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Make Way for Baby: Organize by Personality Type

People have an inkling that babies come with a lot of stuff; veteran parents bemoan it loudly and often. But the one thing rarely discussed — the thing that was an eye opener for most of our clients — is that this onslaught of baby stuff isn't just one big avalanche. It's constant.

It's like snow in Cleveland in January. It never ends and comes in faster than anyone who is lacking a fulltime nanny, an attic and a slew of pre-existing empty bins can manage in those first few years. 

Our organizational advice is almost always custom tailored to our clients' personality types which are either Classic, Fun, Organic or Smart; it's what we do, our niche.

But, most solutions to the basic chaos of new babies are universal because all babies cry, pee, poop, throw-up, coo, drink, grow and (as you will soon discover) generate paperwork.

Recently, I was visiting one of my best friends on the West Coast before she had her first baby. She asked for advice on how to create space in their two bedroom bungalow for the baby.

The office was now the baby's room so they had already shifted office stuff to their bedroom, and the rest of it sauntered out to the living area. There were file cabinets in the bedroom and papers on various surfaces, plus extra furniture throughout. Their experience is well known to most apartment dwellers — or anyone not living in an empty mansion — before the arrival of their first child.

Once I got the lay of the land at her place, I noticed there was no room outside of the nursery for the baby's stuff, which brings me to our first piece of advice.

De-clutter every room so there is space everywhere for the baby and her "luggage". There needs to be open shelves and spaces — purposeful homes — for the baby's things wherever you're going to spend time together. Sometimes this means getting rid of a piece or two of furniture. Yes, you can return all of their belongings to their bedroom or playroom every night or throughout the day but this is exhausting and a waste of limited time and energy.

Now, if the idea of anything kid-like in your living area makes you cringe (you're not alone as ALL types can feel this way at times or all the time ) the trick is finding bins with lids that fit your decor aesthetic. FYI, hiding a bunch of toys behind furniture out of sight is not a permanent solution. If you're a little more relaxed about kids toys mingling with your adult living area, then open bins like Pehr's  work even better — easier to toss things in them. Remember by de-cluttering every room, we mean EVERY room... the guest bath, their bathroom, the kitchen, the garage, your front hall closet, etc. Babies not only have their own clothes, blankets and linens, they also have toiletries, bottles, bottle cleaners, baby food jars, baby snacks, baby plates, cups, sippy cups and a plethora of other sundry items. Make room now and you'll thank yourself later.

As for our super-secret helpful trick, it revolves around babies and paper. Unbeknownst to many, the modern American baby generates more paper than a Soviet era bureaucrat. Before you pack your hospital bag, make sure everybody in the home — including baby — has an inbox of sorts. Depending on the house or your personality type, an inbox of sorts can be hidden or out in the open. The bin should be at least 8"x10" but have the ability to absorb other random sized things like oversize drawings of dinosaurs. These acrylic bins from the Container Store can be universally useful and an absolute gem.

No personality type is immune from the stress caused by the onslaught of baby paraphernalia. Although Classics often get the most overwhelmed by baby chaos strewn about, more laid back Organics go equally crazy tripping over their baby's activity mat every day. Our universal tips should prevent the latter; buy you a small piece of serenity post-baby. But the trick to full nirvana is knowing who you are — your personality type — ahead of time. This way, you'll know how important organization is to you and therefore just how many empty bins to get yourself ahead of time. Take thePixie Personality Quizto find out!

By Kelly & Katie McMenamin, Founders of PixiesDidIt

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