was a great help as we prepared the whole apartment for the baby. It was so convenient to have boxes, plastic covers, tape and stretch wrap available to purchase in the rental office at the storage facility.
If you’ve just realized that you have more baby items than you can handle, you can reserve or rent a storage unit online at any time and get started. You can also call any of our friendly property managers or stop by our many locations and they will be glad to help you out. I was so happy that I work for Moove In Self Storage and learned about all the benefits of using self storage before we welcomed our bundle of joy, Bradley. I just don’t know what I would have done without my storage unit!