Let’s give you some organization ideas for baby’s things. One of my fondest memories of having a new baby was finding a great way to store their things (and enjoying all those cute little things). It really isn’t going to take much time, so let’s organize the baby’s closet & the things you’ll need for your newborn.
Hi, I’m Hilary — a lot of people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse — I’ve been an RN since 1997 with 20 years of L&D experience — but I have also run this site since 2005 and I have a whole Organization Course. Basically, I’m an expert in babies AND organization, so I can’t wait to share with you my best tips for your new baby.
If you’re looking to get prepared for your BIRTH (beyond the nursery) I can’t wait to help you out in my Online Prenatal Class for Couples. I can help you create your confident birth in just a few hours of time (that you can easily shove into your busy schedule). You can EVEN watch it WHILE folding baby clothes!
BUT, if you feel like you already have a handle on your birth, and more worried about your house — check out my organization Course — The Organized Home. Join for just a month or two and leave when you’re ready, or sign up for a whole year to get your house baby (and Toddler) ready!
4 Truths about Baby Clothes
- Baby Clothes do not take much space (ESPECIALLY compared to adult clothes). I know you think you need a closet in your baby’s room, but you can shove SO many tiny clothes into a full closet, I often used the other half for other things, like food storage. 🙂
- The best way to store baby clothes is a way that works for you. If you like to fold, fold — but if you prefer to use hangers or just toss them in a bin — do that!
- They will grow out of them like little weeds. It was always important that I had a few things in the next size up because one day you’ll turn around and suddenly that sleeper won’t fit, when last week it seemed way too big. I don’t know how they do it — but they do!
- They are amazing. Like I said above, there’s just something about all those tiny sweaters, and shoes! Ugh, they are just SO. DARN. CUTE! I found when I was anxious about my birth and life after baby — the clothes often calmed me. Of course, so did a class. 😉
Baby’s Closet Organization Tips:
Keep in mind that it really does NOT take much storage space for baby’s clothing, and feel free to use the extra space for other things you need (aka, adult clothes).
Let me share some of my best baby closet ideas:
There are LOTS of ways to organize a baby’s closet. We’re going to talk about some of the ways you can organize it to suit you, and your organizing needs (see #2 above)
Sometimes I found that the closet space was BEST used by putting drawers into it. You can do this in a variety of ways. With my first, I just used cheap plastic drawers, because that’s what we could afford.
You could put an actual dresser into the closet (did that with baby #3) or you can also install something like this (or Elfa at the Container Store) that screws into the closet and can be moved as baby grows up — a great option if you’re already in a home you plan to stay in. I have enjoyed using an expandable closet organizer because we can use it differently as kids grow up.
Many of these allow you to move and adjust closet shelves.
My friend Melissa has a great post about kids closet organization (and that will show you ways you can adjust it as they grow).
Storage bins are an important part of any baby organization. Using plastic bins allows you to find specific items that you need at THAT time. Aka, pacifiers. I also used bins within our dressers because the items are so small (think baby socks) they do NOT corral themselves.
Remember, while you can TOTALLY go out and buy bins, you can also use other things. I used lots of diaper or wipe boxes to help organize our nursery in an economical way! I often found Amazon boxes organized GREAT inside the dresser drawers (because they were low-profile).
As a note, I don’t find wire baskets (and sometimes not even other storage baskets if they have wide holes) work as well in the nursery. Especially in the beginning, small pieces fall through the cracks (unless the spaces are REALLY small). You could line those type of baskets with something.
Make sure that if you pick out bins you pick the right size. And be aware you may have to change out those smaller bins as baby gets older (that’s why the dollar store is a good option too).
Your closet rod can hold SO many items, but you have to be aware that you’ll have to re-put all those items back on tiny little hangers, which can be annoying. Personally, I preferred to use the closet rod for upcoming sizes of baby clothing (since often they came on hangers anyway).
