Let me tell you something... everyone says "babies don't need a lot of things"... but then all of a sudden, your house starts filling up with ALL the baby things... And you think to yourself, "how could something so little, need so many things?! And where are we going to put all of this?!"
"Where are we going to put all of this?" was my biggest question (and concern)... we live in a fairly small house, with no basement or large storage areas, so I knew I would have to get creative with what type of products we bought and how I organized all of James' things.
I started deep diving into Pinterest to try and find all the tips and tricks for organizing small baby items -- and lets just say, there are a lot of ways to do it! Here's a quick breakdown of how I conquered our nursery organization and what (I think) will work best for us.
I knew right away I wanted to use a dresser as the changing table; this would allow us to house a lot of items right underneath where we would be changing him... and just provide more storage than a traditional changing table. The problem you'll run into with drawers and baby things... is that the baby things are so small, they get lost in the large drawers -- this is where these organizers were crucial!
These dividers come with a handful of small cardboard pieces, that I almost mistook as garbage/packing material... but they are actually very important pieces for these organizers! They fit into the dividers to make them more structured -- so don't throw them away!
I ultimately decided not to keep a lot of clothing in the dresser, there is only one drawer that holds simple, plain white onesies and white undershirts... everything else in this dresser is non-clothing related. Here's what each drawer holds in the dresser:
- DRESSER ORGANIZATION -
Diapers, all wipes, hygiene items (ex: nasal aspirator, nail clippers, lotion, hand sanitizer, diaper cream, etc.)
Plain white onesies - newborn and 0-3 month sizes... as well as booties (it'll be winter when James is born!)
Swaddles - muslin swaddles, jersey knit swaddles and velcro swaddles
Waterproof liners, extra changing pad covers and crib sheets! I have the changing pad liners in this drawer and some all purpose liners (for nursing or the loungers) - but not the mattress covers
Burp cloths and bibs! I've been told by multiple moms that you can never have enough burp cloths or bibs... so naturally, I have enough to fill an entire dresser drawer (hah!)
Bath time things and mattress protectors - I have all James' hooded towels and washcloths in this drawer... and this is where the mattress covers are!
Photos of the inside of each drawer - felt this could be a helpful visual! I know that when I was researching how to organize this space, seeing photos of the actual drawers helped me a lot!
LEFT SIDE DRAWERS
(changing supplies + hygiene things)
(plain white onesies, under shirts + booties/socks)
(swaddles - muslin, jersey knit + velcro)
RIGHT SIDE DRAWERS
(waterproof liners, crib sheets + changing pad covers)
(burp cloths + cloth bibs)
(bath towels and wash cloths + lounger/nursing pillow covers)
- CLOSET ORGANIZATION -
If you read our "nursery reveal" post (linked here) - then you know we created an open concept closet and used three base cabinets to create a built-in dresser look. This entire set up provided us with nine extra drawers -- yup, NINE! ...thats a lot of additional storage! I used the same drawer organizers for some of these drawers, but I also purchased another type of divider. These ones are plastic and you can adjust the length. They use tension to snap into place - similar to a tension curtain rod.
Above the cabinets we installed a hanging rod and this is where most of his clothing is stored -- I decided that we could utilize that wide hanging rod and hang most of his clothing. Now, this may change as he gets older, but for the first year I have no doubt this will work perfectly for us.
Below I shared photos of each "top" drawer in the closet -- these are the drawers that (I think) will be utilized the most & probably won't change after he's born. The other, deeper, drawers have some flexibility in what we will end up *actually* storing in them, once James is born.
The only clothes I didn't (or couldn't) hang were his pants - so I utilized one of the cabinet drawers for those. Here's what each cabinet drawer in the closet holds:
Hats! He already has SO MANY hats (and I'm not mad about it!) - baby hats are honestly the cutest... he has snap backs, beanies and knotted ones.
Toys - he doesn't have many toys... personally, I didn't want to have to store a bunch of toys that he won't play with for months - so this drawer just has his water play mat, some high contrast books and some wooden toys.
This drawer currently houses most of my postpartum and breastfeeding necessities... pads, PP undies, disposable nipple pads, etc. I'm sure the contents of this drawer will change as we use the nursery more.
top left drawer
Pants! As I mentioned, pants don't hang well in a closet - so, this drawer is dedicated to all his pants... and right now, it has multiple sizes in it. We'll see if I need to change that as we figure out how many outfit changes he needs a day... but for now, all his (little) pants are in this drawer.
Quilts, Stroller Blankets and Lovies - With his due date in November... we will be enduring some cold weather in those first few months of his life, so he has no shortage of blankets and quilts. This drawer holds all of them!
Extra Diapers & Drawer Dividers - I want this drawer to hold extra diapers and possibly even the next size up in diapers. I currently have the extra drawer dividers stored in here, but I could see those moving shortly after he's born.
top middle drawer
Rattles, Teethers, Stroller Toys + Pacifiers! I used one two of those fabric drawer dividers for this drawer and it holds all of his little rattles, pacifiers, etc. perfectly. I like that they're all in a top drawer, so I can easily grab one (or two) if we're packing the diaper bag or need to distract him during a feeding/diaper change.
"Next Size" Clothing - I only hung up newborn through 3-6 month clothing in the closet... so this drawer has all of his 6-9 or 6-12 month clothes... and I plan to store any "next size up" or larger clothing pieces in this drawer.
Car Seat Covers + Stroller Accessories - I know that once he's born, I will take most of these items out of the drawer and use them on a regular basis... but for now, I like having a place to store them! Once we start using these items on a regular basis, I imagine this drawer storing more diapers or more "next size up" clothing.
top right drawer
- BOOK STORAGE + ORGANIZATION -
The final thing that I wanted organized in the nursery were all his books - he already has a bunch... either hand-me-downs that my mom saved over the years or new ones that were gifted to him. Either way, I wanted a creative way to store them -- and settled on purchasing these wall file organizers.
I liked that the books wouldn't be able to fall out of these easily... especially since I know James will eventually want to pull all the books out (all at once and then read none of them - hah!)
Plus, I loved how the black wire tied into the black metal crib we chose for the room. Nathan attached them to the wall with anchors and screws, and I just LOVE how they turned out.
The other item I purchased, that we are also using for book storage, is the end table next to the glider. I was drawn to this end table because of the storage basket on the bottom... and I don't know if it will always hold books... but for now, it's perfect for his board and crinkle books.
I know there are a lot of ways to "organize" a nursery... and I'm 100% sure things will be tweaked in this room once James is born... but I think it's a great starting point for us, and I know James will be able to grow with this space! Plus, I love that we still have room in a lot of the drawers -- which allow us to make changes or add things as we learn what works for us and what doesn't.
I hope this helps guide you, even in the slightest, when it comes to organizing your little one's space!
Talk soon friends,