Top 5 Friday – Tips to manage baby gear overload

Top 5 Friday – Tips to manage baby gear overload

So I’ve been trying to figure out this whole storage situation.  We plan to expand our family again at some point so we’d like to hang onto as much baby stuff as we can.  As Chase grows out of more clothes and toys, we get closer to maximum capacity so this has got me thinking lately about what has worked well so far, the stuff we used the most and how we can condense and manage it until #2 arrives!

This Top 5 Friday, I am sharing tips to help manage the baby clutter.

The 3-in-1 Smart Trike 8 months-3 years

1) Choose multipurpose or convertible baby gear whenever possible  We love our Graco playpen that came with a bassinet attachment including a canopy and mobile.   Chase slept in this next to our bed for the first few weeks of his life and we later used it in our main living area for daytime naps.  There was also an attachable change station.  Once he outgrew bassinet sleeping, we converted it into a regular playpen.  Since we travel overnight to visit family & friends often, this has been a must-have for our family.  It’s also been great for time-outs when he first started learning.  This is a perfect example of something that extends the length of usage and combines multiple baby products into one.  One of my girlfriends has one of those play kitchen stove top & ovens that converts into a toddler table… LOVE this idea!  You can also get toys that convert from a walker to a ride-on and outdoor wagons that convert to outdoor toddler seating.  Anything that has multiple purposes and eliminates additional space is a good value in my opinion.  If anyone knows of other good convertible items, please share in the comments 🙂

2) Remember that beautiful nursery will become a toddlers room in less than a year  Consider furniture and decor that will grow with your child.  Some people will use a dresser with a changing pad on top instead of buying a dedicated change table.  We found a change table combined with a dresser and removed the safety rail and it’s working well so far as toddler furniture.  Convertible cribs are also ideal although look for a manufacturer that doesn’t require the purchase of an additional kit when it comes time to convert it into a bed.  I fell in love with many bedding sets that screamed newborn baby but ended up sticking with a non-cartoon forest theme with some neutral colors so we could get a few good years out of the decor.  We also tried to choose furniture that would be safe for a climber and could easily accommodate toys.

3) When you are ready to purge, use piles:

  • Keep pile – The stuff you couldn’t live without (even if for a short period of time), stuff that will be difficult to replace, things that have sentimental value (like the sweater grandma knit or the onesie that survived the first poopsplosion)
  • Share pile –  Perhaps a new mom you know could make use of that baby swing that takes up oh, say 20 square feet of your storage space.
  • Sell pile – The things you could do without or perhaps that you are not particularly attached to and could re-buy used down the road.
  • Charity pile – Anything that doesn’t hold enough value for selling and that you know someone in need could make use of.

4) Borrow and lend  I have been fortunate enough to reap the benefits of a friend who has a son a little older than mine.  We borrowed a jumparoo, a hiking grade back pack, a walker and a ton of clothes & shoes.  This is a great way to save money and it’s a no-brainer to just give it back when your done instead of trying to decide if you want to keep it and where.  I’ve also been on the other side of this, sharing many of my favorites with friends while lightening my storage in the mean time.

5)  Choose toys that are timeless  This tip can be applied whether buying new or used.  This is one of the main reasons we love little people.  Chase has enjoyed playing with the little people vehicles and farm since he was less than a year old.  Both my nieces and nephews who are five years old, are still playing with their little people.  These are worth the investment, especially if picking them up second-hand at 1/3rd of the price.


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