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Top 7 Reasons to Declutter Before Having a Baby

Decluttering Before BabyWith my 5th baby due to be born sometime in the next few months, we’re trying to prepare for the shock of having a baby in the house again. We’re going to have a nearly 5 year age gap and I think we’re going to go through some major adjustments as we adapt.

Decluttering is a great way to prepare for having a new baby in the house. I’m dealing with full-blown pregnancy induced ADD* so focusing is not a strong point for me right now. I may not be able to get through a book or sit through a movie, but thanks to that fabulous nesting instinct, few things feel better than decluttering.

Here are my top 10 reasons why you should declutter before having a baby:

Easier to Maintain

With a new baby coming home, simplifying your life is essential. A clutter-free home is easier to maintain so you can spend less time on housework and more time kissing little baby toes. Tackle high traffic areas first, since you’ll see the biggest difference there.

If you have surface areas that tend to collect clutter, find homes for what is already there and create a system for limiting clutter in the future. This may involve finding a storage container for odds and ends, like car keys and mail, to be dropped in so they have a dedicated place to go. Once you have a system in place and a home for everything, daily maintenance won’t take long at all.

Save Money on Baby Basics

There are few things more irritating than buying something and then discovering that you already owned something that would have done the job immediately afterwards.

We all tend to spend more money than we need to when we don’t realize what we already own. Decluttering will help you rediscover lost items, like that hidden stash of onsies you forgot you kept from you last baby.

Earn Extra Money for Baby Gear

If you are having your first baby (or in our case, having a different gender for the first time), chances are you have a lot you need to buy. Baby gear and clothing can add up quickly and may not be in your budget. You can find the money to buy what you need by decluttering and selling things that you no longer need.

As the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time for a spring garage sale. I usually find that garage sales are too much work, especially while pregnant though so I prefer to list items on local classifieds or Ebay if the item is easily shipped.

Take Advantage of Nesting

During pregnancy, few things feel as satisfying as checking long procrastinated tasks off your to-do list. You may as well take advantage of that nesting instinct while you can and get some decluttering out of the way because once the baby arrives finding time for a shower and a nap will beat out most other things on your to-do list.

I often wish the drive to clean and declutter was as strong when I’m not pregnant because my progress is definitely slower and I’m much more limited in what I’m able to do. I’ll take what I can get though, even if that means putting my kids to work.

Take Advantage of Willing Helpers

Friends and family members are often more than willing to help you get your house ready for a new baby. Sometimes it can be hard to accept help but I’ve realize that delegating is a bit of a learned skill. If you are struggling to hand over responsibility, try making an ongoing list of tasks that need to be done and mark the ones that are more difficult for you to do on your own.
Don’t forget to put your kids to work either. They can be a huge help and it’s a great habit for them to get into before the baby is born. I’ve been on and off bedrest throughout this pregnancy and my kids have been able to do the bulk of the work with just a little instruction from me from my perch on the couch.

Get a head start on baby proofing

Tiny toys and other odds and ends need to be well out of the way by the time your new baby masters the art of crawling. You may as well get a head start by decluttering toys your kids have outgrown (or packing them away) and finding homes for all of the toys that have tiny parts.

Legos are currently the bane of my existence because I know if I don’t get a system for keeping them under control now, it’s going to be a nightmare when this baby starts crawling. Since it takes a while to form a habit, I’m training my older kids now so they can learn to keep their tiny toys off the floor before we end up with a baby choking on something.

It’s a Great Way to Pass the Time

Pregnancy drags a bit for me, especially this time since I’m pregnant after a second trimester loss. I’m sure I won’t feel safe until I have a healthy baby in my arms. Because of that, I’ve been looking for ways to stay occupied — which is a bit tricky when you combine my current short attention span and the bedrest. Seeing progress made on small decluttering projects is a great way to pass the time and it makes me feel like we’re really getting somewhere. With about 6-7 weeks still to go, I will probably be getting a lot of decluttering done.

photo credit: jhiner via photo pin cc

*Excuse any spelling/grammatical mistakes. Pregnancy brain is very, very real.

What are your top reasons to declutter during pregnancy?