HOME IMPROVEMENT: THE NEWBORN CART

HOME IMPROVEMENT: THE NEWBORN CART - This Wild Home

We’ve been very cozied over here with the baby and the toddler and all of the slow days we can get. We’re getting used to our new rhythm with a newborn and we’re slowly starting to feel normal again.

Honestly, I’d say it takes about a month to start feeling like a person after having a baby. You get used to the sleep deprivation and your newborn starts to get used to being in the world. Your body starts feeling much better and all in all, you have the ability to actually start doing some normal things.

The one thing that doesn’t change is how much your baby poops and pees. How messy their clothes get. How often you need to quickly access burp rags and things that you don’t always think to have on hand. All the little accessories that babies need is quite surprising given that they’re so little and can’t do much. But any sized human can make a mess and for newborn messes, you need a lot of supplies.

I put a little something together before my second was born. A cart to carry all of his stuff from one room to another with ease. It’s been one of the best things for these newborn days so I can have easy access to all the little things babies need.

THE NEWBORN CART

It may not be the most amazing discovery in the whole world, but it sure has made our lives much easier. Like I said, I have a toddler to keep an eye on all day along with newborn duty (and also newborn doody). For the sake of not making my toddler follow me around the house all day, not having to coop us all up in one room, and not having to lug a baby all around the house, I decided I needed something that can move all of the things I need around with me.

So rather than get drawers or some kind of permanent storage for Charlie’s clothes, diapers, and other necessities that would make me have to run to his room every five seconds everyday, I opted to put together this cart. The set up isn’t too complicated. I had this cart lying around and realized that it’s three compartments would be perfect since I had about three categories of things I needed to keep with me.

TOP - DIAPERS

HOME IMPROVEMENT: THE NEWBORN CART - This Wild Home

At the moment, we’re a hybrid disposable diaper/cloth diaper family. We use the cloth diapers during the day and the disposable diapers at night.

So the top row has a few disposable diapers, since we only use a couple a night, and lots of cloth diaper inserts along with a few covers. The wipes will usually float somewhere on top of all that or just around the house since both boys need them. This way, anywhere my toddler is or anywhere we’re all hanging out, I can take the cart and have all my diapering necessities right there. I just have a designated diaper changing burp cloth that I’ll lay the baby on and change his diaper anywhere on the ground. (It works for now since we have carpet, but I may get a larger mat soon that isn’t quite as thin so we can still use that when we travel or on surfaces that aren’t already padded)

Any extra diapers or cloths we have stay in our closet so if we go through a lot in a day or get behind on laundry, there’s some back up there.

MIDDLE - CLOTHES

HOME IMPROVEMENT: THE NEWBORN CART - This Wild Home

Babies go through a lot of clothes. There’s diaper blowouts, extreme spit-ups, and just general stuff that comes out of babies pretty much all day.

With all of that, and the fact that I didn’t buy my newborn his own dresser for his clothes, we keep his clothes on the cart to grab with ease if anything happens to them. It’s also nice to help keep the amount of clothes we get for him smaller. Babies go through clothes so fast that it doesn’t make much sense to me for them to have a ton of clothes for each stage. Just a few PJs and about a weeks worth of daytime outfits has worked great for us.

BOTTOM - ETC.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: THE NEWBORN CART - This Wild Home

The bottom row is mostly just burp rags along with a hat, some socks, and any swaddles that aren’t in use.

Again, we try to keep a small amount of things for the baby because you can always just wash what you have. So we have a few burp cloths, only about 3 pairs of socks since they always fall off anyway, one hat, and two swaddle blankets. It’s so nice to be able to grab a burp cloth without having to scramble around. Or a swaddle when the baby gets fussy and we’re desperate for something to keep him calm.

So that is the newborn cart! Super convenient and easy to put together. Also, surprisingly easy to keep organized!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

I’ve naturally spent a lot of time in my kitchen this past week. I also added quite a bit of ingredients to my cabinets that I normally don’t keep at my house. Useful ingredients that I can get creative with, but still, more than what I originally organized for.

So basically, I learned two things this past week:

  1. My kitchen is horribly disorganized.

  2. I actually kind of enjoy cooking.

Knowing these two things has motivated me to get a little more organized in my kitchen so I can get a little more creative without having to dig through all the ingredients most home chefs need to keep.

BEFORE

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET

As you can see, I didn’t have much rhyme or reason to my cabinet. I mostly just threw in items as I got them and tried to smush everything far enough back to prevent things from falling out.

Would you want to cook in the kitchen? Me either.

So finally, I took sometime to get it organized. I went in with a few goals.

  • It needed to look nice.

  • I wanted to put as much as I could in air tight containers (and out of plastic).

  • I wanted to be able to look in the cabinet and immediately know what I have and how much.

So then, I got to work on making these things happen.

