Image by dhgatsby via Flickr
Many parents feel overwhelmed by the organizational aspect of raising a child when coupled with the need to keep their lives running smoothly. Keeping everything in its place every day seems like a daunting task, one that takes hours to accomplish. This is simply not true.
I like to tell my organizationally challenged clients to pick one or two areas where they feel the most disorganized, and we start there. It should only take a few minutes to keep an area under control. One easily overlooked area is the diaper bag. I have heard numerous horror stories: moms and dads running out of diapers or clothes when they are far from home…and now having a huge problem on their hands.
Here are the bare minimums to keep in mind when it comes to diaper bag organization:
Keep the essentials on hand. I love Amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save feature. Items come in the mail on a set schedule. You will never run out of diapers or wipes again! Keeping your house stocked will ensure that you can keep your diaper bag supplied as well.
Pick a Smart Bag
You will tote a diaper bag from the day your baby is born to the time they start school. Knowing this, make a smart decision when it comes to choosing your diaper bag. Ensure the bag has convenient storage and that you are able to carry the bag comfortably. You may need multiple bags. It is reasonable for each parent (as well as any caretakers that take your child out) to have their own bag.
Create a habit of cleaning out and restocking the bag after every use. This minimizes the chance of not having what you need. Make sure the bag is free of trash and wipe up any spills. You may not always have time to clean out and re-pack a diaper bag on your way out the door, so make it a point to do maintenance when you get home or at the end of the day.
I love to use Ziploc baggies inside bigger diaper bags for easy and efficient storage. Label baggies with what goes inside: diapers, clothes, food, dirty items, toys, etc. Now you can easily grab what you need immediately. This method also allows you to quickly inventory items, which plays into keeping your diaper bag well stocked. Don’t just throw everything inside, organize it to maximize stress-free use.
Use a Luggage Tag
Another strategy I employ with my clients is a luggage tag. List all items that should go in the bag as well as the quantities of each, and attach the tag to the zipper or outside of the diaper bag. This trick is useful when there are multiple people using one bag. Many parents find this helpful because they don’t know or forget what goes in the bag. You can prepare different tags for different situations: seasonal, night-time, grandma’s house, out-of-town, etc.
Make the most of your diaper bag and take care of it. It only takes a few minutes to organize and stock items that are necessary for the care of your child. In the end, your preparation will lead to lower stress and more fun on outings!
Other sites to take a look at:
Consumer Reports diaper bag guide
Great reviews and tips at Diaper Bag Junkie
Great list of what you need at parentsconnect
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