Reader pics: Charles Smith’s uncluttered nursery

Having a baby can really test your ability to keep a tidy and uncluttered home. You can either give into the disarray and let your home descend into a constant state of clutter or you can make a conscience effort to straighten up your home.

Our daughter was quite active once she started crawling and pulling her self up. Her ability to grab anything and everything definitely contributed to my wife and I keeping our home less cluttered. We got rid of tons of items that were definitely clutter, but resided in our home for one reason or the other.

We also try to keep our daughter’s nursery in an uncluttered state. It isn’t easy and the room still gets a bit disastrous here and there, but it never really gets out of hand. Our daughter hasn’t reached the age where she can run around room like a tiny tornado wreaking havoc where ever she goes, but we are constantly trying to teach her that everything has its place.

That brings me to a reader’s submission about their nursery. Charles writes in his email:

My wife and I have recently had a baby, and that inspired me to do some decluttering. My wife and I are usually quite messy, but I didn’t want to raise another human to follow in our footsteps, so I started decluttering. As I was doing this in preparation for the birth of the baby, I stumbled onto your blog, which I have been reading since. Great job guys, and I appreciate the effort.

Ironically, as I was uncluttering to prepare for the baby, i failed to realize something – babies create clutter! Thousands of changes of clothes, toys, bathing equipment, diapers, bags, blankets, etc. Well, of course, I let this get the best of me for a while, but I think that I have got it under control now.

And he also adds some tips:

  • Register for gifts. Don’t go register for a lot of clothing – trust me, you’ll get it.
  • Don’t buy a ton of clothing before birth. We have purchased almost no clothes for our daughter, yet she still has a full closet, and various rubbermaid containers for backups. Besides that, we have a ton of clothing she hasn’t even worn that she is now too big for. You’ll probably pick some favorites as well, so you might not see your baby in a bunch of stuff you/others bought.
  • Your baby isn’t an accessory. Don’t buy name brands, and don’t buy a new outfit everyday. At most, you are going to get to see the baby wear the items for like 3 weeks. One of my big pet peeves – babies in Nike’s. Now there is a waste of $40.
  • Think about how you can do without all the accessories. We bought a crib and a bassinet. Used the bassinet for about a week, and now its got to go. I’ve heard of people not buying changing tables as well. Think outside of the box because a lot of the stuff you buy you will quickly find you don’t need.

And last, but not least, the pics:



17 Comments for “Reader pics: Charles Smith’s uncluttered nursery”

  1. posted by H20 on

    I don’t know why our tradition here, once the baby reached the first birthday, we would pack ALL of the babies’ needs and give to someone we know will having a baby soon…..and the things we packed was from someone else…it’s some sort of recycling….
    And again and again each birthday……

    Sure, there’s something loose, broken or not nice,….. normally i would discard the unwanted ones but it saves us a lot of money……hehehehe….and the environment too!!!
    We buy new clothes only for ‘hariraya’, our country’s yearly celebration,where everybody would only wear new clothes the entire week…

  2. posted by Thud on

    We have a crib that we currently use as a changing table and a “play yard” with bassinet attachment that is the baby’s main sleeping area for now. Once he outgrows the bassinet we can stow that collapsable piece and use the playpen — and he can sleep in the crib.

    My mother-in-law nearly had a fit that we weren’t going to buy a changing table. We’ve also had people try to push strollers, high-chairs, and all sorts of other baby furniture onto us.

  3. posted by Drew on

    When our daughter was born we were living in a glorified studio apartment (“junior one bedroom”) in San Francisco. We didn’t have a nursery, or even room for a full-size dresser. We co-slept and emptied one dresser drawer for her clothes. Even when we moved to a larger place, we didn’t bother with a crib. My daughter didn’t really need a room of her own until she was sleeping in a regular bed. We got a dresser that doubled as a changing table, and that saved our backs. We passed it on to friends who had a newborn a few years later, although we could have kept it and just removed the pad on top.

    So if you have limited space or money, consider investing in a larger bed for the adults and baby rather than crib, bassinet, jumpy seat, what have you.

