New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming. Being a new parent can also be overwhelming. But you know what isn’t? Setting small goals.
Goal setting as a new mama is 100% doable. You need to set small, specific goals that are realistic and enjoyable. And if there’s one goal as a new parent that’s worth working toward and will make you feel good it’s being organized.
Saying you’ll be more organized this year is too general, though. And it can be overwhelming because that statement can make you think you need to get your entire life organized right now. Remember, you want to set specific and attainable goals, but only you know how much you can take on and what’s a priority. But it doesn’t hurt to be given a few tips that push you in the right direction, does it?
So as you start this new year as a new parent, try out these 5 organization tips to get you started.
Tip 1: Give everything its own place.
You probably thought you or your partner came into your relationship with a lot of baggage – and then you had a baby and realized you two had nothing on all the stuff that comes with a baby! From baby carriers and swings to strollers, clothes, swaddlers, diapers, ointments, a baby bathtub, bottles and bottle brushes – the list of new baby must-have items is never-ending! It’s easy to lose stuff or for your partner to not be able to find the diaper cream if everything doesn’t have a place. When all the baby stuff has its own place in your home, it’s easier to find what you need and put it away right away.
Tip 2: Invest in various-sized bins and baskets.
One way to give everything a rightful place in your home is grouping like things together in individual bins and baskets. It also makes them more easily accessible.
If you change your baby in her room and in the living room, you’ll want to keep a diaper changing basket in both rooms. If your baby plays with toys, have a basket or bins where you can store them. If your baby is bottle-fed, dedicate a kitchen cabinet for all his feeding supplies and keep the formula, distilled water and bottles in a bin so you can pull everything out at once. It’s also not a bad idea to have some plastic storage bins on hand to put all those baby clothes in once your baby outgrows them, as well as using one as a memory box for special baby keepsakes and future artwork he’ll be creating.
Tip 3: Use your windows of free time to prep for what’s coming.
If you haven’t learned already, you need to be good at time management as a parent. Gone are the days of having uninterrupted mornings and nights to check off your to-do list. You have small windows of time to get stuff done now. My advice to you is to make use of those times. If your baby has a doctor’s appointment in the morning, pack the diaper bag and lay out your clothes the night before while she sleeps. Ask your partner to make a bottle and put the diaper bag in the car on his way to work while you change your baby in the morning. If your in-laws are coming over this afternoon, declutter and vacuum while your baby takes her morning nap. And if she won’t sleep in her crib, let her nap in the baby wrap so your hands are free to clean.
Tip 4: Meal plan for the week.
Making dinner becomes a dreaded chore if you’re having to think of what to eat, make it and clean it up every single day while juggling a baby. Take the dread out of feeding your family by meal planning. Sit down with your partner every Sunday and plan out your meals for the next week. It may be hard at first, but it gets easier the more you do it. Plus, it’s going to save you some money. And trust me, with all the expenses that come with having a baby, you’ll want to save money where you can.
Meal planning does a lot more than help new parents save money. Good nutrition is important for moms recovering from giving birth and those who are breastfeeding. Making healthy dinners can seem impossible when you’re busy with feedings, diaper changes and work on little to no sleep, but when you have a plan, it’s very possible. And your plan as a new mom should include embracing slow and pressure cookers, eating leftovers once or twice a week and taking advantage of meal kit services. Each of these saves you time and energy, but still ensures you get the proper nutrition.
Tip 5: Remember organizing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Organizing is a life-long process, not a one-time thing. What will make it easier is if you have a plan to organize or re-organize a little bit at a time. You shouldn’t try and tackle everything in one day. And along those lines, something else to remember is to have realistic expectations and cut yourself some slack. Your house will never be perfectly in order 24/7 with kids. It’s normal and OK.
We all want a better year ahead, and I can attest that an organized home is a happy home. A messy home can cause stressed out, impatient parents. But an organized home makes for happier and calmer parents and babies. So hopefully these tips will help jumpstart your way to a better year. I mean, you have a new baby, so I’d say this year is already looking up for you!