You don’t have to ditch everything that’s part of your pre-parenting life just to make room for your new baby… but maybe it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the secret shoe stash that’s been slowly taking over the guest bedroom you’re planning to prep as your baby’s nursery. It’s time for some serious Marie Kondo-style decluttering. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the “tidy” type. You’ve totally got this — with a few tips, of course.

A pregnant woman organizes a nursery

1. Start with the sentimental. These are the toughest items to get rid of — so don’t. Even though you’re on the verge of making major new memories, you don’t need to forget about all of those before-baby keepsakes. Sort the truly meaningful items from things that you just sort-of-kind-of want to keep. In other words, keep the menu from your wedding, and toss the movie tickets from some random Keanu Reeves flick you saw a few years ago and can’t even remember the plot of anymore.

2. Rent a storage unit. Sometimes you just can’t (or shouldn’t) get rid of your stuff. The skis that you might not use this winter and the extra bookcase that’s just waiting for the next overflow are totally usable in the future. Instead of trashing them, giving them away, or selling them, save them in a storage unit. Out of sight, out of mind… that is, until you need them.

3. Think “estate sale.” While having a baby doesn’t mean you have to start over, you can gather everything that you absolutely won’t use and sell it. Put a price tag on it, have a yard sale, spend the day on eBay, post on local Facebook groups, or do whatever else works to turn your clutter into cash.

4. Throw a spend-the-day giveaway party. Your single and childless friends could probably use some of your non-baby essentials. When selling your stash doesn’t seem like the smart thing to do (or you don’t have the time to stage an all-out yard sale), giving it away works too. Organize what you no longer want or need, invite your BFFs over for cocktails and mocktails, and host a giveaway fete!

A pregnant woman browses a bookshelf

5. Create categories. Do you really need all of your old college textbooks? You might think you do, if you’re not sure how many or what exactly you have. Categorize everything that might possibly need to go. Sort through each category and halve it — or at least ditch a quarter.

6. Repurpose with a real purpose. A seemingly grownup-looking bookcase can magically transform into the centerpiece of your baby-friendly nursery with some paint and new drawer pulls. Before giving up old items, consider what you can reuse for baby. And don’t worry if you’re not Pinterestingly perfect when it comes to crafty DIYs. Ask a friend to help, or just try something new (with the help of an online video tutorial). The worst that can happen is that you totally fail and have to get rid of the item — and you were going to do that anyway!

7. Look at your baby gear. Before you say no to pruning your pre-baby pile, really truly take a long look at the mountain of gear that you received at your shower (or that you bought for yourself). Now think about where it will go. You just might have a lightbulb moment that makes you realize it’s okay to start storing or giving away what you don’t need.

8. Ask for help. While it’s pretty unlikely that Marie Kondo herself will stop by, don’t be afraid to ask a friend with superior organization skills to help. If that doesn’t cut it, hire a professional organizer for the afternoon. The tips and tricks will more than pay for themselves in saved time and reduced frustration.

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(Photos via Getty)