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A new family member is no joking matter.
That little bundle of joy, and let’s face it, a tiny dictator is about to change your life. Our baby is about to change our lives. We’ve accepted that our lives will never be the same and that nothing is going to happen as we want. Birth plan? That has never even entered our realm of possibility! Prepping for baby? Sure……. I’ve been reading a lot. All different, and all surreal. Moving into a bigger place with room for a new baby? Wait… What?
We currently live in a 2-bedroom apartment. Ideally, we would love to move into a house, or even a larger apartment, but this doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us. Not if we are wanting to stick to that budget I mentioned in a previous post. So, for the first year or so we are planning to stay in a tight space so that we can make our future better for us and that adorable little dictator.
This choice has been based on the amount of money we will save over the course of a year as well as maintaining our current bills and adjusting our expenses for baby. We know what to expect in our current apartment. Our utilities will be only slightly different with a baby. Overall, we feel it is better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know scenario here.
Having said that, we have a ton of changes to make in our home. First, we need to convert the guest room/ office, goodbye guests staying over, into a nursery. Babies do not need to much at the start, however, I don’t think we will want to convert all of this with a newborn in the home. Second, we need to create a new office space for my husband. Third, with all these moving things around we will feel more cramped, so we had better downsize, and de-clutter our place before baby palooza takes over!
First- The Nursery
I scoured the internet looking for a smart way to go about tackling this big change. I read blog after blog on how to make a small home, work. Nothing stuck out to me. I began searching for ways to de-clutter the home. Those, now those made sense. I can take those ideas and make them work. I just need to add in storing some items and selling some furniture as well. We had already made the decision on which pieces we will need to sell.
We’ll tackle our overly huge desk that my husband had to have a few years ago… SMH. He needs two screens to work since he is in IT. However, he still only uses half of the desk. Luckily, I have an old letter desk that my sister gave to me when we got married. It’s just slightly smaller than half of the large desk currently taking up so much room in the soon to be nursery.
The ideal placement for the letter desk would be to remain in the nursery and use the nursery as a dual space until we have sleep trained our little miracle, however in the off chance we use the nursery for napping with baby instead of a swing, my husband can’t be in the room taking work calls and furiously typing away at his keyboard. Or I need to change baby’s diaper! Yuck!
We have a small corner in our bedroom where the desk will fit and once I move a few items out of the way, he will be able to move his office chair around nicely. It’ll be tight and not very comfortable, but again we have agreed it’s better this way.
As soon as we can clear the large desk off, we have agreed to just list it and sell it. I have been begging for my husband to let me build him a nice sturdy desk and once we have a house I’ll be able to, so there is no point in keeping a desk that will not even fit in our nearly packed garage.
As I have said we also have a guest room in the office. That means we have a queen size bed. It’s rather old but still in good enough shape for a guest bed. We also have a nice headboard and I bought a new metal frame less than a year ago. I’ve already found good mattress bags for storing. These are the same that mattresses are delivered in, so we know our mattress and box springs will be protected from the elements in our garage. The headboard will just be tightly wrapped in packing plastic with the frame wrapped to it as well. Click on the links below to be able to purchase your own mattress storage bags, and packing plastic.
CRESNEL Mattress Bag for Moving & Long-term Storage – QUEEN size – Enhanced mattress protection with Super Thick Tear & Puncture Resistance Polyethylene
TOTALPACK – 20″ x 1000 FT Roll – 55 Gauge Thick + Hybrid technology, 1 Pack. Stretch Moving & Packing Wrap. Industrial Strength, Clear Plastic Pallet Shrink Film Ideal For Furniture, Boxes, Pallets.
Paperwork/ Paper Clutter
Once I implement some of the paper clutter fix ideas I’ve read about, one filing cabinet will be sold. We will keep one as we will need it to hold our printer and the important documents that we need to keep the original copies of; as well as being able to use one drawer for all computer desk supplies that will be used regularly.
To tackle this challenge, I have researched the best ways to get rid of the paper clutter. Most suggest the binder system, but… that is just more to store. Instead, I found a great article about scanning and shredding. Most documents that need to be kept in their original form we will keep in the filing cabinet we are not selling.
The rest: Monthly statements, receipts, medical paperwork, bills, etc., these can all be scanned then shredded. We are planning to scan them to a cloud network of sorts. My husband knows the best ones to use and I have left it up to him to decide where our information will be stored once I reach this point. We don’t have a shredder so I am also planning on buying this one as soon as we are ready… Click on the picture to be able to purchase one of these shredders yourself.
Using the Scan and Shred system I found, I went through one of our filing cabinets and found that most of the paperwork we have held onto just has our address or an account number on. These papers just need to be shredded. I’ll have my work cut out for me come shredding time. It’ll probably take several weeks just so I don’t burn out the machine.
Once I have completed the overhaul on the paperwork it’ll be easier to do the shredding and scanning once a month. Hopefully, just like how we do a monthly budget, we will do a monthly Scan and Shred.
