Even before having Adaline we were flooded with gifts from our generous friends and family. I knew that babies often needed a lot of things but one day I got so overwhelmed with everything I told Patrick I just couldn't do it. While I was in the middle of the sentence it dawned on me that I didn't have to do it. She is still an infant! It's not like she is bringing in the clutter, I was! She currently doesn't have an opinion and also isn’t currently in charge of her items. That was my job. This was my doing and for once I had the freedom to organize and minimize someone else's items without them getting upset! I'm sure when she grows up we will differ but for now her things are my responsibility so I felt empowered to do something.
Just like the box project I needed something to measure the correct amount of extras that I wanted in our lives when I happened upon this picture on Pinterest.
This was the perfect thing to measure her items. This wasn’t the number of items that bothered me it was that they were everywhere and could easily get out of control.
So I purchased this 3 -tier rolling utility cart on amazon and my husband can attest that I did my happy dance when it arrived. Patrick quickly put it together and took the baby so I could get in the zone and minimize. Funny thing was…I didn’t have to much to minimize! I had done better than I had thought at keeping things in check. All of her toys and stuffed animals and her board books fit in this organizer. I only donated a handful of stuffed animals.
So how did I find it best to organize things? If you will notice the top level is stuffed animals. I put them up top because that would have been hardest to organize lower down since everything is a different height (and if she pulled it down on her that wouldn’t hurt her). Then I thought her toys on the second level would be best. Right now she is teething so there are a lot of teething toys in there. The last level is where all her board books are. Yes I do have more books but those are for the next stage as they are paper books. I would be more comfortable if we had even more board books because I would just rotate them but no more than a box worth since the board books is a short stage in her life and we couldn’t get those from the library.
Another thing that I love is that this cart is on wheels so it can just follow us to the room that we are playing in and when we are done playing we clean up and wheel it back to its home. This was so much less overwhelming to me once I actually understood what we had. Instead of keeping teething toys in the kitchen and stuffed animals in every room of the house and her books next to the crib now everything is in one place and I love it. It is so easy to manage.
So how does this strategy help with minimalism if I didn’t actually minimize anything in the process? Well it keeps things from getting out of control and it keeps things organized. It also keeps everyone be on the same page and naturally lends itself to the one in one out rule. The only way to make more room is to take something else away. That limits the desire to bring much else in and clearly sets the perimeters.
I know things will change as she starts to want more toys or I find more that will help her development but even then I plan on having a box where I will switch toys in and out so she doesn’t get board and I don’t get overwhelmed. I’ll update you when she gets older, during the next stage where we have learning toys, or when she is at the stage where she wants to keep every scrap of paper and piece of artwork but for now I am at peace.