By Julie Casella, Certified Self Storage Manager
As a follow-up to Storing for Baby, Part 1: Before Baby Arrives, I wanted to also share how we continued to use our self storage unit after baby Bradley started growing. It’s surprising how much we are actually using it and the benefits are countless.
Once your sweet bundle of joy comes home from the hospital, it will not be long before the picture perfect nursery looks like a tornado hit it. Some little ones stay in newborn size clothes and diapers for months, others never fit or grow out of them in a week. That beautiful bassinet set up next to your bed so baby is in arms reach? Baby hates it. Not to mention the other “must have” items you have all around your home, that literally were never used. You feel that same feeling you had two months before baby arrived; stress from all the stuff everywhere. My tip – it’s time to take a trip back to the storage unit!
We ended up with almost two trips worth of stuff to head back to our storage unit. We are hopeful for another baby eventually, and most of the things we have are in great shape, but right now we need that extra space for our first baby! The key is keeping all your baby items in great shape, whether you store for a few months or a few years. Once you decide to start trying for baby number two, you will be glad you took the time now to preserve and store baby number one’s extra items the right way.
Step 1: Clean Everything!
No seriously, making sure clothes and the cloth parts of toys and sleepers are clean is key to keeping good condition items that way. Sending things back to storage with spit up, baby food or even detergent scents could attract unwanted pests into your storage unit. Wash each item thoroughly with unscented detergent. Dry completely to prevent growth of mildew and mold. Wipe and spray toys and other items with a good cleaner to get any dirt or food residue off of the items.
Step 2: Separate Into Categories.
As a mom, you want to keep everything. But, that white onesie with spit up stains? The next baby will have his or her very own to spit up on. So with that being said, all out-grown clothes and other items should be separated by the following: keepsake, trash and hand-me-downs.
- For keepsakes, we purchased a small tote and included his hospital clothing, coming home outfit, hospital blanket and holiday outfits. And we left room to add more over the years. You can even keep your baby shower cards in this tote as mementos as well.
- We threw out things that looked faded and worn out and anything that was stained or torn.
- Hand-me-downs were organized by size. We folded them neatly, and labeled the boxes with what season they were appropriate for and the sizes. We figured this would come in handy if our next baby was born in the summer, and we only had winter newborn clothing.
- It’s also best to keep the clothing and toys separated. Still keep the toys together by age group and label the box or tote appropriately.
Step 3: Large Gear Storage!
Our little one used his bassinet for just one week. The diaper genie lost its appeal when we had to take the trash out every day, and then we saw how much refill bags cost. Baby hated his swing after the first month. My advice is to figure out what you are not using or will not be using, because soon you’ll need room for the jumpers, walkers and highchairs as baby grows. Not only that, but even if you don’t think you want it for the next baby, a friend or family member may need or want it when they are expecting!
For things that required assembling to use, take pictures of it while still assembled for future building reference. If you thought it was complicated to put together, maybe you can film the disassembling with your phone for later reference. If the gear has cloth, remove it and wash and dry thoroughly. For the other parts, wipe down with disinfectant wipes and clean any residue left behind. Remove batteries if present to prevent corrosion. Store the cloth pieces in a tote labeled with the contents. Then disassemble what you can, place in plastic bags and insert the pictures then label what it is for easy finding. If the items are small enough once taken apart, you can place them into the high-quality boxes you purchased at the retail shop at the storage facility for added protection and ease of moving.
Step 4: The Storage Unit!
Another helpful hint is that it’s best to visit your storage unit regularly. We suggest at least once per season. Check out the area and make sure no damage has occurred. The quicker you catch an issue, the less of a problem you’ll have. This helps ensure no pests have intruded or any other issues have occurred like crushed boxes or a toppled pile.
When putting clothing back into storage, it is smart to first remove the boxes of the next sizes you need. Then place the un-needed clothing at the bottom of the stack, or behind the next sizes in line. Make sure all labels are clearly written and facing forward, easy to see. It’s also best to label the top and at least two sides of each box or tote.
You should also assess what gear you may need soon. Whether baby looks like he may be ready to play in the jumper or walker or if he is able to sit in a highchair yet, you are going to need them sooner than you think. I would either remove these items to take home or move them forward inside the storage unit. That way the items not needed any longer can be placed behind them. And, if you don’t take them with you on this visit, they are in the front ready for you when baby is ready for them.
A lot of stress is removed from first time parents’ plates when the house looks organized. It’s even better knowing that when baby number two comes along or your first little one grows out of his baby items, your storage unit isn’t a scene from a horror movie. Save time, stress and also money by storing your items safely and neatly! If you are planning for baby number two or just need to clean out unnecessary items from your first child, you can rent a storage unit online now and get organized. You can also contact us for more information about using self storage for baby.