How to Organize Baby Shower Gifts
By Sarah Buckwalter
Guest Blogger for Boston NAPS
If you’re expecting a baby soon then there may be a baby shower in your near future. People love to buy baby gifts, all of those cute little outfits and accessories. But, what your friends and family might not be thinking about, is where you’re going to put all that stuff! Lucky for you, Organizing Boston is here to help guide you through the home and nursery organizing process to make room for all your baby shower gifts.
Early Baby Shower
An early baby shower is usually held two months or more before your due date. This should give you plenty of time to get your home in order and ready for the arrival of your little one. If your baby’s nursery is not set up yet and you don’t have furniture items, then you might want to start tackling other areas in your home to store baby shower gifts. A lot of Baby gear is big and bulky. Items such as strollers, high chairs, pack ‘n plays, tubs, and boxes of diapers take up a lot of space. It’s important to identify where these items will go in your home before your baby shower and come up with a plan for storing large items.
Your kitchen and closets are the main areas in your home that you’ll want to declutter in order to make room for baby shower gifts. Freeing up space on your kitchen counter is a must if you’ll be using a drying rack for bottles, plates, spoons, sippy cups, etc. Cabinets and drawers can be used for storing bibs and feeding utensils. Kitchen pantries are great for storing bulky items like boxes of diapers, baby formula, and jars of baby food. You will want to make space in closets for the clothes your baby will grow into. If you don’t have a ton of closet space, use bins or baskets to store clothes that you won’t be using right away. If you have a garage or basement, then most of these items can be stored out of sight and stay in boxes until they are ready to be assembled.
Tip: Create a space for memorabilia gifts such as photo books, keepsakes, Knitted items, jewelry, silver, etc.
Late Baby Shower
Congratulations! Your baby’s nursery furniture has arrived and you’re ready to start putting away all those adorable baby shower gifts, but before you do you’ll want to make sure to remove tags on clothing and wash all items before neatly folding and putting them away. This includes clothes, blankets, bibs, bedding, and some stuffed toys. We recommend using Dreft- hypoallergenic, baby detergent products. For nursery closet organizing, we recommend kid-sized Huggable Hangers from the Container Store.
Late baby showers are usually held 4 – 6 weeks before your due date. Creating an inventory list is very helpful to determine what items you have and what items you still need before your little one arrives. Don’t wait until you get home from the hospital (you’ll be exhausted!) to get these baby essentials. Make it easy for yourself and have a plan in place for everything. Store items within easy reach, like keeping snap on onesies and socks in drawers or baskets under the changing table.
Tip: After you’ve assembled furniture and other items get rid of the boxes immediately. Boxes can be broken down and recycled or donated. This will help you reduce clutter in your home.
Managing Hand-me-downs and Unwanted Items
Be prepared to receive hand-me-down items from family members and friends and politely say, “thank you, but no thank you” ahead of time. This will save you from an overflow of baby items that you don’t need or want. For items that you’ll be keeping, create an organizing system by labeling bins and baskets by category and size.
If you receive a baby shower gift that you didn’t request on your registry and it doesn’t go with you baby’s nursery theme or is something you consider unsafe for a child (ex. An oversized teddy bear), then snap a photo of it in the nursery and donate it or sell it online. Savers, a local thrift superstore, accepts stuffed animal donations and other kids’ toys.
Tip: A great storage solution for a baby’s room is a bookcase or shelving where you can place bins and baskets for baby clothes, baby books, and photo frames. These items will “grow with” your child and can be used for multiple purposes over time. We recommend shelf units and cube storage from Ikea.
Remember, planning is the key. Just like you need to plan for the arrival of your little-one, you need to plan for the arrival of their stuff, too! If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, or are physically not able to tackle this daunting task, we can help. Our organizing services include space planning, furniture assembly, organizing and pretty much anything else you need to get ready for your baby.
About the Author
Sarah Buckwalter is a Certified Professional Organizer® with over 18 years of experience in home, move and office organization. She is the founder of Organizing Boston. Organizing Boston is the largest professional organizing firm in New England and has been awarded Best of Boston Home™, Best Professional Organizer.