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12 DIY Pins of Pinterest: Organization and Christmas gifts

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1. First, an organized closet. We wanted to update the front closet so it didn’t look quite so cluttered. I tend to ‘recycle’ gift bags when they are given to me, and with three baby showers under my belt, the closet was becoming full of gift bags and random pieces of tissue paper. We also had way too many coats hanging up there, many of which we no longer use. I wanted a place to store all my gift wrapping material, so this is the result: Before:

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After:

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OK, forgive that first picture. It appears that my kid’s head did its first photo bombing there. I don’t know what we’re going to do; I know at least 5,000 okay, five, people who are having babies this winter, spring, and summer, and they aren’t all girls! All my gift bags are really, really girly. Haha. 2.

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Homemade lemoncello. This needs some explanation, as it’s not quite finished yet. It takes over a month to brew properly. My husband calls it my moonshine, but really it’s Everclear, lemons, water, and sugar. I’m going to buy a clear bottle and give it to my parents for Christmas, I think, since I’m trying really, really hard to be good and not drink while I’m breastfeeding. (Technically, I know you can, but I’m paranoid. Plus, my daughter usually does not believe in waiting three hours in between feeds.) This is probably cheating since it’s not completely finished, but I promise to post pictures of the finished result when I’m done. 3.

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What do you do in a house that was inexplicably designed with very little storage space? You create your own, of course. I mean, both bathrooms are so tiny there’s not really much room for a vanity. We have two tiny cupboards, but with my stuff, my husband’s stuff, and now the baby’s stuff, things are getting really crowded. (You want to hear a sad story? All my lotions are now in a basket lying on top of the armoire in our bedroom. Now that’s a sad story.) At any rate, we used this idea to put some of our smaller stuff in a place that’s still easily accessible. And it reminds me to clean my ears. Here are the original pins. Clicking on the picture will take you to the original website, all except the last one, which Pinterest thinks is spam, I guess.

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Recently, I started following A Wee Nest, who set the challenge of doing 12 DIY projects this Christmas season. Well, my husband and I completed our first project over the past week.

Whenever we attempted to close our kitchen drawer, we ended up jamming all of our measuring cups since the cup measure was honestly a little bit big for the depths of our drawers. So, we ended up hanging our spoons and cups on the insides of our cabinet as part of our ungoing effort to get the cabinets organized.

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The original pin, which you can find here.

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Organized dresser as a changing table

Recently, we started on the finishing touches for the nursery. One of the most important steps is to have an organized changing table, to make sure we have everything in a convenient location.

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We’re using my old dresser as the changing table, so all we have to do next to take down the mirror and put up something pleasant to look at.

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In the first section, we have diaper wipes, diapers, socks, pacifiers, toys, and containers. Below that, we have tons of swaddling cloths for nighttime.

And in the bottom drawer, we have extra changing covers.
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We used IKEA drawer organizers and have slowly added to our collection as we got more things from the various baby showers I’ve had. My due date is Thursday, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before we get to try out our organization ideas firsthand.

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On my to-do list for baby

Well, I’m about 38 weeks now, which means baby will be here fairly soon. I have so much stuff I’d like to get done, and thankfully my energy is starting to make a come-back. 

 

On my list:

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Get a massive amount of baby laundry done. It’s nice that everyone has been so sweet and given us clothes, but there’s so much laundry to do! You see this massive pile of clothes? Believe it or not, this is just newborn/0-3 months size. This does not include the load I’d already put in the wash, or the other stuff I have in bigger sizes. She now has more clothes than I do. I guess I’ll appreciate it once she’s here… less laundry. Haha.

 

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Get some meals cooked and put in the freezer. I think I’ll get hubby on this challenge, since he makes an excellent chili and beef stew. I might even start making more food than necessary this week and freezing some of it up when I can. It’ll give us a head start on meals once Baby R gets here.

 

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Get the bassinet in our room. We’re not in a huge hurry to do this, so I’m going to have hubby move it when we get home from the hospital. We have a tiny master bedroom, so putting it in there now just means we’re going to trip over it constantly when we get home. Right now, I think I will load up the bottom with ‘quick’ remedies, like some diapers, diaper cream, a toy, a change of clothes, and a spare sheet. That way I can keep everything close by.

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Get these cute buttons on the dress I’m working on. I’m making a dress for Baby R at the moment, which I’ve put aside for other projects. But I now have the overwhelming urge to finish up the dress and add these cute buttons on. I actually also bought some large white buttons that will work in a pinch, but these are cuter. 

And… last but not least… (prepare to be horrified):

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I need to reorganize my craft desk. I am not sure how my craft desk became a dumping ground for everything, but it’s a mess. My sewing machine is still at my mom’s, and I need to get my machine here, as I’d like to get some sewing done. Other goals include getting nurse gifts together, and to get the car seat installed in the car. No, we have not done that yet. Yes, I am aware the baby could be here any time now, 

Hopefully, my next blog post will show a much nicer, much more organized desk. 

