Ah, baby clothes. They're serotonin-boosting-ly cute, aren't they? The miniature-sized pants, shirts, and teeny-tiny knits could draw an "aww" from the most impassive of people. But unless you're the one forced to attempt to get the piles of teensy threads in order, you don't know how impossible it can be to fold a baby outfit (not to mention keep it folded).
Luckily for those trying to get control of those little wardrobes, we have some friends in some seriously organized places. We tapped Jamie Hord, founder of Horderly, for her tiniest tips that boast major impact. Ahead are 20 ways to organize the smallest clothes in your home.
Meet the Expert
Jamie Hord is the co-founder of Horderly, a team of expert organizers based in New York. Their services include everything from organizing offices to bringing order to every room in the home.
Take the Tags Off
While hang tags aren't a big deal in our grown-up closets, time management and organization are the names of the game when it comes to babies. Hord tells us, "Before you store your baby clothes, take the time to remove tags, so you don't have to worry about doing this and juggling a baby when it's time to get dressed." Simple, yet so effective.
Wash Clothes Before You Put Them Away
While you could get away with wearing clothes straight from the store, babies' skin is much more sensitive than ours. Hord suggests washing baby clothes, blankets, and other items that will come in contact with their skin before storing them. After all, it's easier to do a bulk wash and fold before putting them away.
Organize By Category
While you may prefer to color-coordinate your clothes or hang them by season, baby clothes are much better organized by category.
"When getting baby clothes organized, pair like items together to store and contain in a closet or drawers," Hord says. "For example, put all socks, all onesies, or all diapers together so you know exactly where to quickly grab each item from."
Separate By Size
Nothing can properly prepare you for the rapid pace at which babies grow. Keeping items organized by size ensures you have the right size available at every stage of your baby's growth.
For the best system, Hord notes to keep current sizes easily accessible and store future clothes on shelving in the baby's closet, or in lower drawers in the dresser.
Stacking folded clothes in drawers makes it impossible to keep things organized. Since you don't always reach for the item at the top of the stack, every time you look for an item, the tower seems to fall over and items end up coming apart. Hord recommends file folding clothes in drawers and bins to make them easy to see and even easier to grab what you want.
Know the Importance of Prime Real Estate
While it may seem like an obvious choice, it's easy to forget the importance of prime real estate. "It's important to put the most-used items in the most easily accessible areas," Hord tells us. For instance, you wouldn't keep diapers on the top shelf when you're changing ten-plus diapers a day.
Use Bins as Additional Storage
"If drawer space is limited, use bins on shelves to operate as drawers," Hord explains. "These can be used to store everyday items or backup and bulk products."
Use Drawer Dividers
You might get away with filling full-sized drawers with your grown-up clothes, but when baby clothes are much smaller, the storage spaces should reflect the compact items. Hord suggests using drawer dividers to separate different categories of items in each drawer.
"These spring-loaded drawer dividers are great for separating baby clothing items," she suggests.
Utilize the Backs of Doors
No matter how much space you have at your disposal, when it comes to baby essentials, it's never enough. Hord is all about creative solutions. She says, "use the back of doors to create a utility system for more of baby's items like shoes, accessories and even cleaning and hygiene supplies."
Stock Top Drawers With Diaper-Changing Essentials
While the tiers of drawers in your room may not require much thought, baby nurseries are all about strategy and planning. If your baby's dresser doubles as a changing table, it's important to keep the items you need before and after changing diapers within reach.
"The top drawer should be home to any socks and bloomers, accessories, onesies, burp cloths and backup diapers and cleaning supplies," Hord suggests.
Stock Middle Drawers With Most-Used Clothes
While top drawers should house underclothes, Hord says middle drawers should be reserved for active clothes and everyday essentials. Think pants, shorts, T-shirts, and pajamas.
To make the most of each drawer, Hord suggests sorting items in rows so you can easily grab what you need from each row and change your baby with ease.
Stock Bottom Drawers With Bulky or Lesser-Used Items
Bottom drawers aren't as easily accessed, so it makes the most sense to use them to house items you don't plan to use every day. "Use bottom drawers for seasonal or activity-related items (like swim trunks or winter gear)," Hord explains. "You can even store backup linens and blankies here."
Know What Items are Best Hanging in The Closet
Similar to your closet, Hord says, "Use baby's closet to hang items like dresses, coats, and other clothing items that are typically hung."
However, she recommends getting baby hangers so adult-sized hangers don't stretch out the clothes.
Have a Place for Clothes That are Too Big
You don't want to clutter your baby's space with clothes that don't fit. Hord tells us to store clothes that are too big in bins in the closet, and transition them into the dresser or hang them in the closet as the baby grows. Just don't forget they're there!
Have a Separate Place for Clothes That are Too Small
Similarly to clothes that are too big, you should keep a trunk or large bin easily accessible as the baby grows, according to Hord. "As the baby grows out of clothes, toss the too-small items in the trunk," she notes.
Be sure to check in with this area monthly or seasonally so it doesn't become an overwhelming dark hole of unused baby clothes.
When you're a parent (particularly a new parent), you can bet on having lots of helping hands around at all times. While we love help, when you have people in and out of your baby's drawers and closet, things can easily get misplaced.
"Labeling everything will make maintaining the baby's space super easy," Hord explains. "This will also help your spouse or partner, friends, relatives, or nannies keep baby's space tidy."
Don't Shove Items in Places They Don't Fit
Overflowing drawers and cramped closets are never functional. Don't get too caught up with trying to get everything to fit. "If storage space is super limited, you can store bulk items in a hall closet or under the crib or baby bed," Hord says.
Have a Designated Space for Hand-Me-Downs
"If you're saving items for a second child, keep a bin, or bins readily available to throw accessories, clothes, and toys into as your first child grows out of them," Hord says.
Keep a Donation Bin Close By
"If you're not planning to expand your family or hold onto certain items, keep a donate bin in your baby's closet to toss items they've grown out of," Hord recommends. "If possible, try to bring items to your nearest donation center once a month before the pile gets too large."
Keep Baby Safety In Mind When Organizing
This may not be something that comes to mind when organizing your personal space, but everything is much more meticulous when we're talking about a baby's room. Hord advises us to make sure that anything stored down low or within reach during changing time is safe for baby.