Baby Clothes Organisation [Needs Pictures]

Am I on a role here with this organising stuff? I think I am, which is a bit unusual for me because although I hate being disorganised, I hate stuff sitting around and not being put away and I like everything to have its own place I am pretty bloody terrible at both organising and tidying.

One of my biggest hates though is disorganised baby clothes. There was a time that I could dress Pippin quickly and efficiently, not any more. She has perfected the rigid as a board toddler pose, and uses it to great effect – particularly when we are in a rush to get out of the house. I do not have the time to be running around looking for a vest.

Initially I just had a drawer for each type of item (tops, trousers, vests, etc.) which would seem a simple enough system to manage. Apparently this is far from the case when more than one person puts things away. Basically what I am saying here is that my husband would walk in the room with clean clothes, find the nearest drawer and just dump them in whatever way he fancied.

My new system has labels for each drawer, that way anyone can put the clothes away in the right places. And by right places I of course mean the ones that I have designated as correct.

I also fitted a hook to her door, and the clothes for the following day are hung on that each evening.

I got rid of so many clothes in a cull, she had too many for her wardrobe and I wanted to make sure we could find what we actually needed. So now there’s a section for her weekly outfits. Each Sunday I prepare the outfits for the week and put them on the hangers, as well as any additional items she might need. So if she’s going swimming then her swimming bag will be there, if she has a late night at Nana’s then a pair of PJs, etc.

Since I knew the hangers were going to be on display, I wanted them to be pretty and as a project this was about as simple as things get.

The hangers are Ikea’s HANGA‘s, they come in packs of five, so I needed two for this project.

The rest was as easy as getting a tester pot of her bedroom colour from B&Q and decorating. I also used a piece of card and made a divider for her wardrobe. That way the weekly outfit hangers will hopefully stay separate from everything else and it seems to be working so far.

So before bed each night her the next day’s hanger is put on the door hook and her changing bag is sorted.

This means we are ready and out the door in record time the next day.

I’m only joking. This is real life, and in real life toddlers take around 3.5 days to eat a bowl of Cheerios. Fact.

New Year, New Tidy Change Bag [Needs Links and Images]

As I’ve said before, I don’t really make new year’s resolutions because I feel like I’m setting myself up to fail a little bit, there’s a whole lot of guilt involved that really I can’t be dealing with. You can read more about why I don’t do them here.

That being said, this year there are a couple of things I want to work on, one of those is attempting to streamline my mornings. I’ve said this for years, but I absolutely hate rushing round in the morning, it is hard enough when you have a small child to get ready, but if you have to clear out yesterday’s soggy pom bears from the bottom of the changing bag it is just a whole other level of grim.

So, in the interests of being completely honest, I’m going to show you just how bad things can get in the changing bag. You can even watch my little video as I delve into the depths and discover just what is lurking in the bottom of the bag.

Disclaimer: this isn’t just one days worth of stuff, I haven’t cleaned it out since before Christmas.

My next step was to work out exactly what I needed in there, and also give it a good old clean.

My theory was that I wanted things to be easily accessible, so I could just grab whatever I needed and go, without rummaging around for all the different bits.

I have a fantastic changing bag my husband bought me, with a separate fold out section for changing. I’m pretty hard on my changing bags, this is the fourth one I’ve had in Pippin’s short life, it is from Petunia Picklebottom via TK Maxx and I absolutely love the bright colour. It also has both a shoulder strap and can be worn as a rucksack, which means I can use it with ease when I’m babywearing too.

As a cloth nappy mama it is important to have my wet bag, and my wipes bag easy to hand. Luckily for me my bag has a separate fold out section for changing. In there now I have a wet/dry bag with my clean nappies, and my small wet bag for clean wipes. I don’t need the dirty bag for wipes because they just go in with the nappies. I also have a Happy Mat from Tots Bots in there, so much more durable than a plastic mat and so easy to wash. Mine is an old style one, the new ones look so much better and I am loving the rainbow prints.

In the main section of the bag there’s a zippered pocket, a clip and two elasticated pouches.

I now have a second, single compartment, wet bag with clean clothes in. I always carry a change of clothes for Pippin, although these days I very rarely need them.

