Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The gift of organization.

If there is ONE THING I am in need of, it's organization.  For pretty much any aspect of my life, but as baby 3 nears debut, I'm realizing anew how much I need help.  We are about 5 weeks away (which means I'm hoping for maybe 3, possibly 2 weeks...) (haha) and we haven't reorganized bug's closet to fit two boys.  We haven't finished bug's new bed (though mr is hard at work).  We haven't built the crib, assembled his dresser or made the mobile I can see clearly in my head.  In fact, and this is horrible, I haven't made the baby ONE DARN THING.  Have I mentioned before how sick I've been this time around?  It just doesn't get better, and I am EXHAUSTED.

What does this have to do with gifts?  Oh, I'll tell you.  Let's say you know someone about to have a baby.  Let's say you want to get them a gift, but you don't want it to be the same old layette.  (Don't get me wrong.  I love layettes!)  Let's say you completely understand the frazzled state I described above - maybe you've even BEEN THERE.  And so, your gift giving becomes a bit more practical.  Enter:

I'm going to bet you that ANY mom - first timer, second timer, old pro - could use a little help in this regard.  And they certainly wouldn't turn their nose up at a bag full of gifts for the little one!  So whether or not you've got a shower to go to this gift will impress.

Ready to start?  Awesome.

The first thing you need are some awesome chalkboard labels.  Why?  Because the basic tenet of organization is LABEL EVERYTHING... didn't you know that?  Make them CHALKBOARD labels and not only are you super trendy, but mom-to-be can change them whenever she needs to!  How handy is that?  I am cheap, and didn't want to buy vinyl chalkboard blah, blah... so I decided to make my own.

Pick these up at your local walmart:

And do this:

1. USE A THIN LAYER of chalkboard paint on your foam brush and gently brush over your page of labels.
2. Let it dry.  Apply another layer.  Let it dry.  Apply another layer.  Let it dry.  If you've lost track, that's three layers total.  Drying between each thin layer.
3. Use the side of a piece of chalk and rub it all over the labels to... what is it technically? cure it?...
4. Use a tissue or something to rub the chalk dust off.
5. Write on your DIY chalk labels with... well, duh... chalk!  You can change it, see?!  Fun, I know.

I wanted my writing to stick on those labels a bit better than regular old chalk, so I used this:

Makes your handwriting a little more legible too.

NOW.  What do we do with these labels?  I'll tell you.  We make separate bags for INSIDE the diaper bag.  Not only to we give the mom the handily labeled bags, we fill them up with our favorite stuff too.  Let me show you.

I got my clear vinyl bags at walmart too.  I found the large and small bags in cosmetics and the medium pencil pouch in school supplies (go figure).  They run about $5 for the large bag, 80 cents for the medium and about $1 for the small.  You can get whatever combo of bags will suit your needs.

Then, just peel your labels off their page and place them on the bags!

Let's look a little bit at what I put in my organized bags - and what you might want to load yours with.


I swear this is not a sponsored post by ANYONE, but I only buy Huggies (wipes and diapers) and I only buy Butt Paste ointment.  Why?  I've tried all the other stuff, that's why.  (Side note: HOLY COW, those diapers are TINY.  Do kids really come that small?)

Extra Clothes:

Obviously there's a lot of leeway with this bag... and it would be the perfect one to throw in some DIY stuff - hats, freezer paper stenciled onesies, you know.  I would definitely include socks though.  Babies get such cold feet... or maybe that's just mine.


Also, a ton of leeway.  I actually like the idea of having TWO smaller blankets that can double as other things - burp rags, nursing covers, whatever.  But do what you like!

Keep Clean:

This might be my favorite bag.  It's for mom AND baby.  I love Boogie Wipes - have you used them?  They are super gentle saline wipes - no sticky residue from soapiness and they won't irritate your skin at all.  And they smell good.  Those wisps up there?  I swear I'm going to start carrying those myself.  Don't tell me that as a mom you've never been in such a frenzied hurry you've forgotten to check your teeth until you get where you need to be.  Lies.  In any case, this mom is covered, no toothbrush needed.  Bam.  The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Toys and Books:

Also self-explanatory.  I made sure to include both loud and quiet toys (babies LOVE rattles, but you're not always in a spot where that's appropriate, right?) AND a pacifier on a clip along with an extra pacifier.  With mini, we went through like 50 pacifiers a week, I swear.

