Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is proud to partner with Guardian Storage to chronicle my journey to home ownership and organization. Some form of compensation has been received, however all opinions are my own. #GuardianStorage

Dear Diary,

Hi, my name is Heather, and I am a pack rat. I think it’s hereditary. My grandmother, my mother and my sister don’t like to throw things away. We have elementary school art work, tee ball trophies, ballet recital costumes and other memorabilia packed away in our attics. In fact, I even started a free store with friends, which is a consignment store minus price tags for neighbors in need, to ensure nothing goes to waste!

Like my female family members above, I also inherited a shopaholic gene. So although I constantly give things away, I often replace them, especially children’s clothes since sizes changes almost as often as the weather. When it comes to storing old baby clothes and gear, now that my little one is headed to second grade, I rented a unit at Guardian Storage.

Guardian Storage currently has 17 locations in the greater Pittsburgh area. They recently opened a new location in Forest Hills, and will be adding another location in Bethel Park in 2018. Guardian storage is super convenient! The storage facility also offers online billing and payment, moving carts and dollies, covered loading docks, access 365 Days-a Year and even free Wi-Fi and conference rooms. I even got to use their moving truck!

If I do decide to have baby number two, I don’t want to decide between car seats, cribs and big ticket toys, like this green push car. I want to reuse what we already bought. Renting a storage unit will save time and money! It solves my problem of how to organize baby clothes, big baby toys and baby gear.  All these things are being replaced in our home with dozens of Barbie dolls, a Barbie shopping mall, and a Barbie swimming pool. So, I still must organize everything that’s not dropped off at our storage unit! And the clothes my daughter now picks out, like her first grade moving up outfit above.

Here are my tips for other moms who need to know how to organize baby clothes and other items:

Tidy Up Tiny Toys

My daughter absolutely loves tiny toys! She collects Shopkins, Num Noms and every small surprise toy on the market. Most of the brands sell storage containers, to help us keep track of the 101 plastic pieces. Plus, it’s kinda cool to see the collection in its entirety.

Hide the Mess

We use a toy bin to hide toys that would be rather messy if left piled up on the floor. We organize it by toy type, so we can quickly find the Barbie bin, the puzzle bin and the arts and crafts supplies. This also helps teach my daughter responsibility. She can help put things away, since she can easily place the items in the proper bins.

Organize by the Season

Instead of keeping clothes for all four season in my daughter’s closet, I only hang the clothes being used for that particular time of the year. I don’t have to search through sweaters for sundresses. I can easily find weather appropriate clothing. I also organize by size–ensuring my daughter quickly wears the clothes she is about to outgrow. When it comes to dresser drawers, you can purchase plastic organizers to separate small items, like onesies, under garments and socks. We bought baskets at the Dollar Tree.

Hey DFTM fam–How do you organize your little one’s clothes and toys?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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