Now that Easter is over, the weather is (finally) beginning to show signs of warming up and spring flowers are starting to appear, it’s time to give your home a freshen up. Are you storing piles of outgrown baby clothes, toys that have lost their appeal for your little one, and baby equipment that’s no longer needed? Now is the ideal opportunity for a sort out, to create an organised, clutter-free living space for your family.
Children come with a surprising amount of associated ‘stuff’ that is essential when they’re little, but actually doesn’t get used for very long and then takes up an awful lot of space in your home. Entertainment items and toys like bouncers or baby gyms, practical appliances such as sterilisers or bottle warmers and other equipment such as high chairs, changing stations or buggies are invaluable during the early years. Once your little one no longer uses them though, it can be hard to decide what to do with these items. As a general rule, you have three options:
Perhaps you want to save baby items to use with another child in the future, especially if they were an expensive purchase. If this is the case a loft or garage is needed to store things out of the way. Make sure you protect items carefully from damp or dust, depending where they’re going to be kept. Clothes, bedding and blankets can be stored in vacuum bags, which reduces the amount of space they take up.
Even if you won’t have any further use for some items, you might choose to keep them for sentimental reasons. Keepsakes from your baby’s first years can be extremely meaningful and special to look back on as they get older. Many people choose to keep a first outfit, a favourite toy or other significant item. Read on for some imaginative ideas for storing or displaying keepsakes…
Items that you’ve finished with which are in good condition may be sold online or at a nearly new sale. Many expectant parents choose to buy some items second-hand. Equipment such as pushchairs, highchairs and other bigger baby items are especially popular, along with bundles of clothes sorted by size. Any money you make could be used to buy more age-appropriate toys or clothes, added to your child’s savings, or simply added to the family finances.
Maybe there’s someone in the family expecting a baby that you could pass outgrown or finished-with items along to. If not, you might choose to donate used items to a charity shop or other organisation where they can benefit those in need. Having a baby is an expensive time, so helping others in this way is always a good thing to do if you can.
3 Great Ideas for Creating Beautiful Baby Keepsakes
Frame it up!
If you have a favourite item of baby clothing, long outgrown, it seems a shame to hide it away in a box somewhere, never to be worn again. For significant outfits like the clothes you brought them home in, a first pair of shoes, a hat or a pretty dress from a childhood holiday, why not make them a feature of your home? Framing baby clothes is a unique way to display treasured memories and make sure they’re never forgotten. Choose a frame of the correct depth and size – a box frame is a good idea for bulkier items; add a plain backing board so not to distract attention away from the clothing you’re framing. Wash and iron your chosen clothing so that it sits flat, before pinning or tacking it into position on the backing
Create a patchwork masterpiece
Do you have so many beloved items of clothing from your little one’s babyhood that it’s impossible to choose a favourite? The good news is that for this project, you don’t have to! A patchwork keepsake lets you mix and match as many different colours, patterns and fabrics as you like, resulting in a completely unique item full of happy memories. A patchwork blanket made from cut up sections of clothing is relatively easy to make, and can be very effective when backed with a soft fleece or wool and a satin edging. If you have the time and skills you could aim higher and sew a teddy or other cuddly toy made from favourite items. Lacking in time or worried about your sewing ability? There are plenty of clever craftspeople around who offer this service, which might be a wise choice before you start chopping up those treasured babygros yourself!
Build a memory box
This is a wonderful way to store all kinds of mementos of your child’s baby years, and older children will love to look at them in years to come and talk about the contents. Find a pretty box, or buy a plain box and decorate it yourself, before filling with whatever you like! Photographs, a baby’s rattle, favourite outfits, small toys, a dummy, a lock of hair, baby teeth and more! A memory box can be an evolving and growing collection of significant items as your child gets older, and is something really special to look back on.