Using closet dividers can be SO handy so that you know which size is which and you can find specific items or specific sizes as needed. It also gives you a very visual way to see how many clothes you have in the coming sizes and if you need to buy anything on your next trip to the store.
Tips for a Small nursery closet
Do NOT be concerned if you only have a small space for baby’s clothes. In fact, many people have baby room in and baby doesn’t have their own room for the first few months — which is totally fine (and baby is recommended to room in the first 6 months or so as a SIDS prevention).
You can still take these tips to heart:
- Use a bit of your rod to hang up new clothes
- Use bins to sort baby clothes so you can quickly grab what you need.
- Put items under the bassinet or wherever baby sleeps.
- Buy in a minimalist way. No reason to have a lot!
The closet door can be SUPER helpful!
If you have a door that opens (vs slides) you can use that door for a LOT of things. I totally recommend getting a hanging shoe organizer — but wait, you’re not going to use it for shoes!
Little girls and boys somehow have ALL these accessories (think hats, headbands or binky clips) that can easily be put into an pocket. Bonus points for labeling so everyone knows where to grab (or put back) what they need.
You can also put baby care items in there, like baby wash, washcloths, baby lotion, wipes and more. Everyone will know where they are, and can easily grab it. If you plan to put larger items, like these, into the organizer — make sure you get a sturdy one, as some aren’t reinforced well and could break.
Socks and shoes are a great thing to store in here (and yes, you can get several pair in one shoe spot). Again, each spot acts like a small bin that can be easily accessed.
Bonus tips for getting a clear one, that way everything is easy to see. Downside is that it does show dirt/dust more.
Pro Tip: As your baby grows, and the more you use the room you might have better ideas on how to organize things, so don’t be afraid to to switch and adjust things up as you use the space more! It is likely your initial design won’t be perfect!
The Changing Table
This one is pretty hotly contested in my prenatal class group, but some parents adore theirs (I’m in this group) and some think they’re a complete waste of space.
Personally, I liked how close baby was to me to interact without me having to lay on the floor with them. I also appreciated that blow-outs were on my bed, and I could easily change the cover without soiling my own linens.
However, a changing pad can be placed many places (my mom had one for grandkids at her house). You can place it atop a dresser or in another spot you find convenient. Remember, baby should never be left unattended, and if the spot is above waist height I would recommend making sure it’s anchored to the wall.
I also loved my changing table for ALL THE STORAGE it offered. Because it was also open shelving it was SO easy to grab whatever I needed.
Things to store on the changing table:
- Burp cloths
- Baby wipes
- Diaper cream
- Any hygiene items you’re using
It can hold SO much stuff, and make sure to use boxes or bins to corral the little things so baby things are not spilling out.
I was a BIG fan of having overstock of the things we needed. An un-planned trip to the store with the baby was very stressful to me, so I kept extra diapers, wipes, and more around. The changing table was a great place to store it, but I also used:
- Top shelf of the closet
- Under the crib (I found some rolling bins that fit perfectly under there that were SO handy)
- Bottom of the Closet
Made it really easy to get to and have the things I needed.
Organization Things to Ask for at Your Baby Shower
While baby showers are GREAT, I feel like organization things might be best picked out by you, as you will know your specific needs. Ask for other baby gear for your shower, and I think you’ll find you have less to return.
Baby Laundry Room Tips
Having a baby brings a lot of small items into your laundry room.
While I always just washed baby’s clothes with mine (I just used a non-scented detergent for all of us — no reason to go buy Dreft, unless you prefer it) — it can help to have some small lingerie bags that hold things like onesies or babies socks so that you’re not finding them in your pant leg or somehow losing all of them.
Remember, the best part about organizing your baby closet, and the nursery is dreaming about how great things are going to be — some quality time together. All those tiny items are going to grow on a human who can change the world! Be sure to check out my post on what to do before you go to the hospital.
Alright, now that we have organization pretty-well in hand, come join me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples or The Organized Home so I can help you get entirely prepared! Can’t wait to see you inside!