I’ve always wanted more than two children. For most of my childhood, I grew up with just one sister and I always wished we had at least one other sibling. My husband and I were blessed with a daughter in 2016 and a son in 2018. With two kids, we’ve already accumulated a lot of baby clothes, toys, and other baby related items. Right now, I can’t even imagine getting rid of this stuff! A friend told me that means you aren’t done having kids. She said when she was done, she couldn’t wait to get the stuff out of her house. Most days I still want at least one more child if we are lucky enough to have that opportunity.
Since I’m not quite ready to give up the baby stuff, I have to figure out how to store it all. Here are some tips I learned along the way.
Storing All the Clothes and Accessories
I am very fortunate to have both a son and a daughter, but that means I have double the baby clothes. Since I can’t predict which gender I will have in the future, I am keeping both sets of clothes which means more storage space is required. I recommend choosing a style of totes and only buying those. I try to buy only four different sizes. This helps with stacking and keeping everything uniform. For clothes, I personally like to use a 66-quart clear view tote with latches on the side. I also bought a label maker so I can label the contents of the totes for easy and quick identification.
Recently, I decided to try a different way to store the clothes within the large tote by rolling the baby clothes instead of folding them. I had read that clothes store better rolled and I proved it to myself the other weekend. I was able to get a tote and a half cleared out so I could store more clothes in fewer totes. Plus, I pulled out shoes, socks, burp cloths, and bibs to store in separate smaller totes (16-quarts) which go in the top part of the kids’ closets, allowing me to maximize the clothing in the big totes. Determine what items you need to store and decide your preference for size and brand of totes for your items and your home.
Bring Less In
I try to limit the number of toys we buy for the kids as well as clothes. We also try to implement toy rotation and not have every single toy out at a time, so that our kids don’t get bored and think they need more. Toy rotation also helps to eliminate the number of toys in the living room to pick up each night and to allow the toy options to be seen easily.
For our daughter’s first birthday, I made a wish list with minimal toys on it and included a link for her college savings account for people to give her money instead of toys. As she gets older, I also plan to request “experience gifts” such as gift cards to the movies or a membership to a museum. Now we definitely aren’t complete minimalists and the kids have toys and a lot of clothes. But to help manage the clutter and keep our house better organized, we are trying to reduce the amount we bring in.
Reuse, Disassemble, or Loan Out the Big Items
I tried to buy gender neutral car seats, high chairs, and bigger toys with our daughter so that we could reuse them if we had a son. By reusing our items we saved money and time. However, finding space to store big items can be challenging even with only one set.
I take apart any of the items that I can, in order to store it easier. I like to use flat 60-quart under bed storage to store the swing and bouncer chair. The under bed storage totes fit nicely underneath the crib. Make sure to keep all the manuals so you can put everything back together again. I recommend keeping the manuals in one place to eliminate stress when trying to locate them. I have a folder in the filing cabinet for all baby toys and furniture manuals.
You can also loan out big baby items to a trustworthy friend for use with their little one. This helps eliminate your need to store the item for a time while helping someone else save money, time, and future clutter at their house.
I Don’t Just See Clothes or Toys, I See Memories
When I look through the clothes and other baby items, I don’t just see clothes or baby items, I see memories. I remember my daughter falling asleep on me in the pink cat pajamas or the outfit I took her five months picture in. Then, I see my son learning to roll over in the blue striped pajamas. I remember my daughter’s infectious laughter as she jumped like a wild woman in her jumper, the same jumper that my son is starting to play in. Maybe my daughter will have a little sister that I can put in the same pink flower dress or my son will have a little brother to wear the same swimsuit.
I know one day I’ll get rid of all the clothes and toys because I can’t keep them forever. One day they will need to move on to clothe and bring joy to someone else’s baby. But, today is not that day. For now, I keep them and try to store them the best way possible until I’m ready to move past the baby stage.