Organizing your life after baby can be a tremendous task. Yet, every parent knows this is an essential part of addressing the high-speed life we lead. An organized parent is one that is able to leave the house on time for babysitter drop-offs (and work!), has all of the essentials at doctor’s appointments, play dates, or the park, and minimizes frustration and stress. If all of this sounds good, let’s get started and find out just how easy organizing baby can be with wicker baskets.

Great for storing those little things – click the image for more info

For the first few years (and probably beyond!), you will be responsible for keeping baby’s things neat and clean. This is especially important in baby’s room, where a few well-placed wicker baskets will save you time and keep items tidy. As a mom, I have found four key areas in baby’s room that benefit from wicker basket use: shoes, clothes, the diaper changing station/area, and toys. Little shoes (for baby or early toddlerhood) are so small, they tend to get lost in the shuffle. It becomes even more of a challenge when your baby becomes enchanted with the sight of shoes and wants to carry them around the house!
I use a small wicker basket on top of a dresser to collect the shoes immediately after I take them off his precious little feet. This ensures they are always there when I need them and keeps them out of his sight. Before doing this, I spent more than a few hectic mornings searching for this essential item before heading to the baby sitter. An added bonus is that the basket is only big enough to hold four pairs of shoes; this really curbs my desire to purchase every shoe on the market. Of course, if you are an unapologetic shoe lover, you may need more than a single basket or a really big one!

Clothes require a little more than a small basket since most babies amass quite a bit of clothing to get them though the day, not to mention the week. To keep things simple and be able to tell which laundry I really need to do on wash night, I sort different “kinds” of clothing into separate wicker baskets that I keep in his closet on some shelves (out of his reach for now until he starts climbing). Short sleeved onesies are in one basket, while short sleeved t-shirts and shorts are in another.

Badger Basket Five Wicker Basket Storage Unit – Click img for more info

Long sleeved onesies live in a different basket and long pants are in another basket. Socks are kept in the tiniest basket I happened to find (adorable!) and I corral hats, mittens, and other miscellaneous items in a bigger basket. You can really be creative in choosing your baskets while making sure they serve your needs. Craft stores have such an array these days – matching to your décor is usually no problem. Every month, I take out clothes that no longer fit and store them in a bin in the garage in the event I’ll need them again for another baby. For me, the area that is most important to keep organized is the diaper changing station. This is because I keep medicines, such as baby Tylenol or prescriptions, syringes for giving meds, diaper rash cream, special lotion for baby’s eczema, a thermometer (yes, you know the kind I’m talking about!), alcohol wipes, a notepad and pen for keeping record of when we administer medication, teething tabs, his immunization card, several books on infant/baby care, and everything that is needed when you are changing a baby’s diaper. When baby is sick, you are worried, and/or it is the middle of the night, being organized is such a relief and helps you give baby what he or she needs in the fastest time possible. Although I have a diaper changing table, it only has a small drawer that can’t quite accommodate everything I need, so my husband put up several shelves around the table that are within my reach but not within baby’s. I have wicker baskets of several widths and depths, depending on the items it is storing, and I also labeled each one with the contents it holds. If you organize nothing else in your baby’s room, organize this one! It will really make you feel good the first time you can get your hands on that diaper cream immediately to stop baby’s pain or get that thermometer when he is really hot. Keeping it well-stocked is essential, so take an inventory every week so you can replace what was used.

Great for gathering baby’s toys!

Finally, a word about organizing toys with wicker baskets. I used to have several baskets to hold baby’s toys around his room. I tried to keep certain toys together, but it was too much trouble and nothing ever fit! Now, I have one big wicker basket in which I place all of the toys at the end of each night. I make sure the baby is there to watch and “help” so that eventually, taking over this chore will become natural for him. (A mother can dream, can’t she?) I don’t have a lid on the basket so that there is nothing that can fall on him when he leans into the basket to grab a toy or tumbles into it as sometimes happens!

Organizing baby’s room is a satisfying and essential task for every parent. Not only will it keep you at the top of your game, it will teach your baby great skills he or she will take into adulthood. Having the right stuff – like wicker baskets – is an important part of being and staying organized, but the key to success is being proactive and actually taking the steps needed to keep things neat and tidy. Good luck!

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In our house, I am the project manager responsible for the weekly laundry duty. My wife and I both work full-time, and long ago it was decided that the ongoing chore of laundry would be my responsibility. Over the years, I have developed a strategy for streamlining this process to ensure my weekend does not become consumed by it.

Wicker Storage Box by Home Gallery Stores – click image for more information

Let’s start with the kids’ rooms. We have two, one is 15-years-old, and the other about 19 months. I use the same strategy for each: two heavy duty wicker baskets in each room. One is white, and the other is a natural wicker color. The white basket is for the white laundry, and the natural wicker basket is for everything else. Special requests are routed to a blue wicker basket in the laundry room.

First thing Saturday morning, I’ll tackle our toddler’s laundry; it goes pretty quickly since it’s only two loads – a light and a dark. The goal is to have both loads complete by noon. At noon, the laundry machine is turned over to our teenager. She is responsible for doing her own laundry and has the rest of the day to accomplish her task. She usually does about 2 or 3 loads of laundry and understands she has to get it done before Sunday.

Rush Grass Laundry Basket in Black – $87.00from: Wayfair

We have a similar setup in our bathroom: two sturdy wicker baskets for the main laundry and a smaller half-sized one for dry cleaning. On Sunday, I typically tackle the laundry fairy early, starting with the basket of white laundry. That way, I can watch the morning football game while I fold – who says doing laundry has to be boring? The hardest part for me is staying consistent with the laundry cycles. I find using the timer on my iPhone works well for notifying me when it’s time to cycle the laundry.

By the time I’m done, I’ve usually completed a load of whites, two loads of darks, a load of lights, and occasionally, a load of special laundry depending on the contents of the blue basket. Every other week, I also do bed linens and probably only spend about an hour-and-a-half total on that process. Oh, and if you are wondering, that dry cleaning basket gets emptied every other Monday when I pick up (and drop off) the dry cleaning.

The best tip I can share with you is this – having family members pre-sort their laundry in two baskets really helps to streamline the whole laundry process. I hope my story has helped give you some ideas on ways to make your own laundry chores just a little easier by using wicker baskets!

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