Who wants to bring a needy newborn home to a clutter filled unorganized home? I bet your nesting instincts are screaming otherwise. Since I’ve been there 4 times, here is what worked and what didn’t.
First, have a
Clear goal in mind
This seems simple, declutter, clean home, pretty straightforward right? Well you need to have in mind what exactly needs to be done so you can work in that order. For example while nesting with my 4th child, I was so concerned with cleaning and organizing my master bathroom that the bottom of the sink was spotless and organized for all my postpartum needs but what I failed to remember was that the infant car seat carrier needed a good wash before we installed it. Granted it wasn’t brand new and he was using his sister’s but still, think about all the steps you will be taking in getting the baby home and what those first few days will be like. If you are unsure, check out this post:
First days with newborn to get an overview of what that might look like
After you have cleared through you pregnancy brain and are ready to move on the next step is crucial into having a clean organized home.
When in doubt, throw it away. Start with categories not necessarily rooms.
Clothing goes first. If it doesn’t fit, has stains or rips, outdated, out of style, or doesn’t serve you get rid of it. Start with all your shirts, all your pants, all jackets and so on.
Books, purses, shoes
Next move to linens, (keep an extra sheet on hand for the postpartum period) but old towels, ripped pillowcases get rid of it all. Old throws for the couch, if you haven’t used it you aren’t going to.
Papers, files etc. save your tax return to your computer and back it up then shred the rest, get rid of old statements, old paid bills, papers you don’t need get rid of when you go to organize and file the rest there should be super easy and clear system. Which I will elaborate on in the organize step.
Then all miscellaneous items, medicines, notebooks, home décor, kitchen appliances, old DVDs when we downsized from our townhome to a single family home, we threw away an entire back of DVDs and never missed them ever. With streaming and Netflix and Amazon who needs a bunch of movies taking up space? Do these items all at once, if you have notebooks in your bedroom and home office, get them all in one spot and go through them together, then decide where they will live , in one spot not scattered.
Lastly, do your pictures, old notes, gifts, memory items these will be the hardest but think about each one and do you really want to keep it? Ask yourself why?
Ok this may sound just like discard but it’s different. You have decided what to discard which may be the longest step in this process but have you actually done it? Do you have a pile for goodwill? A few big items for a dumpster or bulk pick up? Take care of it now and don’t move on until you do. The last thing you want is that bag of clothes sitting in your car or by the doorway.
When in doubt throw it out!
If you ever do need a vegetable spiraler, you can always go out and purchase a new one when you are actually ready to use it instead of it taking up space cluttering your home. All the “someday” items get rid of. If you haven’t done it yet, chances are your really don’t want to and then you can focus your energy on what you really do want.
Point here: get rid of it clean open space is going to bring you much more peace than a punching bag you haven’t used in this decade.
*tip if you are planning on having another baby and getting pregnant again, I urge you not to pack away your maternity items and store them. Keep them hung or folded incorporated with your regular clothing. This is good for a few reasons one is that you can end up forgetting about them if you store them. Two is you may realize you do have enough to carry you through your next pregnancy and decide against purchasing unnecessary items you are going to end up discarding anyway.
Have you decided where all your items belong? It should be much simpler now if you have truly gotten rid of all that does not serve you. Have a designated spot or area for all you medications, all you shirts, all your shoes. Start with your personal items, then move to spouse after they have properly discarded then children.
Everything should have a spot, this way cleaning up when baby is home, will be much smoother and take less time than if you have 3 different spots for books, shoes etc.
Records/ files: after you have thrown away all your old papers you should have simple filing system. You should have a vertical folder for papers you will need in the near future 30-45 days.
The next should be forever or long term items, homeowner’s deed or birth certificates.
You can sub categorize these if you must but make sure they are vertical.
If you are a busy mom with 2 or more children in school and are drowning in papers from school, have a small bin that you can put away in a cabinet or closet with papers from school that you can’t quite organize at the time being. This been can be filled no longer than a week. Before it hits the bin, write down all important dates on your calendar before you forget it you don’t need any other information from the flyer then discard it if you do, take a photo and discard the paper. This way when the 15th of February rolls around and your child’s president’s day project is do you have it on your calendars and the details in your phone so you aren’t sifting through papers. If you papers and projects are sitting in this bin longer than a week you will need to address it every day when your kids come home.
Household binder. I urge you to have one of these. This will help reduce clutter around the house, on your fridge etc. You can print mine here if you want or just organize you bills and papers so you can have them at a glance ready. School phone number, teachers email, class list of names, your kids schedule, your husbands schedule, your calendar, stamps, a few envelopes make this neat and clear.
Bills can be in the same binder if you would like it should be
bills to pay due/date/balance
open/pending bills (paid)
check/call/verify. (if you are ever unsure if a bill is already paid, call sometimes company’s mess up too its ALWAYS worth the phone call to look for errors.)
These should remain in binder now longer than 3-4 weeks. Once paid and cleared in your bank discard.
*tip when organizing your clothes, they should be in your drawer folded and lined up like this,( only laying the other way) this way you can see everything at a glance.
This is one of my favorite tips I’ve learned from the book that inspired this post, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about decluttering their home and having a neat and tidy home. Do it now before life gets a little crazy with a baby.
I am in process of doing this with my household, it takes a while to discard, especially if you have a big family but once you start seeing results, you will never go back to a cluttered home again. The first time I saw all my kids clothes organized in a drawer that looked like a professional came in and put their things away I was hooked.
Just enforce at all times, even with yourself, to put it away even if you feel like using it again later, then retrieve it from that designated spot that’s where it belongs!
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Hi There! I'm Jamie. Mother of 4 Beautiful Babies I love to help Pregnant Women & New Moms.
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