I’m really fascinated with the new minimalist/tiny house movement and I aspire to be more like these brave folks who take the plunge to live in 250 square feet (although I’m not sure I could ever actually take it that far). When we got married, my husband and I bought an adorable little Craftsman home with an open floor plan. I absolutely love the open floorpan, and paired with high ceilings it makes the tiny space feel so much bigger. The only problem is that when your whole first floor feels like one big room, there is no hiding the inevitable clutter that comes with having a new baby. These tiny humans sure leave a huge footprint! For that reason, I am always looking for clever ways to organize and declutter my home, particularly in the area of space saving baby hacks. I’ve developed a few strategies to keep baby clutter to a minimum and keep my house from looking like the babypocalypse. These five little hacks go a long way in a small living space:
Baby bath time is one of my favorite things to do with my new little peanut. It’s actually one of the things I most looked forward to while I was pregnant… is that weird? When I was creating my baby registry, I actually decided I wanted one of those big gonky plastic baby tubs because I figured it’d be the most versatile. That is until I got it home and realized that there was actually nowhere to put it in my teeny tiny little bathroom.
Enter folding baby tub. There are a few on the market, but the one I fell in love with is *drumroll*….. the Puj tub. It’s probably the cutest coolest baby gadget we own, and I’m still totally fascinated with the design (easily amused). This thing is made of styrofoam so it’s super lightweight, and it stores flat so we set it right next to the bathroom sink and you wouldn’t even know it’s there! Plus even if you did, it’s not an eyesore so it doesn’t matter. I’ve also heard great things about the Stokke Flexi Bath that would probably work better as baby gets a little bigger. Both adorable with a teeny tiny footprint for teeny tiny spaces 🙂
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard for living in a small space is to “GO VERTICAL”. This goes for decorating as well as for storage. One of the best ways to “go vertical” is to use pretty shelves for style and function. We have floating shelves in almost every room of my tiny house. Above the computer in the office to hold books and pretty file boxes, above the toilet in the bathroom to hold towels and rattan toilet paper baskets, and of course lovely candles. I translated this small space hack to the baby’s room and it resulted in the sweetest little clutter-free nook. The shelves in our nursery contain books, picture frames, decorative knick knacks and pretty baskets filled with all of the tiny baby things that I want out of sight (you can find mine here). I LOVE incognito storage disguised as stylish decor.
I picked my stroller because I don’t want to buy another one… EVER if I can avoid it. I hate having an abundance of stuff, so I’d rather spend the extra money and get a higher quality multi-purpose stroller that will last. I wanted one durable stroller that grows with the baby, one that I can use on the slushy sidewalks of Buffalo in the winter time, take grocery shopping, clip a car seat in, and even add another seat when more babies come. Most people I know with babies have like 3+ strollers. Ain’t nobody got ROOM for that.
If you’re looking to cut back on baby products, long term and in the immediate future, I would TOTALLY recommend a durable full-size stroller with an optional travel system that converts to a double if you plan on having more babies. That’s a tall order. Thankfully, in my quest to land the perfect stroller, I found a couple that have it all. My two favorite are the Uppababy Vista and the Baby Jogger City Select. We went with the City Select because it was a little bit more reasonable (the City Select runs about $550-$700 for the double and the Vista about $850-900) and the Vista comes with a bassinet attachment that I didn’t plan to use (and one more thing I’d need to find room for). Both strollers are a little on the pricey side, BUT I truly believe it’s money well spent and it will save me the hassle and money in the future. Actually, the woman who helped us at Buy Buy Baby said that a lot of people will spend $300 on a lower quality stroller, destroy it in six months, then come back to buy the City Select. I’m not big on throwing good money after bad, so my motto is “buy it right the first time”. I’m six months in and my City Select has been through a Buffalo winter and still looks brand new. I absolutely love it and I can’t wait to try it as a double!
There are about a zillion swings, rockers, bouncy seats, etc. out there on the market today. When I was making my baby registry, I consulted some of my mama friends to see what they’d recommend as far as baby seats. I found that everyone had a different “must-have” that their baby favored and most people had multiple items that would just clutter their house and sit there unused. Because I am allergic to clutter, I decided that I would pick two items and pray that my baby would take a liking to both of them… and lucky for me, she did (I also have a theory that babies will grow to like what they’re accustomed to).
There are many many multi-use products out there, but the two we chose were the 4Moms Mamaroo, and the Fisher Price Rock ’n Play. Between the two you have a swing, a bouncer, and rocker and a bassinet. Unlike most baby swings, the Mamaroo has a small footprint and it’s not a big gaudy eye sore. It has five speeds and five motions, so you’re bound to find a combination that your baby loves! The Rock n’ Play is awesome because it’s cozy and snug for baby, the rocking motion is soothing (and different from what the Mamaroo has to offer), and it’s lightweight and portable so you can move it around the house and take it with you on-the-go. When you’re not using it, it folds flat so you can tuck it away. It can also be used as a bassinet in the early months of baby’s life. Everything you need in two awesome gadgets!
This is one of my favorites. I have a habit of looking for opportunities to cut down on the baby gadget footprint, and I found this one to be pretty easy. I do have to say, there are some pretty sweet looking full-size high chairs on the market and I was really tempted to opt for one like the 4Moms or the Bloom Fresco, but my clutter allergy took over and I caved to the Fisher Price Spacesaver… and I’m so glad I did. There are also some pretty awesome folding high chairs that would be great for travel OR as a regular high chair that you can store when not in use (check out the Summer Infant Pop n’ Sit). Either way, if you’re trying to cut down on the baby stuff footprint, space saving high chairs are one of the simplest ways to do it!
No matter the size of your home, it’s always feels good to save space and keep the crazy baby clutter to a minimum. I really hope these help! Thank you so much for reading, and stay tuned for more #momlifemastery from ML! <3 Lexi
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