If you're organizing a nursery for the first time, chances are you might be overwhelmed by the massive number of storage and organizing options on the market. You may feel the urge to collect everything under the sun to finish your baby's nursery, but you'd be surprised to find out how little you may actually need.
To help set new and expecting parents in the right direction, we corralled a few smart tips from one of the Big Apple's best organizing experts, Amelia Meena of Appleshine. Her favorite piece of advice? Start with the basics!
8 ideas for prepping your nursery from an organization expert
1. Focus on the basics
Like most first-time parents, it might be difficult to know what you need beyond a crib and changing station. Meena's advice? "Ask a friend or crowd source the moms you know for recommendations on what the must-haves are versus those items that everyone raves about but really aren't worth the hype at all." Case in point: newborns will be just fine if you don't get a warmer for the baby wipes.
2. Start simple
Think about the most important elements of your nursery and start visualizing the space you want. Do you need room for a rocking chair? How will the baby's clothes be stored? Before you get into the designer side of things, like which throw rugs will go underfoot or which mobile will go with your design, start with what's truly important and expand from there. To prevent clutter, Meena recommends going minimal with the look and feel. "You can always add more later," she notes.
3. Try two-in-one furniture
If you're tight on space, multi-functional furniture is key in small spaces! Consider consolidating the changing table and a dresser into one unit. Simply outfit a dresser with a changing pad on top (make sure the pad is strapped down and the dresser is anchored to the wall) and don't forget to get a dresser with extra-large drawers for all of baby's things.
4. Stay to the right (or left!)
You may not think of this right away, but it makes total sense. Keep diaper and changing items to the side of your dominant hand. If you're right-handed, keep your wipes and diaper pail to the right. When it comes to grabbing what you need, they'll never be out of reach. Easy accessibility is just as important as organization.
5. Control drawer clutter
Here's the thing about kids: they have a lot of stuff and all of it is small. To keep drawers full of tiny socks, onesies and more, separate things out in clear storage bins, like these.
6. Sort ahead
One great tip Meena swears by: sort clothes by size ahead of time. "Categorize drawers by size," she says. "Do this ahead of time, and you'll be prepared for when baby hits a growth spurt." To make it even easier, label the drawers with easy-to-remove labels or even painter's tape.
7. Avoid excess around the crib
There are thousands of Pinterest pins that display mobiles, artwork, even chandeliers and sculptures hanging above cribs. Meena advises to avoid the trend. "Artwork, nails, mobiles... all of these can be hazards to a child if they fall into a crib. Save yourself the worry and just don't put anything around the crib that's unnecessary. This will cut down on the room feeling cluttered as well."
8. Simplify even more
If your space is really very small, don't hesitate to skip the changing table altogether and stick with a portable changing pad, like this, to get the job done. Meena says these are handy and fold up for easy portability.