For Mom:

Another great bag that I'm sure would be appreciated.  That mirror?  Great for checking your teeth in case you didn't get to brush...  and don't forget the pain killers.  I mean, a mirror and pain killers are probably a mom's go-to right after baby is born, right?

Organization Supplies:

You can call this bag whatever you like, but this is where you put all the extra mom stuff you never know when you'll need.  I especially like the idea of putting in extra labels (because you don't know what else that mama is going to need to label...) and a chalk marker to make changing the labels easy.  Also, how many times have you needed a scissors when you're out and DON'T have one?  Me?  ALL THE TIME.  I found the notebook and matching pen at the Target dollar section - I'm such a sucker.

SO.  That's the low down on what you can put inside your clear bags.  What you do with them after that is up to you.   The diaper bag itself is an optional part of the present.  You can get one off their registry if they have one (that would be super helpful), pick out the cutest one you can find, or DIY one.  OR, you could just put your little clear organized bags in a basket and assume they already have a diaper bag.  Totally up to you.  The diaper bag pictured above is one that I made myself.

Ta-da!  An organized diaper bag!  And the other great thing is how easy this makes SWITCHING your bags... throw the necessary clear bags in your purse or your hubbies backpack or what have you!  Done!

I think this would be a fabulous gift to get a few people together on - especially a bunch of crafty friends.  You can DIY some of the items together!  A fun crafty time, and you don't have to do it all yourself then...

And, simply because I can't resist, here are some printable tags for you!  Add them to your basket with twine and voila!

"Babies are messy enough... but at least your bag won't be!"

NEED EVEN MORE IDEAS??? Again, you could seriously go all out with the handmade-ness of this gift.  So, here are a few items that might help you personalize this gift even more, you know, if you don't wait until the last minute like some people we know:

Diaper bags:

1. Clear Vinyl Pouches - Make it and Love it (for your labeled bags!)
2. Oh Baby Diaper Bag - Sew4Home
3. Quick Trip Diaper Bag - Sew4Home
4. Mod Diaper Bag - Vibrant Designs

Diapering stuff:
1. No Sew Poopy Clutch - I Still Love You (see Delia Creates' version, too!)
2. Changing Pad with Clutch - iCandy Handmade
3. Changing Pad Clutch - Vibrant Designs
4. Wet Bag and Diaper Tote - The Woobie Shop

Burp Cloths:

1. Toy Loop Burp Cloths - Meriment Designs
2. Hand-Dyed Burp Cloths - Eighteen25

3. Terry Burp Cloth (and matching pocket bib!) - Pretty Prudent
4. Cloth Diaper Burp Cloths - Petite Lemon

1. Hand-stamped Gauze Swaddle Blankets - The Nesting Spot
2. Muslin Swaddle Blankets - The Crafting Chicks
3. Ric Rac Receiving Blanket - Sew Much Ado
4. Reversible Receiving Blanket - Stay-At-Home Artist

nursing covers:
1. Nursing Cover - Pretty Prudent
2. Secret Pocket Nursing Cover - Sew4Home
3. Nursing Shawl - Coterie
4. Nursing Strap - Sew Incredibly Crafty


1. Needle Felted Rattle Ball - Pretty Prudent
2. Baby's Soft Book of Colors - homegrown happy
3. Baby Sun Ray - Made By Joel
4. Crinkle Baby Toy - Mama and Baby Love

Easy Change of Clothes:
1. Cozy in Cables Sleep Sack - Suzie's Stuff
2. Sunsuit from a t-shirt - Pretty Prudent
3. Men's Shirt to Baby Romper - Feather's Flights
4. baby hats from t-shirts - bugaboo, mini, mr & me

Well, now that I've added like 30 more things to my "to-make" list for baby three, which is happening in like the next 4 weeks... I think it's time to stop looking at baby stuff.  What are you going to make your baby-having friends??

Phew.  Record for longest post ever.  More ideas tomorrow!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

1 comment:

the momma (aka Shannon) said...

this is an awesome idea! too bad i'm waaaay past the diaper bag stage.. ;)

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