Expecting a Baby Is a Great Excuse to Declutter
People declutter for different reasons. For me, I declutter all the time because I love the rush of simplifying my home. For others, a life change such as downsizing/moving, a death in the family, binge watching Marie Kondo, or welcoming a new human into the house is what pushes someone to want or need to declutter. I’d like to focus on this new human. This human, a.k.a. baby, is a great excuse to declutter and I’m all for it!
The Joy of Having a Baby
I don’t have kids so what would I know about babies and why it’s important to dejunk before they arrive? Honestly, it’s always important – before, during, after. I can only say that a baby in the house is like having a new roommate. A roommate who doesn’t clean after itself and who you have to do everything for. They hog all the space.
Life after having a baby can be exhausting, overwhelming, tiring, and chaotic. It can even take a toll on your relationships. Toys start to pile up, kitchen drawers become filled to the brink, many things go unused, etc. Why wait until you’re completely stressed out, are lacking sleep, and resenting your partner for not helping out?
I went to visit a friend who just had a baby and every time the baby cried, I cringed slightly and did not want to even think what it would be like to be around a crying baby all day. I would rip my hair out. Joking, not joking. Seriously though, thumbs up to all the moms and dads! But, this made me realize that it’s even more important to purge pre-baby so things aren’t as stressful! So, if expecting a baby is what it takes for someone to want to purge their clutter, super!
Decluttering the house before the baby arrives can decrease the amount of stress that may creep up. What have you got to lose? From my standpoint, I can only see the benefits.
Where to start
Having a space in each room where baby items can easily be stored away yet be convenient is something that should be considered.
Not only can the decluttering process be therapeutic, it can really make a happier home environment when things have their place and everyone knows where to find it.
To make life a bit easier during the dejunking process, ask yourself a few questions when you don’t know what to do with an item:
- Are we currently using the item?
- Do we have more than one of that item?
- When was the last time the item was used?
- Is it sentimental
- What’s the likelihood of it being used in the future?
You’re going to have to make room for baby bottles, nipples, cleaning pads, wash clothes, high chairs, sippy cups, baby utensils, etc. If you don’t have a shelf or drawer to spare, it’s definitely time to start getting rid or things you no longer need or have use for.
The kitchen is the fastest place that gets untidy. It’s where everyone congregates and where we spend to much time in. Obviously also because that’s where the wine and snacks are. Having a place for everything and knowing where things go and getting used to a system can really make the transition that much easier and feel less chaotic
Your Personal Space
You need to have a space for yourself. A place where you can sleep soundly and not feel stressed about the clutter and mess around you. Being able to wake up and go to bed in a tidy room equals less stress and time where you and your partner can focus on your relationship.
As for your wardrobe, who has the time to figure out what to wear for the day. This is a great time to slim down your wardrobe. Maybe not the best time to get rid of clothes just yet but I’m sure there are items you know you will never wear.
Simplify it. Don’t have anything in there that doesn’t belong there. Paring down to 2-3 sets of bed sheets is more than enough. Babies go through so many washclothes, spit up cloths, diaper cloths, etc. that there needs to be a dedicated space for them. It’s like if you had a new roommate and they needed a shelf in every room just for them.
You won’t believe the amount of time you spend in this space. Store what you only need to store in this room/closet. Having a hamper soley for the lil kiddo is paramount. How is it that for such a tiny person, they have so much laundry that needs to be done. I can understand why some people don’t bother folding the laundry because it’s going back in the wash the next day. If this is the case and you have the space, make small baskets where you can easily separate washcloth bibs and clothes so that they’re easy to access.
Removing clutter from this room will just make it more ‘livable’. There are no hazards for the baby and even with the crying, hopefully this space brings calm to do. Mess happens, I get it. But it takes a few minutes to throw things into a box that’s just for baby.
Why is Decluttering Important Before the Arrival of Baby?
- You will save time and money – when everything has its place, you’ll know where to find everything which means no unnecessary duplicates
- You won’t have to deal with last minute crazy frantic tidying when you have visitors (This is easy to say but hard to do. I don’t even have kids and I still do last minute tidying when people stop by so don’t beat yourself up over this)
- When baby naps, you can nap a bit too instead of rushing around tidying – I’m sure many scoff at this comment but its definitely something to strive for
- It is a safety proof measure. Less stuff equals less hazards
- More Space!…for baby stuff (babies can have clutter too…so don’t forget to get donate/trash/trade outgrown items)
How To Maintain The Order
Losing control can happen so quickly with a baby around. You’ll have less time to do the things you want so if you are organized and create certain habits, you’ll just need to maintain. To sum up:
- get organized
- less stuff equals less stress
- have a dedicated space for everything
- set aside at least 10 min. before you can sneak a nap to put things back in its place
- continuous decluttering
You got this! I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m just providing tips. If it’s all too overwhelming, there’s nothing wrong with hiring someone to help clean the house once a week or help organize things. Check out Three Pines Organizing. Sara is super patient, non judgemental and really easy to get along with. She also does video consults if you’re not in the area!