Make Having a Baby a Breeze



I realized a week or so ago that I desperately needed to make a list of things to do before baby comes.  Here it is.  Share it with anyone getting ready to have a baby!

My husband is smart and savvy and entirely capable of handling the home and the kids, but we have a LOT of kids and being REALLY ready will make life a little more doable.

  • Empty the vacuum(s)

Why?  Because vacuuming is chore enough, let alone if it’s super full and the trash is too full to dump it.  So having this done avoids all that.

  • Top off all the soap dispensers

I make my own foaming handsoap (1 oz Castille soap + water=Done!), which my husband has never done.  Let’s just not have to deal with that for a few weeks (we have 2-3 spares).

  • Make sure you’re stocked on toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, tissues, shampoo and soap, etc.

Because the things you buy less often are easier to forget about and no one enjoys running out of TP.

  • Make disposable cleaning wipes

Having a lot of kids means you’re cleaning up stuff CONSTANTLY.  And having cheap disposable cleaning wipes means that it’s easier.  Period.  The link in my Pinterest doesn’t work anymore, but basically, you use a serrated knife to cut a roll of high quality paper towels (like Brawny) to fit in your container.  Then mix 1/4 cup of all-purpose cleaner like Lysol with 2 1/4 cups of water and pour it over (remove the cardboard tube after 10 minutes or so).  I had my husband drill a hole in the lid of my container, but most of the time, I just remove the lid to get wipes out easier since they tend to shred when pulled through the hole.  The wipes are great, but you have to get used to them (they’re certainly not as strong as commercial wipes).

  • Transition clothes for other kids (or get them ready in a trashbag or box)

Are seasons changing? Has someone just had a crazy growth spurt?  This will be a major headache if the main person who does this can’t and it needs to be done desperately.

  • Start making a list of freezer meals to make/freeze beforehand

This time, hubby said he wants about 8 casseroles frozen to use about once or twice a week and he’ll cook the other couple times a week (he’s really quite something).  I definitely COULD search my Freezer Food board on Pinterest, but I think I’ll stick to old favorites that I have saved in Disheroo (cue shameless plug, HERE!) to make the planning and shopping list ZERO EFFORT.

You Don’t Have to Hate Transitioning Clothes


A friend recently posted on Facebook her trials with seasonal clothing transition for her four children.  I was a little surprised at how similar I and the other commenters view this task: We all seem to LOATHE it.

This has been an area of major growth for me.  One thing I’ve done has made a HUGE difference and I thought I’d share it.  Several days ago, I had to paw through my 2T tub and it was an ordeal–because I hadn’t worked the magic on it.

Here’s the MAGIC:

I divide every size tub of clothes into seasons in trashbags that I can tie and untie.  So then I can open the tub, and open the trashbag I need (which I’ve labeled with a Sharpie) and find what I need or put stuff back.

OK, that doesn’t sound spectacular, does it?  We have winter (turtlenecks, longjohns, blanket-weight/fleece pjs, etc), summer (shorts, tank tops, etc), and spring/fall (a good mix of short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts, capris, and long pants).

This cuts my “shopping” down to about a third of the work and frustration.


View yourself as “shopping” in your available clothes.  NOT EVERYTHING has to go into the dresser.

It’s really helpful to accurately assess what the child will really wear and let that and your laundry schedule drive your “shopping” decisions.  I do kid laundry on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so I don’t need more than 3 pairs of jeans or jammies per kid.

I don’t bring the tubs upstairs.  I take a laundry basket down for my “shopping trip” for the child.  This prevents having massive tubs overtake our home, having to lift and maneuver them up and down the stairs, and introducing wrong-season or otherwise unhelpful clothes into that child’s dresser.

I want my kids to look cute, but clothes don’t really matter to me.  Mostly, I want them to be situationally- and weather-appropriate, comfortable, and economically attired.  We buy infrequently–and when we want to for a specific reason, or have gaps to fill–that’s it.

Wardrobe capsules: if you’re not familiar, this is essentially a pared-down collection of pieces you love that work well together.  This is always my aim.

I keep a Goodwill box ready downstairs to easily toss items I’ve always hated or which are heavily stained.

When we’re done with certain pieces, putting away by season is a LOT easier.  Stuff little shorts in the summer bag and be done!

We’re down to 3 dresser drawers per kid.  When they’re crowded, it means some items need to find their way back to tubs.  But I keep a small space for off-season just-in-case items.  In summer: a pair of jeans and a cardigan; in winter: 1-2 t-shirts and a pair of good general-use shorts.

Keep what you NEED and WANT and leave the rest in the tub.

We DO buy shoes.  Once our kids start kindergarten, shoes seem to self-destruct on their little feet.

You’ll have to make adjustments depending on your climate.  (Texans don’t generally need a lot of winter wear, but we need months worth of clothes to handle snow on the ground.)

We’ve gotten a number of beautiful and precious dresses from people, but our girls only wear them to weddings or other special occasions.  So they stay in the tubs in the basement and I get them out when necessary.

Those t-shirts kids get from sports and activities that don’t really fit?  Unless school or the activity tell them to wear them, my kids won’t, so they’re one of the first things to go.  Surely, you have some category like this that is plaguing your dressers.  Toss ’em as soon as you can!