De-Cluttering The Room
The Closet in the spare room became a storage place for my husband’s books and my craft closet. We know that we need to pack most of this away or get rid of it, so we will need some plastic totes for storing in the garage.
In our very first apartment we learned the hard way, you need plastic totes, not just cardboard boxes. Our lesson came in the form of a flooded garage, and half of our storage was wasted. Save yourself the heartache and just spend a little more money and get the plastic totes.
I found these great totes in a 6 pack. Since we are going to be de-cluttering the whole apartment and storing quite a bit, it made more sense to get a set from Amazon with free shipping rather than going to a store and paying about a dollar or more per container, plus gas. Click on the picture to be linked to the storage totes.
My husband likes to have these specific books handy for reference in our studies but, he never touches them, being in the closet. These have also been passed down from his grandfather and aunt so we will pack them away for when we have a house and some bookshelves since they have more than monetary value.
Most of the crafting supplies I have are from us teaching at our old church. We are planning to donate most of this to our new church. Whatever is left of my crafting materials I will need to pack away. Depending on what it is will determine if I pack it away into the garage or keep in the in the closet for use throughout the year i.e. gift bags, wrapping paper, crayons, coloring paper, photography accessories, etc. These can all be put on the top shelf though to make room for baby clothing and organizers in the closet for all things baby, I hear diapers take up a lot of room. 😉
Another box will be used for anything we are keeping from the office set up but do not have room for on the letter desk. A third box will be used to pack all the bedding away as well as the spare sheets we keep in the linen closet. With no queen bed in the apartment, there is no need for the spare bed’s spare sheets to remain in our home for the time being.
The last box to be used in this room will be for the boxes under the bed. These items are completely disposable or mementos. Our mementos are the albums our parents gave us, our baby keepsakes, family heirlooms that we cannot display in our small apartment, and a few scrapbooks from my childhood. Mementos will be boxed away and stored in the garage. Everything else will be tossed and I will keep the flatter boxes for under the crib as storage there.
Altogether that will take 4 of the plastic totes I mentioned.
Second- The Master
Once we have the Nursery sorted out, we will have to make space for the rest of our lives. As soon as we at least have the guest bed stored we can move the Hope Chest into the nursery, allowing us to bring the letter desk up from the garage. I will need to move our dresser slightly to make room for the filing cabinet, and I will leave the set up to Chris.
I’m also wanting to take this opportunity to clean out and donate shoes and purses I no longer use from our closet. Our closet is a mess and really has no reason to be. This is just one way we can remove the clutter that has no value from our lives.
I will make a donations box and fill that after our house is completely de-cluttered, I have a basket I will set out for all future donations. Until then I will just use whatever box I can find. There are some things in our closet that we will need to store, more mementos, those will be added to the memento box before putting it in the garage.
Overall, this is an easy room to prep for our changing lifestyle.
Third- The Kitchen & Dining Rooms
“I feel like we have created a monster in me!”
Our goal is to one hundred percent breastfeed our angel, but we are also aware this may not always go to plan. There are all sorts of storage needed for a baby in the kitchen. This means that the cabinets I have in the kitchen need to be emptied of our wine, margarita, champagne, and shot glasses since we do not need those anymore. All of these need to be donated or packed away for when you have a house and are able to host dinner parties again. That will clear one shelf.
Another shelf is an overflow of mugs and other drinking glasses we do not use on a regular basis. Again, we will need to see what we can get rid of and what we will store. One more shelf down.
At this point, I’ll move our serve ware to the top shelf since it will be used less and create two shelves for baby supplies: Bottles, nipples, milk bags, cups, and other needed supplies I am currently forgetting.
While I am cleaning out this cabinet I might as well tackle the other cabinets too. I will store and donate as needed. I feel like we have created a monster in me! *queue maniacal laugh*
The dining room is due to be de-cluttered. I love the decor I have but it is a bit much. Having a child and a small space, we need the area’s not taken over by baby to be as spacious as possible. So, I’ll take the last tote and pack away my decor and ornate serve ware, then I will either sell the buffet table, or we will use it in baby’s room as the makeshift dresser.
This will allow us to open the living room slightly as I will need to commandeer the sofa table for our coffee bar because let’s face it I have no counter space in the kitchen with this apartment. If we decide against that we may just turn the table, it seats 6 then press the table up against the wall where the buffet currently sits, then use one end to hold our coffee and tea supplies while we utilize the other end for eating.
So there you have it.
Our very in-depth plan to make our small apartment work for a growing family. I’ll make sure to share with you all our progress in future posts, and I’ll break them down into a post per room.
Whether you are welcoming your own child into an ever-smaller home, or just needing to de-clutter, I hope this post can help you take some great ideas and implement them in your home and life.
Please comment and let me know any questions, or thoughts on this post! I look forward to hearing from all of you!