Tidying and refreshing your baby’s room creates space and has health benefits for you, too
If your nursery decoration has involved little more than shoving a cot in the corner of the spare room, you’re probably overrun by toys and baby clutter, which won’t help you feel balanced and in control (and will have you reaching for the HobNobs). In her book The Superstress Solution (£12, Random House), Dr Roberta Lee says that disorganisation is not only a symptom of stress, but a source of it, too. But there are ways of controlling all that baby clutter in even the smallest spaces (and, yes, when you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, too…)
The Essential Storage Unit
If you’re fed up with overflowing toy bins, invest in a robust unit that will house toys, book and games. Have them on display as a design feature, or tuck them away – we like the Expedit cube storage system (from £75, ikea.com). Colourful doors and inserts hide any clutter you don’t want out on show.
Brighten Up With Wall Stickers
Decorating is the easiest way to refresh a room, but you don’t have to give everything a mega facelift. If you can’t face opening a paint tin, stickers can transform a wall and add character in less than half an hour. Try nubie.co.uk and notonthehighstreet.com for a huge range, from £1.50.
Clever Storage Ideas
A quick fix for dealing with clutter is to attach material to the bottom of your cot to make a hidden area, then slide storage boxes under to stash nappies. Find colourful ones at jojomamanbebe.com, from £5. ‘A pretty screen is another great way to camouflage different areas,’ says Anita Kaushal, author of The Family At Home (£12.99, Clarkson Potter). If you have the budget, invest in an Ottoman, which has storage space under the seat.
Hang Things Up
Even in a small nursery, there are places to create storage space. Think vertically by using walls and the backs of door as storage areas. Coat hooks save on space, or invest in hanging ‘pocket’ racks for smaller odds and ends that can easily be lost. Keeping things at a higher level is also handy for when your baby gets mobile and you need to keep bits out of reach.
Customise Old Furniture
If cheap wood-effect furniture fills you with horror, try customising. Give a new lease of life to a chest of drawers by changing the handles to add a quirky feel, or paint to complement the décor. Sand first, then use two coats of acrylic paint.
Make Wardrobe Space Work Harder
Baby clothes might be small, but your little one will go through at least two sizes every year. Anita recommends maximising wardrobe space by adding another hanging rod to double the amount of clothes you can store, or putting shelving at the bottom. If DIY isn’t your thing, buy stackable containers and use them for clothes. Label them by size and season, so you don’t have to wade through.