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Packing my bag for baby

Well, I’m not dead. I typically try to update more often, but I’ve been completely zonked. Zombiefied. Not as bad as that first trimester, but pretty darn bad. I’m waiting patiently for some kind of nesting instinct, but as the only instinct I’ve had so far is forcing myself through work and then staring at the walls, I’m guessing labor is pretty far off. 

 

I did pack my hospital bag. 

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The backpack is for baby. So far I have some diaper ointment, two going-home outfits (one in pink and one with pumpkins on it that says “My First Halloween” since she’s due the 24th but could very well be born on Halloween). I’m finishing up some laundry and will add a pink hat and some mittens so she doesn’t scratch herself. My hospital gives out diapers, so I’m not concerned about that.

For myself, I packed a boppy, a going-home outfit for myself (still maternity style), some breast pads, toiletries, and some underwear I could care less about. Then I added a robe and some socks, as I can get cold very, very easily. I wrote a list to remind myself to pack some snacks for hubby, some treats for the nurses, and my Macbook in case I get bored. That way, I can listen to some music as I labor, I guess. I think I’m also going to add a pillow to that list, since everyone says hospital pillows are basically the worst. 

Is there anything else I should add?

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Steps to an organized nursery

Well, I had my first baby shower last weekend and it was a success! Now that we’re starting to get things for the baby, we started seriously organizing it. I might regret having everything done before I go on maternity leave, but I figure having everything set up as we go is the best plan. That way, in case she decides to come early, we’re ready to go.

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We’ve already bought her several books. My eventual plan is to make some outward-facing bookshelves so she can pick her own books when she’s old enough to do so, but there’s no rush on that. The white cabinet next to the bookshelf is an awesome find from Hobby Lobby. We’re using it in our eventual nursing corner, and it has burp cloths and will have things I need on hand to feed her late at night.

OH, and the most exciting thing? Is the baby monitor. We finally decided on a stroller we both liked, and if you spent more than $150, you got a free baby monitor! A snazzy one, too, because it has video and everything.

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Burp cloths. Always important.

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I made these. This was, I think, the third sewing project I ever did. I love the Winnie-the-Pooh fabric. I also made her a matching receiving blanket.

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We bought drawer organizers at IKEA, which we love. In this drawer, we have a random bottle I got as a sample, diaper rash lotion, and pacifiers. In the drawer next to this one, all we have is diapers. (I’ll spare you the image. Just know… I’m learning slowly but surely that newborn diapers are tiny. So tiny I’m having a hard time believing humans ever fit into those.) One of my friends also gave me small containers to organize things, like formula, food, etc. Although right now the plan is to breastfeed, I guess you never know. In the drawer below, all we have so far are some swaddling cloths.

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Our organized closet. On top we have clothes for day time, and below are clothes for sleeping. People gave us hats, slippers, and bibs, so that’s currently in the hanging fabric organizer. We also have a few diaper covers, which are so cute. People were so good about giving us clothes for a variety of sizes, but I just realized I have very few newborn outfits that are actually for cold weather, haha. Oh, well. Next to that, we have a bulletin board so my husband and I can write each other notes and communicate. Our work schedules do not match at all, so we figured we’d need a central place to write notes, like “R didn’t sleep well. R just ate. Blah blah blah.” Maybe even (gasp!) a love note, haha.

I know I’m making this kind of long, but I really like the initials we found for the wall:

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Organizing for dummies

Phew. I’ve found that organizing the bedroom drawers can be quite the arduous task. It’s nice to have it out of the way, though. I had my husband sort through the junk drawer, and he put everything in shoeboxes for me. I decided to decorate them, but the first one was so difficult and didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, so I only did one. *Sigh.*

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Shoeboxes make very handy drawer organizers when you’re on a budget.

 

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I also separated all the t-shirts, gym clothes, and p.j.’s as well. 

 

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*Phew!*

Since I’m relatively new to the blogosphere, most people probably don’t know I’ve struggled with organization my whole life. It just doesn’t come naturally to me, and I’m really using my pregnancy to try and get myself organized, so it’ll be easier for me once the baby gets here. Or so is the plan. One thing I bought was this gem on Amazon:

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I really love how it can keep all your small trinkets/toiletries together in clear, see-through pockets so if you’re a frequent flyer you can just open it up and security can see everything.

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And, behind that layer, there’s another layer, where you could probably fit all your travel sized shampoos, conditioners, and body wash.

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We travel a great deal, so right now the plan is to pack this sucker for my upcoming trip to the hospital (to deliver the baby) and just keep it packed with travel-sized toiletries for when we go somewhere. 

Oh, bonus — it has a hook!

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That’ll be super nice to keep it out of the way if I have to stay at the hospital for a longer period of time for any reason.