  4. posted by Amy on

    We have friends that used the top of a dresser as the changing table. They put a contured changing pad on top and had plenty of room on top for wipes and diapers but mostly she used the drawers to keep stuff organized. The dresser is still being used by the baby who is 8 year old ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. posted by amanda lee on

    @Amy–my parents did the same with me–changed me on a dresser top. The dresser in question is currently in my room, holding my clothes. And I’m 25. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. posted by Matt on

    I posted something about alternatives to changing tables:

  7. posted by Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE on

    As the mother of seven and a childbirth educator and pregnancy/parenting expert I can tell you much of what comes with the baby is clutter! Look at all of the “things” that we buy for babies, the plastic seats and buckets, 2-3 items to bath baby in, multiple beds… You baby can’t play with more than 2-3 toys. When they out grow those toys developmentally, get a few more (or wait for gifts!). Bathe with your baby or you can use your sink – no need for the baby bathtub or other parts. Skip the bouncey seat, bumbo, play gym, etc and invest in a nice blanet to pad the floor and a babiy carrier (preferably one that holds them until their toddlers, like the mei tai or sling). So skip the stuff and enjoy the baby! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. posted by Andamom on

    I wrote a post awhile back after being asked by multiple friends about what baby items were beneficial. I think one could streamline this even further — because as I wrote in another reply to an unclutterer posting, it is possible to live in a 300 square foot apartment as a 3 person family.

  9. posted by Jasi on

    I’m a minimalist, but while pregnant I got this horrible nesting-shopping bug. I regret buying expensive things. Could have done without the high chair, the crib (she sleeps with us), and a ton of other junk.

    Things we love love love: FP Booster Seat (travels great, hides away, dishwasher safe), Evenflo Triumph convertible car seat (good to 50 lbs), Ikea Tovik unfinished 3 drawer dresser (painted it and secured a changing pad on top). These things have taken us through many months and maybe more.

    In retrospect, I should have bought a pack of onesies, some dipes and wipes, baby magic, carseat, stroller and called it a day.

    Let’s have a post for minimalist parents!

  10. posted by cass on

    We’re a big fan of the high chairs that strap on to regular chairs. They cost less and take up less floor space than the regular models, but still offer the functionality we needed (esp. with twins). Favorite toys right now include metal bowls, wooden spoons, a wire whisk (this is a big hit lately) and lots of clean yogurt tubs. It’s still cluttered when they’re scattered everywhere, but at least we didn’t go out and buy them especially for the kids.

  11. posted by Liz on

    If you put the changing pad on top of the dresser (which I did), then put some of that nubby drawer liner under it so it doesn’t slip. (I also love that stuff between a box spring and mattress.) I like the fold up booster seat with detachable tray. My daughter’s three and a half now, but we keep the seat so it can be a high chair for friends with little ones. I could not have functioned without the pack and play, but I needed it to keep daughter safe from resentful dog who visited on weekends. And she slept in it on trips until she was two. And yes, visiting small people sleep in it still.

  12. posted by Martha on

    Excellent points. (But it’s “conscious” effort, not “conscience.” Lack of sleep will do that to you!)

  13. posted by Ruth on

    My mother and her cousin each had their own drawer to sleep in when they were babies. (They were in an apartment that held my great-grandparents, a single uncle, one couple with two small children, and my grandparents and my mother.)

  14. posted by mjp on

    i can vouch for the clothing tips above – it is amazing how people pour out gifts – there is just something about a baby. We ended up putting nice dresses on ours just to get the worn once before the she outgrows.

  15. posted by twosandalz on

    “We are constantly trying to teach her that everything has its place.” IMHO, starting kids early with this is the way to go! My mother started my brother as soon as we could walk and carry something at the same time. When we finished playing with a toy, she’d have us put it away. At first she did it with us, and once we got the concept we did it on our own. It became second nature. Added bonus for my mother for 20 years… the time she saved by not picking up after us. I hope it works out this way for you too.

  16. posted by Katie on

    What about a kids or nursery category on the right? (Unless, I’m missing it today which is always a possibility.) I would love to scroll the kids-related idea rather than just see the link to the last 4 posts.

  17. posted by Pamela on

    We passed on a dedicated changing table. Instead we got one of the curved changing pads and put that on a low dresser, though for about the first two years, we just put a protective cloth on the bed in her room and changed her there. We also passed on getting a highchair. We got an adjustable booster with a back that reclines for babies and strapped that to one of the otherwise-unused kitchen chairs.

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