Decluttering your home before a new arrival, for a happier baby and family

Creating a peaceful and organised living environment can be a great way to get ready for a new arrival, leaving you confident that you’re planning for your family's well-being and helping your baby thrive. 

With some simple steps, you can change your home from chaos to an oasis of calm, and make life easier for everyone in your household at what is both a magical and sometimes stressful time.

Where to start

One of the main benefits of decluttering your home is that it reduces stress and anxiety. Expecting a new baby is undoubtedly exciting, but with so much going on, it’s always worth just thinking about how you can make things a bit easier for yourself.

The first step in decluttering your home is to identify the areas that are causing you the most problems. For a first child, your initial focus might be on getting the nursery organised. For your second baby, this is likely to extend to your child's playroom, the kitchen, or even your own bedroom. So think carefully about the areas and rooms you’re most affected by, so you can tackle them one by one (this is important, unless you’re working with a professional decluttering service, who can help to guide you, start small!). 

Start by removing any items that are no longer needed or used, and consider donating or selling them if they are in good condition. Remember, as you’ve got a new arrival on the way, there’s a very good chance you’ll need more space than you first thought.

Create systems to save time

Ok, now you’ve made some space. Next up, it’s a good idea to establish a simple system or two for organising your things. Systems might sound serious, but needn’t be complex. They can be as simple as using storage containers, shelves, or baskets to keep things tidy and easy to find. Think about where you store your most commonly needed items today, and how it might help to make that more consistent so you can find them in the middle of the night.

Recognise you’ll be tired in future, and start small

Looking after a new-born, particularly with other children in the house already, means you’ll often be tired, and not always thinking straight. Systems and storage, as well as labelling are simple steps and can be really helpful, but try to bear in mind your audience - don’t label things for young children who may not be able to read yet. 

At an early stage, if you can involve your family in the organisation process, it can help them feel more invested in the process and more likely to keep things tidy later (or at least tidier), which can help when you least feel like it.

Avoid drastic changes

When it comes to existing children’s toys and play areas, don’t make any drastic changes too soon. Young children can find the arrival of a new brother or sister quite an emotional upheaval, so will likely appreciate some consistency elsewhere. If you do need to make space, one approach that can work is to rotate your child's toys, so that they have a smaller selection to play with at any given time. This means if you do need a favourite, it can be on-hand quickly, but with less toys to play with clean-up time should also be easier, which again, as a new parent, can’t hurt!

Routines make things easier

Decluttering your home before the baby is also the perfect time to think about any new routines and habits that might help to promote cleanliness and organisation by default. 

There’s no point pretending that your children and family are going to all of a sudden change their ways and stop making a mess, but setting aside time each day to tidy up, or implementing a "one in, one out" rule for new purchases can all help make managing it just that little bit easier at what can be a tiring and stressful time. 

Encouraging your children to help with household chores can also be beneficial, as it teaches them responsibility and helps them feel more connected to their home and family, but just bear in mind your success rate might not be too stellar to start with!

Create a home to thrive in

Decluttering your home will, by reducing stress and promoting relaxation, help make your new arrival more manageable. But it will also have a positive impact on your baby's development, and the happiness of your family as a whole. 

By creating a peaceful and organised living space, you’ll be better able to concentrate on helping your baby thrive, which is what really matters. Your loved ones should feel less tired (you’ll still be tired though, can’t fix that entirely!), more in control, and happier. 

They might not think to, or be able to thank you for it, but they probably should. Good luck!

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