The nursery: it’s where you’re going to bond with the newest addition to your family, rocking that little guy or girl to sleep and tending to the tears, fears and stuffed bears that an infant brings into your home.
You’ve spent nine months preparing for this new arrival (and waiting for the day when your baby would sleep somewhere that didn’t involve getting a foot in your spleen). You want to welcome your bundle of joy into your home with the perfect nursery — and, likely, so will many of your friends and family members, and before you know it, your nursery may be packed with more Fisher-Price and Disney gear than Babies Я Us.
We’re here to help! We’ve compiled 11 tips for nursery organization, storage and decoration that will give your baby a pleasant, healthy nursery environment without building a new wing onto your home.
11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Nursery Storage
1. Spice up your shelving
Already stocking up on your favorite children’s books for your baby? Instead of a traditional bookshelf, install a few spice racks on the wall. Since children’s books are very thin, you’ll be able to place a few titles facing forward in each rack.
Not only will this save you the space that bulky bookshelves eat up, but you’ll be able to put your favorite covers on display for an added decorative touch. Try placing the racks towards the floor, so your child can reach them once he or she is mobile.
2. Hang baby shoes.
Undeniably adorable, the shape of baby shoes make them hard to store. Keep the tiny footwear organized and out of the way by dangling baby shoes from a tension rod. Place your tension rod somewhere in the room (the closet is a good place to start) and add curtain clips. Hang your baby’s shoes from each clip, keeping them together. Not only will it keep the shoes safe, but you’ll be able to revel in the cuteness. Such tiny feet!
3. Take advantage of under-the-crib storage.
If you’re short of space, it’s important to take advantage of every available square foot. Use appropriate-sized plastic bins that can fit beneath the crib to hold your extra diapers, wipes, clothes and formula. Are your bins peaking through? Try a crib skirt.
If you want to show off your storage under the crib, stash your supplies in woven baskets or decorative buckets.
4. Sort your baby’s clothes.
Babies grow fast, which means you’re going to have to keep up with their changing wardrobe. Place plastic bins in your dresser or closet, using them to separate clothes by size and type. To keep them conveniently accessible, place the clothes upright, allowing you to see each outfit. This system will allow you to simply rotate out each size as your baby outgrows it and move these items into self storage.
5. Turn your diapers into decor.
News flash: you’re going to go through a lot of diapers. If your changing station lacks diaper storage, along with room for a spare outfit and other necessities, try using a shower caddy. Hang the caddy on the wall within reach (you’ll most likely need to access these items while holding your baby), and fill it with your supplies. Not only will it give you added space, but it will offer out-of-the-way vertical storage. Give the caddy a coat of paint, and voila! Part of your decor.
6. Add a daybed.
If you have the space, add a daybed. Not only will this give you a place to comfortably nurse and fold clothes, but you’ll be able to sleep here when your baby is sick. If you have other children, it’s also a place for them to sit without feeling excluded, but still not in your way.
Whether you’re going for a more affordable option or want to splurge on a more extravagent piece of furniture, a daybed will give you extra sleeping space you’re going to need as a new parent. When making your selection, choose one that can do double duty. A daybed works great in a nursery, but it’ll also make for a nice addition to a converted guest room or office.
7. Keep it simple.
Regardless of your color scheme, the best strategy for decorating your nursery is to go simple and soft.
“You’ll want to introduce a few colors into baby’s room, but experts recommend avoiding painting the walls red because it is the first color a baby sees, and a room with mostly red can be confusing,” Gina Hannah, writer for HGTV, explains. “The best colors for babies to wake up to are shades that are softer, such as blues, greens and pinks, because a baby’s eyes can perceive those colors at about the same time as they develop.”
Consider adding soft accents. Baby blankets, pillows and stuffed animals will make the room look cozy, calming and comfortable.
8. Think ahead.
Like your daybed, you’re going to want to carefully select pieces of furniture that your baby can grow with. Various companies, like Toys Я Us and Kohls, offer products that will convert from a crib to a toddler bed to a twin bed.
Even better? The price for these three-in-one options are comparable with the price of an average crib. This idea will work for changing tables, too. While your primary concern should be safety, keep in mind styles that you can re-use as dressers, shelves or other storage when your baby outgrows the diaper stage.
9. Go mobile.
You live a busy life, which means you’re going to need an efficient system for caring for your baby. Have an extra set of your baby’s necessities ready to go, so you (or someone else) can easily grab them at any time.
“Put a basket on top of a dresser with diapers, wipes, and creams,” Becky Rapinchuk from CleanMama.net says. “When a baby is a newborn, put together a mini-diaper caddy for the living or family room so you don’t need to be going in to the nursery every time a diaper change is needed.”
10. Use low-level toy storage.
Before he or she is even born, your baby is going to start accumulating a toy collection. In order to keep them protected and out of the way (those little things can be be painful to step on!), organize toys in baskets, tubs and bins. By placing these containers on or near the ground, your child will be able to access them when he or she starts walking. Not only will your baby be able to reach them, but you can work together to teach him or her how to put their toys away when they are done.
11. Add a little love.
You and your baby are going to be spending a lot of time in this nursery, so why not make it a place that makes you smile? Add a touch of love with these DIY ideas:
- DIY footprint art: Purchase a blank canvas, and paint it a color to match the room’s decor. At different age intervals (ex. four months, eight months, 16 months etc.), paint your baby’s feet and place their print on the canvas, labeling their age below. Depending on the size of your canvas, you can put multiple ages on each cancas or each print as their own. Not only will these serve as wall decorations for the time being, but you’ll be able to save them or reuse them in a different room when your child has grown.
- Inspire them: Have your favorite literary quote, song lyrics or words of advice printed and framed. Unlike some of your other decorations, this can be one that travels with them through their childhood and even into adulthood. Since they will grow up with this inspirational quote, they will always think of you when they hear it.
- Show off their sonogram photos: Matting their sonogram photos in a nice frame or blowing them up on large canvases is another great way to add personality to your baby’s room. Not only will it act as a decoration, but whenever you look at it, it will remind you of the time you spent together before he or she was born.
No room for your dream nursery?
You’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time — don’t let clutter get in the way.