Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nursery progress: Storage solutions

Although our nursery space is rather small (9 feet by 10 feet) we're fortunate that it contains a really nice sized closet that came to us already containing adequate shelving. With the majority of the baby-gear purchasing over, it was time to figure out how to maximize the space. In addition to the closet, we also have storage in the bookcase and in the dresser/changing table Matt refinished.

So I decided, as I'm guessing most soon-to-be-parents do, that the dresser would house her diapering supplies and most of her clothing (with space for even more cute items to hang in the closet), and the closet would contain her bedding and similar supplies. During my trip to The Container Store a few weeks ago I used more of the gift card my students had given me last year to get several bins that would work in both the closet and the dresser.

Specifically, I found these inexpensive canvas bins in three different sizes and settled on one large bin ($11.99), two medium-sized bins ($9.99 each) and two small bins ($7.99 each). It took me a while to convince myself this was the route to go. I kept thinking I could/should go with a cuter option, or a set of wicker baskets, or something along those lines. But as I perused the store I kept coming back to the plain canvas bins. Then it finally struck me: I could decorate them. I don't know why it took me so long to figure that one out.

At first I was going to use the leftover material from the curtains, but the pattern proved too large for the size of the bins (plus I have other ideas for that material). Then when getting some more hem tape at Jo-Ann Fabrics I happened upon some iron-on decals that fit the nursery's look quite well (and one is even a bird, which fits my whole inadvertently-having-lots-of-birds-in-the-nursery motif). These also meet my requirement for decor that does not necessitate sewing. Sold. The time between arriving home with the decals and applying them to the bins was just under an hour. I also used one piece of orange scrapbook paper and my label maker to create some simple labels for the bins -- which thankfully come with built-in label space.

The big bin contains the handmade quilts and blankets Baby Awesomerod is inheriting from my own babyhood.

The two medium bins are for smaller blankets, bedding, changing pad covers and the like.

The two smaller bins, which look strikingly similar to the two medium-sized bins pictured above, contain burp cloths, bibs, and towels and washcloths.

We also have a sixth storage basket in our closet, one that came filled with books at my shower last month, and now it houses Swaddle Me wraps and Halo and Aden + Anais sleep sacks.

Inside the dresser/changing table I added a couple other inexpensive storage bins, as I discovered that not only are babies small, but so is their stuff, and it needs to be contained. I got this narrow eco-stripe drawer organizer ($7.99) for various toiletries and health items that would be useful to have on hand in the nursery (in the middle of the night? Most likely...)

and this small square eco-stripe drawer organizer ($4.99) is perfect for her adorable little collection of socks. So painfully cute.

On the cuteness scale, though, perhaps I spoke too soon. I used a small wooden bin that a Johnson and Johnson baby gift set came in to contain all her hats. If there's anything cuter in the world than baby socks it is undoubtedly baby hats. Bonus points for a winter baby who gets to wear adorable knit hats with bunny ears. Too much.

Finally, two shelves of the bookcase currently house two red baskets I picked up over the summer at Home Goods ($12.99 each). For now one is home to all her toys (she has an appropriate amount of toys for a newborn, which would be not that seems sufficient). The other is home to miscellaneous items that needed to be corralled, including extra baby wipes, pacifiers I've picked up for free from various mom-to-be giveaways (still on the fence about pacifiers...we'll see how it goes) and items like our Bum Genius cloth diaper sprayer that we'll get around to installing in our guest bathroom upstairs when it's time to start cloth diapering (we don't plan to use the cloth diapers in the very beginning, mostly because everyone we know who has used them says they'll be too small for a newborn).

Of course, as with all things organizational, I imagine this nursery storage strategy will evolve over time as we figure out what works and what doesn't and what our specific baby needs the most.

What nursery storage hints have you discovered work for you?


  1. One item that I repurposed for baby things is a hanging jewelry organizer that I never got around to using. Instead of necklaces and earrings, I use it for baby socks, tights, hairbands and bows. The larger pockets can be used for little slippers or even newborn/infant shoes.