Professional Organizer Amanda LeBlanc has rescued countless clients from perpetual chaos. So we couldn’t wait to ask the entrepreneur, clutter crusader and TV personality (you probably recognize her from Style Network’s hit show The Amandas) to dish about her favorite organizing techniques.
“The thing that I think is important when you’re pregnant is to look at the storage space you have,” says LeBlanc, who suggests taking a pen and paper and going to each room of the house where baby’s stuff will soon take residence. “Maybe it’s the laundry room with the new detergent, or the different things you need to wash baby’s clothes or the hanging space to dry them.” Once you have a list in place, you’ll know what you have to work with and what you’ll need to buy to make the space functional.
LeBlanc suggests removing unnecessary clutter: “I’m a minimalist, and I encourage everyone to be. The worst thing you can do is get too much stuff for your baby. When baby comes, you’ll be too stressed to enjoy it because the clutter is overwhelming your life.” Begin by clearing out items you never use, as well as cabinets, drawers and shelves where baby’s goods will live.
Create a system.
“One of the very first things I did in my own nursery was to look at the closet space, rip out the one wire shelf that was in there and go get an affordable closet system that would give me not just one shelf but an area for triple hang and double hang. I needed drawers and shelves and baskets and a place for shoes,” says LeBlanc, who chose Organized Living’s freedomRail line for her own daughter’s room. “The same closet she had as a baby, she’s still using today.”
Think long-term. Try to find a future purpose for the items you buy. “Instead of changing tables, I much prefer getting a nice chest of drawers, one that’s a little lower, and using the top as a changer.” The idea, says LeBlanc, is that once baby grows out of the diaper days, you can still use the product for years to come. “Make an investment … that you’re going to use for a long time.”
Don’t spread yourself thin. LeBlanc urges parents to think about the goods that baby will need in each room. “After I had my girls, I had a small white wicker basket in each room, with a couple of diapers, wipes, some diaper cream, extra pacis and a little rattle. I didn’t want to have to run upstairs just to change a diaper. I didn’t want to feel imprisoned … I wanted to help the child fit into my life instead of trying to rearrange our lives around the baby.”
Keep it simple. “They are only infants and babies and toddlers for a very short period of time. The more organized you are and the less clutter you have to deal with, the more time you can spend with your baby,” says LeBlanc. “At the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about … don’t feel like you need to have so many toys or things or be consumed by the clutter in your home. Keep clutter to a minimum and don’t let it steal away the precious moments in your life.”