A new baby marks big changes to the family and household. As all new parents can attest to, the bundle of joy will take up the majority of your time and energy. Sure, preparing your environment prior to your baby’s arrival sounds great but trying to get organized can be more than a little overwhelming. Enter Amelia Meena, a professional lifestyle organizer and owner of New York based lifestyle organization company Appleshine. Amelia has put her spatial-design and time management skills to good use and put together a list of nine tips to help you get organized before your baby arrives.
Newborns live a simple life: sleep, eat, poop & repeat. So focus on organizing the Bedroom, Kitchen and Living room.
1) Kitchen: Clear out the servingware, large dishes and other items that are infrequently used. Designate the most accessible spaces (lower drawers, cabinets above the sink and counter space) for storing, cleaning + drying the baby bottles and food containers.
2) Bedroom: Though a baby’s life is simple, they’ll still make no less than 4 outfits changes a day. Their small clothes will get jumbled in a large drawer. Make them easy to find by using cubbies, bins or divided shelves. Labeling the sections will help others know where to put things away or find them in a pinch.
3) Living Room: Keep a large bin or basket beside the couch for all your nursing needs. Store the Boppy, blankets, wipes and Sophie the Giraffe at arm’s length from your favorite resting spot. And pick a sophisticated style that blends with the space- let the kids’ stuff stay in the kids’ room.
You’ll do everything right for your new baby but what about yourself? Don’t forget to take care of you, too.
4) ‘Me-Time’: Whether it’s running, yoga, meditation or a walk in the park, your body needs (and deserves!) some ‘me-time’. Plan ahead by checking the gym’s daycare center, enlisting the services of a nanny or good friend, or signing onto your favorite YouTube workout channel during naptime. Inquire before you leave for the hospital, as it’ll be easy to let it slide once you come back and feel a bit overwhelmed.
5) Food: Most new Moms don’t have time to sit down for a full meal. Plan ahead by buying lots of easy-to-grab snacks like nuts, fruit, tuna fish, yogurt, string cheese and the like. Make a list of items that you (or a helpful friend or partner) can pick up from the grocery and nibble on all week.
6) Outings: The simplest task will become mission impossible with a new baby. Streamline outings by keeping all your go-to items in an obvious spot, close to the front door. Plan ahead of time by creating a nook for the stroller, diaper bag, a bin of last minute items and, most importantly, a designated spot for your keys.
It takes a village…so starting building one now. Have a rolodex of friends and family to lean on.
7) Workplace: Arrange your maternity leave and be clear on what timeframe and expectations that entails. Ask your co-workers if they’d be willing to help in anyway and know whom you can go to during your time away from the office.
8) Childcare: Decide what type of childcare you’ll want and when you’ll want it. A baby nurse, a nanny, your mother or in-laws- whoever it will be, be clear about your needs, compensation and timing.
9) Partner & Close Friends: It may be your spouse, partner, best friend or family member that’ll be your support in this exciting new step. Let them be there for you. You don’t have to do this alone. In the end, trust your heart and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Amelia Meena is owner of the NYC-based company Appleshine, Lifestyle Organization. As a professional organizer for a range of clients including Fortune 500 managers, lawyers, investment bankers, artists and stay at home moms, she helps people clear clutter and establish efficiency and order in their homes and their lives. Check out Appleshine for more organization tips, videos and even some ideas on how to responsible reuse or recycle your unwanted items.