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.