I bought a largish cosmetic bag and clipped it to the clip in my bag. This is my mummy bag, I keep a lipbalm, some plasters, hand sanitiser and a packet of tissues in there and my purse, phone and keys will also fit if needed. Although I tend to keep them in my pockets if I have them.

I also invested in an insulated lunch bag for snacks. I was popping everything in separate plastic containers before, and then finding half eaten snack packets and blackening bananas in forgotten corners of the bag. Now food stays in one place.

I also put a reusable, canvas shopping bag in one of the elasticated sections. Theoretically this means I shouldn’t be caught without a bag when I nip to the shops.

Pippin has her own rucksack for toys and things, but that will also fit in the changing bag at a push.

As a bonus I also created an organiser for the pram basket.

Our pram is the Mothercare Orb, and though I love the fact that it spins and it is a feature we use a lot, it has one drawback. The basket is a tiny dot of a thing and I look with envy on those who have prams blessed with more ample storage. The Orb’s turning mechanism makes it quite bulky, and takes a lot of room from the basket.

My organiser is basically a box with a place for me to keep the rain cover, an umbrella  and Pippin’s shoes. Thus leaving me with the rest of the basket to shove coats/shopping/miscellaneous crap into.

Hopefully this helps me keep more organised. It should also mean that it takes me less time to sort the changing bag and pram of an evening, because I will only need to remove the bits that need renewing. If she hasn’t used her spare clothes then I won’t need to dig past them to find the last stray raisin.

In theory. I’ll let you know whether I manage to keep up with my system. No guarantees here.

Why I don’t make resolutions.

I know I’m a bit late to the game here, we’re already into the second week of January (how did that happen???), but bear with me here.

I used to make resolutions. Big long lists of them. Usually ones about diets, or ‘how to be less fat’, more exercise, drinking more water, eating better, doing more meaningful things. Generally ways I could, and should be a better version of me.

Inevitably I would break those resolutions, one by one, and feel guilty and generally terrible about the fact that I had, again, failed.

As the family got together on the eve of 2015, as we do every year, I didn’t make any resolutions. Not because I’d had any great epiphany about them but because I’d forgotten. My mum loved grandmother had been rushed into hospital on Christmas Eve after aspirating a piece of Salmon, she’d been discharged on Christmas Day but she was still critical. I didn’t have the head space to think about how I was going to better myself through the following year. She passed away in early January and I grafted through the year dealing with the loss, graduating from University and getting married.

The family got together again, and together we welcomed in 2016. I didn’t think about making resolutions, we’d gone on holiday over Christmas – an attempt to distance ourselves from the events of the year before – and I’d developed a urine infection. I felt sick, achy and generally crap and all I wanted to do was eat lots and drink bubbly. As it turns out these were the first symptoms of my very surprise pregnancy, as I found out on the 2nd January. So any ideas that might have been lingering in the back of my head about weight loss went out the window. I started my new job, I worked hard, I finished and then I had my daughter.

Again we met to celebrate the change of the years, and saw in 2017 in the way we usually do. My daughter was four months old; honestly I think I’d forgotten that resolutions existed. We’d also travelled up to see Liam’s Nana, as she rapidly lost her battle with cancer. Last year was one of the most emotional and special I can remember, so many moments that I really do cherish and will remember for a long time. My daughter learned to sit up, to crawl, to talk and to walk. She turned a whole year old. I got a new job and have colleagues that I really like and I’m enjoying it. My husband also got a new job that I hope will bring him happiness. I made some fantastic friends, and hopefully these friendships will continue to flourish. We had loss too, my Nana-in-Law passed away early in the year, but I am thankful forever that she met and loved Pippin.

So, true to form we met again to celebrate the coming of 2018. My husband stepped outside to welcome in the New Year, as he does every year.

And I made the conscious decision to make no resolutions. I’d not lost anything by not making resolutions apart from a sense of guilt. A year is a long time and things can change a lot in a year, your priorities can change a lot in a year. This way I might decide to do something, and then actually give it up – no pressure, no guilt, no remorse. I just changed my mind. Life is too short to try and pin yourself to some ideal vision you have of yourself, just go ahead and enjoy it.

And have a fantastic 2018.