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home


First thing, glass jars and a chalk pen are an organizer’s best friends. They are relatively inexpensive OR if you’re patient enough, you can collect enough glass jars over time from groceries like sauces or spices that eventually you’ll have a nice little, basically free collection!

I happened to have a stupid amount of mason jars lying around from moments here and there when I thought I’d be more proactive in meal planning than I’ll probably ever be, so that was pretty lucky I guess. (plus, mason jars are usually under $10 for a 12 pack depending on the size which makes them really accessible)

I pulled everything out of the cabinet and went to work taking things out of the package and putting it into a nice, glass jar.

AFTER

HOME IMPROVEMENT: SPICE CABINET - This Wild Home

Now, I’ve got my miscellaneous, rarely used items up top. My flour, sugars, grains, and spices in the middle. And a few, more commonly used or “ready to use” items on the bottom.

I can see what I have. I can now use things that I honestly forgot I had in the mess of everything before. It helps me meal plan a little easier to be able to open the cabinet, see what’s in it and what needs to be used and plan accordingly.

The best part is, when I run out of something I can refill it from the bulk section and save money while also wasting less packaging and all that good stuff!

At some point, I’d love to find or buy a few larger jars so I don’t have to put one tiny bag of flour into 3-4 different jars, but I’m working with a budget here so that will just have to wait.

So there you have it! An organized space cabinet that brings a little more piece to my otherwise overwhelming kitchen!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

Cutlery and general utensils are those things where it seems like there’s an obvious space for them, but the obvious space isn’t always the most practical.

If there’s something I’ve learned from moving a billion times and just finding my own adult rhythm, it’s that the conventional thing is not always the right thing.

This could be explored on so many levels. From being your own type of person to your own type of parent to creating your own kind of career and so on. But for now, I’m sticking to the surface with home organization and creating standards that suit your needs, even if they don’t make sense to anyone else.

So utensils. In a typical home there’s a drawer where they live. You will usually find enough utensils for everyone to use plus a bunch of extras. This drawer can often be found with a plastic organizer that separates the forks from the knives and the spoons and so on. It makes a lot of sense so why not just stick to that tune?

Well, because I have a toddler that can reach the drawer where the knives once lived. Because I’ve lived in homes with big drawers that were made for cutlery organizers and I’ve lived in homes with tiny drawers that barely stretch long enough to fit the cutlery. Not to mention the fact that I don’t like tedious tasks like organizing the cutlery. I like to reduce my chores to be as mindless and quick as I possibly can.

In my life right now, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have an organized drawer for these things, so I’ve had to find another way.

THE CUTLERY

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

This was something I found a solution to a little while ago. First of all, I had enough cutlery to where Ian and I each had 5 of each utensil to ourselves. Why? Well, who knows. Because I was suppose to? So I got rid of a lot of it and left us with 2 of each utensil for each of us. For me, cleaning a fork every once in a while is so much better than storing a bunch of utensils that never get used.

IF (notice that really big “if”) we have company - which we haven’t in like, a year. We’re hermits. It’s fine. - we can either grab some plastic or bamboo utensils or just make finger food.

And now our cutlery lives in a jar by the toaster where we can easily grab what we need or put things away without thinking twice.

THE SHARP STUFF

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

You guys. The day I learned my son could reach the knives was the day I started having dreams of him horrifically hurting himself in an irreversible way and those knives were moved to a higher location immediately.

To start, we don’t have an on-the-counter knife holder because, ain’t nobody got room for that (remember the moving all the time to places with all different sized storage space?) and also that’s just not how our hand-me-down knives came.

So for a very long time our knives lived on the counter next to my little notebook/planner/computer station and I’ve got to say, that corner went from tidy and organized to a stress inducing mess.

I left it like that for a good while because:

  1. There isn’t a great space to hang a magnetic holder in our current place.

  2. We’re moving very soon so it doesn’t seem worth it to put holes in the walls or buy something that may not work in the next place right before we leave.

I also felt pretty limited on counter space because I haven’t quite figured out how I want to organize everything over here so there we were. A bunch of knives haphazardly sprawled about on the counter.

Finally, my slow pregnant brain thought, “Why not do the same thing with the knives that I do with the cutlery?” DUH. So there you have it! A much neater solution to my very specific problem!

HOME IMPROVEMENT: CUTLERY + UTENSILS - This Wild Home

For these home improvement posts, my goal is really to show that there is no “right way” to do things. Every single one of us has specific problems that need specific solutions. We have our own preferences and our own strategies to bring peace to our lives and they are all the right way.

The right way for us may even change over time. Realistically, I’ll probably upgrade our knives along with their storage when we’re moved into the next place.

For now, here are my solutions to improve my at-home experience and hopefully, this will encourage you to think outside the box and do what you need to do to bring yourself peace in your home!