By Pooja N. Gugnani
While there are many articles offering tips on organizing your baby’s room/toddler’s room/ kid’s room, it usually involves an investment in one more or more organizing products. But how about some tips on using what we already have? Raising a child can get expensive, so here are some tips on how you can achieve the same goals of space maximization and decluttering just by getting a little creative.
Give your furniture multiple uses. For example, you can use your dresser as a changer by using the drawers to store your diapers, wipes, lotions, burp cloths etc., and use the top as a changer by placing a changing table pad on it. The same dresser can then be used when your baby is older to store clothes, blankets, socks etc. If you want, paint the dresser you already own in a fun color and make it look baby pretty! Cost Savings: A basic three drawer changing table and dresser costs about $250.00 while a changing pad won’t cost more than $50.00. You save $200.00!
Even babies and young kids have seasonal wardrobes. You can re-use the same storage tub with two seasons- for example- label one side ‘winter clothes’ and the other ‘summer clothes.’ In the summer, store your winter clothes in it and have the winter label facing forward, and reverse in the winter. This way you don’t have to make room for four different bins. You can apply the same storing concept to other things as well. Cost Savings: The average cost for a transparent, plastic storage bin at Walmart or Target is $15.00 and you would need two. A baby armoire or a small cupboard to fit all the seasonal clothes will cost at least $300.00. You save $240.00!
Laundry baskets are a great way to store toys. Use your old laundry baskets to store different types of toys such as stuffed toys, cars, blocks etc. Train your toddler to be organized at an early age and make it easy for him/her by attaching a picture of the type of toy on the front of each laundry basket. Children are quick learners and with a little visual help they can do wonders, teach your child about minimalism now! Cost savings: A simple nine bin storage toy rack at Target costs $35.00 vs. the mesh laundry baskets which start at $5.00 a piece. If you buy 2-3 baskets you still save $20.00 & if you re-use existing baskets you spend $0.00!
Your tiny tots’ belongings hardly take up space. Use your over the door hanging shoe bag to store shoes, socks and other small items. This is a great way to compartmentalize and fit a lot of items in one area. Cost Savings: A small, basic dresser at Babies “R” Us is $400.00, while even a fancy canvas shoe bag with hooks from Crate And Barrel is $23.00. You save $377.00, not to mention the unused dresser/armoire space you gain as a result!
Babies are tiny but their budget not so much! So plan efficiently and only buy what you need. Try to reuse as much as possible and if you know you want to have more kids, plan their nursery/room by keeping your long term plans in mind!
Pooja Gugnani is a Professional Organizer and Founder of Organizing With You, Inc. (www.organizingwithyou.com). You can contact Pooja at (312) 282-8280