The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women


nesting  — n
“Nesting… is commonly characterized by a strong urge to clean and organize one’s home and is one reason why couples who are expecting a baby often reorganize, arrange, and clean the house and surroundings.” ~ Wikipedia
Yes, amidst all the back to school shopping and organizing we’ve been doing around our home (I still can’t believe he’ll be a 2nd grader!), we are also organizing and preparing for another little darling to grace us with her presence.  I’m 37 weeks pregnant, and I feel the nesting instinct swinging into full gear now.  Even though this isn’t our first baby, we still had some major preparing to do.  Of course, I am reusing as many things as I possibly can, repurposing and “shopping the house”, thinking of ways we can save space (and money when we can), and actually handcrafting many items myself.
Today I thought I’d share a few of my organizing tips and tricks if you are nesting as well, or soon will be.  You can also use these as general de-cluttering and reorganizing guidelines for other areas of your home… not just the baby’s room.  (For instance, my son’s desk and study area will be “nested” this coming week in preparation for school starting back!)
  • Do a little inventory.  What do you have?  What do you (truly) need?  What would be nice, or beautiful, or fun?  Ask your friends, shop your house, and see if you can repurpose that dresser into a changing table instead of buying a new piece.  Be practical and realistic regarding available space, your budget, and do differentiate the “must-haves” vs. “would-be-nice-to-haves”.  Styleberry’s Baby List is a fabulous resource and a great starting point for this.  Thanks, Shawna!
  • Make your lists.  Organize them however you see fit.  For example, I’ve got a list of DIY projects that I’d like to complete for our little one (sewing slipcovers for her cradle bumpers, making some pretty little receiving blankets and burp cloths, and creating a few art prints).  I also have a list of must-dos such as installing the new car seat and rearranging our bedroom to accommodate a cradle and nursing chair.  I use my Things app  on my desktop for various projects, errands and lots more (see my own Things screenshot below) and then I sync them all to my iPhone.  This way, I always have my tasks and shopping lists handy when I’m out and about!  And if I assign a project or task a particular due date, I’ll also get a little reminder on my phone that it’s still unfinished.  Keeps me on my toes.  And I LOVE the thrill of checking things off my lists!
  • Register for what you don’t have.  Yes, register, even if you’re not having a baby shower.  Even if you don’t share it with anyone.  You see, if you don’t get everything purchased by your baby’s due date (or even during your last months of pregnancy), often you’ll receive a “registry-completion discount” for items you wait to buy at the last minute.  Amazon is a great place to register, as well as the more commonly known baby stores and boutiques.
  • Shop around online.  Grab coupon codes when you can, utilize price matching and free shipping.  It does your cankles no good to tromp around big box stores for hours on end.  Do your circulatory system a favor and order what you can from your laptop… while your feet are up!

  • Buy this book: Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.  It’s filled with cleaning and simplifying tips, and really gets you in the mood to start clearing the clutter away.  It’s an invaluable resource that I’ve relied on several times, and Tsh does not disappoint!  She even includes lists and charts to get you started.  Love. That.
  • Gather your cleaning supplies.  Delegate, spread out your job over a month’s time, or just hire the deep cleaning done if your budget allows.
  • Start from scratch.  Empty the baby’s room as best you can.  Take it all out, clean the walls, baseboards, floors, etc. then put back only what you love and what will work for your family during this time.
  • Get rid of the rest.  Sell it.  Give it away.  Just get rid of that clutter.  You won’t miss it, I promise.  Host a garage sale, drop off your donations to your favorite charities, or give your goodies to friends.  Karma is a wonderful thing.
  • Paint.  If you decide to paint your baby’s room, please use no-VOC or low-VOC paint whenever possible.  Always open windows and doors, and use a fan if you have one.  Or… maybe you can just get Daddy to do it for you.  :)
  • Enlist help!  You can’t do this alone, you shouldn’t do it alone, and you’re gonna be too tired to do it alone.  I flew my extremely organized sister down a couple of months ago to help me paint, rearrange and organize my house.  She got a fun trip to the beach… I got an organized house.  Win-win!
  • Organize what’s left.  Like goes with like.  Hang up what you can if you have the closet space, but fold those everyday onesies and keep them within reach at the changing table.  Use closet-organizing systems to make the most of your storage.  Use pretty baskets or bins to contain all those tiny things.  Plan your area as if you were planning your kitchen… create zones and make it efficient!  You’re going to be spending a lot of time in there, and you want those middle-of-the-night diaper changes to be as seamless as possible on two hours’ worth of sleep. nursery organizationvia Pinterest
  • Now, add some fun / pretty stuff.  Okay, so it doesn’t have to be 100% utilitarian in your little one’s space.  You want it to be beautiful, comfortable, cozy, and relaxing (or stimulating) in your baby’s room.  Browse Pinterest for ideas, and add unique touches that personalize your baby’s first views of her little world.
via Pinterest
  • Schedule it.  I utilize Apple’s iCal for prenatal appointments, shopping trips, projects and responsibilities (or you could use Google Calendar if you like).  I can color-code my different roles and responsibilities to make things easier to remember.  For instance, my photography business appointments are green, TCM is aqua, prenatal appointments are pink, kids’ activities are purple, school events are orange, etc.  Share a specific calendar with your husband or business partner if you like.  Sync them all to your phone.  You can even set alerts and alarms on your desktop and phone, so you won’t forget an appointment.  An organized mama = a happier mama!
  • Get your family on board.  If you already have little ones at home, their lives are going to change soon, and irreversibly so.  You’re going to want need your household to run smoothly for you while you all adjust to having a newborn in the house.  A few months ago I downloaded Kelli France’s BonjOrganization Guide, and put my kids on her Worst First Routine.  It’s been such a life-saver for us, and I don’t have to nag anymore to get my kids to help out.  My three-year-old can pull up her own blanket and put her dolls back on the bed, and help me set the table.  My seven-year-old feeds his various pets, makes his own bed, and other age-appropriate chores.  Even Daddy and I have our short lists to check off every morning.  The best part is that you’ll likely feel more peaceful and more settled if you can come home to a clean and tidy house every evening.  And peace is more than necessary during pregnancy, if you ask me.
  • Think functional, then beautiful.  If it’s pretty… but not useful, then it’s just clutter.  Out it must go.  Be ruthless.
  • Don’t do too much on your own.  Most importantly, remember that you’re growing a little life within you… you need to take lots of breaks and split up your nesting projects over time.  You’re a wonderful, amazing mama, not Superwoman.  No one expects you to do it all, except you.  Let that go.
Now, pour yourself a cup of red raspberry leaf tea, take a prenatal vitamin and put your feet up… and admire your beautiful nest.

About Stacey Woods

Stacey Woods is an on-location, natural light lifestyle photographer for the Tampa Bay, FL area. Her favorite subjects are expecting mamas, the tiniest of babies, and children of all ages. She believes that the small moments are really the biggest ones, that photographs are legacies that we leave to our children, and that authentic love is beautiful. Her online photo journal can be found here.

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  • Shawna Percival

    thanks for the link love, girly! Catching up on my RSS! 😉

  • Trude Ellingsen

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips – that gift registry idea is brilliant! :) And I’ll have to check out that book. If you have a World Market near you, I’d suggest signing up for their rewards program. It’s like Sephora or Albertsons – doesn’t cost anything, but they send you 10% off coupons constantly.