Nesting: Is it the biological imperative of the pregnant woman, as natural in the third trimester, as say, the urge to open the bedroom window wide open in the middle of the night, just to get some freaking AIR, despite the fact that it’s 40 degrees out? Or is nesting just the logical response to the feeling of “Oh shit, I’ve procrastinated dealing with the hazardous waste site we lovingly refer to as ‘the linen closet’ to the point where I’m the only one who knows where to find the Band Aids and the Tylenol, and now that I have only a few weeks left until I have no time for anything, I need to get organized NOW!!!!”
I felt a strong urge to nest at the end of my last pregnancy. In retrospect, once Sweet Pea was born, I had more time that I’d imagined I would have. The summer after she was born, I spent a week’s worth of her naps organizing the garage (which is a disaster again, two years later). So perhaps the natural thing this time would be to relax and realize that everything doesn’t have to happen before the baby gets here, and it will all be fine.
Except I’m really bad at relaxing.
Also, this time I will have a baby AND a two year old and even though I have wanted so very badly to put my feet up so that I can feed my Breaking Bad addiction and so I won’t go into labor before the Listen To Your Mother Show, (aka my other baby), I haven’t rested as much as I probably should have… There’s said show to co-produce, a recently remodeled basement that wasn’t going to re-organize itself, a large freezer that was devoid of meals up until about a month ago, the aforementioned disaster of a linen closet, and Sweet Pea’s move to a new room, which I wanted to make as cute as possible, so she wouldn’t feel like she was being kicked out of her old room by the new baby. However, the room situation should be the least of my concerns as far as her adjusting to a sibling, considering she’s been asking to nurse nearly every day for the past two months. (We haven’t nursed since this summer). So I’m pretty much f*cked.
At least my linen closet is organized, though.
Here’s how I did it: When the mood struck, I began. I let nothing stand in my way. Not Dan’s protests of “Why are you asking me if I want to save that ___ when I am clearly trying to leave for work?” Not the fact that Sweet Pea nearly ingested about a dozen things that would have made for an interesting conversation with the pediatrician at best, or an urgent trip to the ER at worst. And definitely not the fact that I probably have no business getting up and down off a step stool a thousand times at this point in my pregnancy.
First, I removed every single thing from the linen closet. Expired medication was tossed. Old prescriptions were placed in a ziplock bag to drop off at the Boulder County Sheriff’s office (they have a special drop box). Unknown substances pertaining to Dan (mostly Chinese stuff from his acupuncturist) were placed in a “Ask Dan about this” ziplock bag (He decided to go to work instead of hanging around to help me organize). Everything else was sorted into categories:
Sheets and towels (cool trick- fold your sheets and stuff them in the matching pillowcase)
Cough and cold medication
Band Aids and Neosporin
Anything for a more serious owie (gauze pads, tegaderm, ace bandage, saline spray, etc)
Sunblock or Bug spray
Feminine stuff you would take orally (herbals for pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc)
Feminine stuff you would not take orally (sitz bath herbs for postpartum, tampons, nursing pads, etc)
This never should have been in the linen closet in the first place/don’t even know why I own it
Materials were then organized into these handy white trays I found at Target, a plastic organizer from Ikea, or a lazy Susan (my mom’s favorite organizing trick) and returned to the linen closet in places that made sense. Many materials (eg extra heat pads- a family of three truly does not need six of these handy) were delivered to the basement, where there is now storage space.
I now love this linen closet so much (despite the horrible bi-fold doors) that I open it sometimes when I walk by for no other reason than to marvel at the organization of it. I feel like it belongs in an issue of Real Simple. Or at least on one of my Pinterest boards. My only regret is that I never took a “Before” picture.
This is Sweet Pea’s closet. I put all her clothes in there to maximize floor space for playing, as her room is small. Notice the bins on the left side came with labels, which I wrote on. Sometimes certain people in this family don’t know where the pants or the short sleeve tops are, even though they have been in the same drawer for… basically ever.
And here (right) is a picture of her new room. I wasn’t sure how the long curtains would look with relatively small windows, but I think it turned out cute. Bonus: They are light blocking, and being extra long, they do an excellent job of actually darkening the room. I found them at Target. Note: They don’t come in a pair. Don’t do what I did and assume they come in a pair, buy too few, wait months to open the package and figure that out, then freak out because the item is discontinued and search Ebay like a maniac to find another two matching panels. The bed was a Craigslist find (bonus: I made friends with the seller), and the rug is from Overstock.com (this is our fourth rug from there and I love them all).
The cubes are from Target and so are the hot pink fabric containers. I searched Pinterest to find a fun way to label the containers (it’s a badge holder from Office Dept, attached with a ribbon I found at Jo-Ann’s).
On the right is this adorable random hook I found for Sweet Pea’s bathrobe. We thought it would be nice if she could reach her own robe.
It dawned on me the other day that no matter how many times I get up in the middle of the night with our newborn, Sweet Pea will still get up between 6 and 7am and she will require supervision from that point on. I think my lizard brain already knew that, and it was thinking “Very soon, your eyeballs will feel like sandpaper and you will be dizzy with sleep deprivation but at least your shit will be organized.” And I think that is why we pregnant women nest. It’s like canning your food from the summer so you can eat it all winter. We want to create a surplus of order while we can, in an attempt to sustain us when there is none.