Before your baby's arrival, you invested a lot of time and effort into creating a space for your new bundle of joy. Maybe you had to transform your library, craft room, or workout space into a nursery, requiring you to move or box up and store some previously important possessions that became secondary to your baby's needs.
Of course, now that your baby has arrived, you'll soon find that even the new space you've created isn't enough to manage all of their storage needs. Your baby will outgrow clothes quicker than you thought humanly possible. Family members (especially eager grandparents) and friends will keep up a deluge of cute but largely unnecessary baby items.
And the more your baby grows, the more items you'll accumulate, from high chairs to booster seats to more boxes of diapers than you've seen in your life.
Fortunately, because babies grow so fast, it's easy to make more space for your baby-centric items by donating, discarding, or storing certain items for later use. But how do you know what to keep and what to give away? And, if you choose to store an item, how can you ensure it stays in good condition for the next child who uses it?
Keep reading for four self-storage tips that will declutter your post-baby home and prevent important items from going to waste.
1. Wash, Dry, and Box Outgrown Clothes
For at least their first two years of life, your child will only wear the same set of clothes for three to six months before growing into the next clothing size. Many parents find they can't use their zero-to-threemonths onesies because their babies were a little bigger at birth - which means right from the start they have an entire pile of unwearable clothes taking up space in their new infant's dresser.
Instead of letting old clothes pile up on the floor, wash, dry, and neatly pack them in easy-to-stack plastic containers that will keep moths and dust out. If you plan on having more kids - or if you have siblings or friends who would appreciate a clothing donation a few years down the road - your baby's outgrown clothes will prove invaluable.
Otherwise, donate clean, gently used clothes to a women and children's shelter or thrift shop.
2. Don't Keep the Car Seat
Car seats are expensive, so you might think it makes sense to hang on to older cars seats as your child outgrows them. However, under current safety guidelines, car seats expire after only a few years. If you hang on to your car seat, check the expiration date before reusing it, and make an appointment with your county health commissioner to ensure the car seat is still safe after storage.
3. Store Furniture Carefully
As your baby outgrows their crib, pack n' play, and bassinette and you no longer need your rocking chair, disassemble furniture to maximize storage space. Wrap individual pieces in blankets or plastic, and cover items like chairs and couches in plastic sheets.
Don't forget to store any instruction manuals so you can easily reassemble furniture. Place screws, nuts, and bolts in their own smaller plastic containers, each clearly labeled so you know which screws go to which piece of furniture.
4. Find the Right Storage Space
Along with storing the right items - and storing them correctly - make sure to find a self-storage company with the right features. Depending on what you're storing, you might need a climate-controlled space, and you'll definitely need an affordable but spacious unit that offers room to grow over the years.