11 Organization Essentials for Busy, Creative New Moms
Anjelika Temple here, Chief Creative Officer at Brit + Co and new mama to the best baby girl everrrrr (not biased at all!). Just a few months ago, I was writing to all y’all about maternity style, my decision to have a c-section and our newly decorated nursery. Now, just a few months later, I’ve got a little one who has completely transformed my life! Honestly, it’s hard to imagine that the world ever spun without little Miss Anokhi Temple in it.
Of course, there were a couple other things that “launched” in the last few months that I’m also pretty proud of: our line of DIY Kits at Target *and* our brand spankin’ new line of Brit + Co planners and accessories also at Target!
Four months into motherhood, I’m not quite a pro but I have learned a few tricks along the way when it comes to staying organized. Here’s a smattering of essentials that I use on the regular.
1. Brit + Co Customizable Planner: There are about a million reasons why I was psyched for our planners to hit the market, mostly selfish ones! It’s tough to find a planner or log to keep track of baby’s naps, feeds, activities, and, albeit, bowel movements as well as your own to-dos. To create a master planner for baby and myself, I use the Weekly Insert Pages to be all about baby. I’m able to identify patterns in terms of her nap times and awake time and when the week has passed, I turn it into a scrapbook and paste in photos of her that from that week. While I have an official baby book and will probably have countless photo albums filled with moments from this first year, it’s nice to have something informal. Plus, I don’t exactly need to spend time looking back on how many times I changed Anokhi’s diaper in her 16th week. For my own organization, I use the Monthly Inserts to keep track of our family’s travel schedule and the Daily Inserts for work.
2. Photo Printer: I went back and forth about getting one of these but am SO happy I went for it. I take so many photos on my phone that it’s nice to print out a few every so often to pin up on the fridge, paste into my planner or drop in the mail to loved ones when we sent them thank you notes. While it’s probably still best to order professional prints for photographs you’d like to frame, a photo printer is pretty great when you don’t have time to choose that one perfect photo. For Mother’s Day, my husband printed about a dozen selfies of himself and Anokhi and sprinkled them throughout the house. I still find them in the most random places and they always make me smile.
3. Daily Journal: I’ll be the first to admit, I’m stretching the definition of “organization” here but organizing one’s thoughts is actually pretty important to the first few months (years?) of being a mama. I was gifted a journal that is designed to last over five years where you write a few lines a day every day. It’s so easy to pick up and write, and you don’t have the pressure of filling a whole page or worrying about writing the right thing. It’s just a space to jot down a few thoughts, memories, sleep cycles and the like. I’ve already found myself reading back through those first few days with Anokhi and I get totally emo about it!
4. Sticky Notes: Pregnancy brain is one thing, but baby brain is FOR real. Sleep deprivation and being responsible for another human do funny things to the mind. I think of about a million to-dos throughout the day and don’t always log them. At home, I keep sticky notes in strategic places so I can write myself (and my husband and nanny) notes as they come to mind. These were key during my maternity leave as well when I wasn’t in work mode.
5. Calendar Alerts That Correspond to Baby’s Growth *and* Clothing Size: This one’s a mouthful but there’s no short way to describe this essential! We know you’re going to celebrate your baby’s monthly birthdays — but are you also going to remember to rotate in all those clothes that you thought were way too big four weeks ago? Probs not. I learned this the hard way. Before Anokhi arrived, I took the time to organize her clothing into drawers that corresponded to 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6 months +. The thing is, I forgot all about that once she was born! At around 4 months, I realized I had all this other clothing I could be tapping into and ended up missing some of the cutest pieces because they were already too small for her. Whoops!
6. Travel Changing Station: This is a no-brainer but I had no idea just how much I’d depend on it. This kit is with us everywhere we go and has been great for last minute changes on a walk, at the airport, camping and more. I keep a spare onesie in here as well, just in case. The changing mat can also double as a nice surface to toss a blanket on if you’re in a park and want to let your babe wiggle around on the ground for a little while. Just be sure to wipe it down before you put a blanket on it, obvs.
7. Drying Rack for Bottles + Pump Parts: I didn’t quite understand why I needed a separate drying rack for baby things when counter space is pretty minimal in my apartment. But, it’s necessary. Not only does the design of this one lend itself to tiny bottle and pump parts, but it gives you peace of mind to have a space that is free of any other dishes.
8. Storage Bins and Baskets: Admittedly, these are essential whether or not you’re a new mom but #momlife has turned me into a bin-and-basket evangelist. In Anokhi’s nursery, we have a six-section shelf that houses four bins. One bin for diapers, one bin for linens, one bin for non-everyday accessories (hats, bibs, shoes, headbands) and one bin that’s just a random catch-all. We also have a basket next to her crib that has swaddles, blankets, and stuffed animals. And (!) we’ve got a bin in her playroom (yep, somehow this baby has taken over two rooms in our city apartment) for books and toys. But wait, there’s more! We converted the shower in our second bathroom into a closet and have plastic bins in there storing the baby stuff we don’t need yet, extra diapers/wipes/etc, as well as the clothes she’s already outgrown. So. Much. STORAGE!
9. Packing Cubes: Okay honestly, I used to give my mom a hard time for using these to organize her luggage but now I understand! Baby clothes are so teeny tiny and it’s easy to lose them amongst your own clothing — these mesh organizers are pretty much the jam. I’m easily able to fit everything Anokhi needs for any vacation in one little pouch.
10. Everyday Backpack: Some may call this their diaper bag, but to me, it goes way beyond a simple change-up. At first, I kept the bag packed, but then I found I never had exactly what I needed or doubted myself so unpacked and repacked it before leaving the house. Now I keep an empty backpack on a shelf in my entryway and have these essentials ready to load in: backup outfit, travel changing station, swaddle blanket, a thicker blanket, two burp cloths (girlfriend is really into drooling and spitting up as of late), a toy that can tie onto things, a book, a pacifier (that she’s still not into but I’ll keep trying), and this flamingo security blanket that has been lovingly dubbed “Pelican.”
11. A Fanny Pack: In my opinion, the fanny pack never went *out* of style. This is the only purse-type thing that works with a stroller, baby carrier, baby wrap, or if you’re just carrying your baby — especially if you’re also walking a pup. I keep my phone, wallet, keys, chapstick, a tiny burp cloth, and hand sanitizer in it at all times. There are some non-lame ones out there, I promise.
And now, without further ado, more photos of Anokhi Paranjpe Temple!
Oh, puppy love.
Will you be picking up any Brit + Co Planners during your next Target run? Let us know on Twitter at @britandco AND share your fave items using the hashtag #BritxTarget across your social media channels!