As a second-time mom juggling the demands of a busy toddler and a brand-new infant, I understand the value of staying organized. Between hand-me-downs, gifts from loved ones, and purchasing cute newborn outfits, it’s incredible how quickly those tiny clothes and baby essentials seem to multiply. And it can feel daunting and overwhelming trying to figure out how to store everything.
I quickly learned the importance of having a functional organization system in place, specifically for my baby’s dresser. Your nursery’s dresser truly acts as the hub for everything from diaper changes to grooming essentials, tiny clothes, and sleep sacks. It not only keeps my little one’s belongings uncluttered, but it keeps me sane—especially during those hectic moments. Trust me, a changing station that lacks functionality is not fun to deal with when you’re struggling to stay awake during a midnight diaper change.
Our nursery dresser organization looks very different today for our second baby compared to how it did for our first baby. Fortunately, through trial and error, I learned a few organization hacks from my first experience, and I now have a system that works wonders for our family. Here are some practical and creative nursery dresser organizing tips from a second-time mom.
How to Organize Baby’s Dresser
Step 1: Invest in the Right Dresser
If you have the space, I highly recommend considering a full-size substantial dresser for your nursery essentials. A sturdy dresser will not only hold all the baby’s clothes and essentials but will serve as a command station for diaper changes, outfit changes, and more. Invest in the right dresser to ensure it lasts long after the infant stage, into the toddler years, and beyond.
Step 2: Create a Functional Changing Station
Having a dedicated space for diaper changes and grooming essentials is an important part of preparing for a new baby. Arrange the top of your baby’s dresser with a changing pad and an organized diaper caddy for storing diapering, wipes, and other grooming essentials. Keep the décor minimal—the top of your baby’s dresser will act as a command center for diaper changes, and you’ll want to keep it free of clutter. Tuck a diaper pail away to the side of the dresser.
Step 3: Use the Top Drawers for Diaper Changes, Grooming Essentials, and Small Items
Reserve the top drawer for frequently used items like diapers, wipes, and grooming essentials. I have the IKEA Hemnes dresser in my baby’s nursery, which has four small (yet spacious) drawers. In the top drawers, I organized the necessities I use the most.
One drawer is dedicated to grooming and health items like nail tools, thermometers, nasal aspirators, creams and ointments, and hairbrushes. Keeping these items organized and within easy reach makes it so much easier to take care of my little one’s needs.
The next drawer is reserved for small outfit essentials like bloomers, bows, socks, and tights. Next, I have a drawer designated for feeding and sleep essentials, which contains burp cloths and swaddles. Finally, the last drawer contains a backstock of extra diapers and wipes.
Step 4: Assess and Sort Baby Clothes
Now comes the fun part—how to organize your baby’s clothes. This is a crucial step to creating an efficient and clutter-free nursery dresser. I like to dump all baby clothes in the middle of the floor and sort everything not only by size but by type of clothing whether it’s a onesie, a sleeper, pants, sweater, or special outfit.
Personally, I chose to keep everyday outfits like sleepers and onesies in the nursery dresser and moved special outfits like dressers, sweaters, and coats to the closet.
Step 5: Fold Baby Clothes
There’s an art and a science to folding your baby’s clothes. Optimize space by folding or rolling baby clothes instead of stacking them flat. This lets you see each item clearly and makes it easier to find the outfit you’re looking for.
Step 6: Plan Your Layout and Start Organizing
Now that you can visualize the number of clothes you want to pack into your baby’s dresser you can plan your layout and where you’ll store items in your dresser. We used the middle two drawers for sleepers, onesies, and outfits in our baby’s current size. I reserved one bottom drawer for blankets, towels, linens, and sleep sacks.
Step 7: Establish a Routine to Keep Up with Maintenance
One of the most surprising things about motherhood was how much time I would spend organizing my daughter’s nursery and swapping out new sizes of clothes during the first year. It felt like a full-time job! But once your baby’s dresser is organized, the last thing you want to happen is to have all your hard work go down the drain, so it’s crucial to establish a routine to keep everything in its place.
Regularly assess and declutter items that are no longer needed or that your baby has outgrown. One hack that has really helped me keep my nursery dresser drawers organized is to keep a container (a laundry bin works as well) directly next to my dresser and routinely throw in clothes my baby has grown out of. That way, when I have some extra time, I can decide to pack it into storage or pass it down to a friend or family member.
For baby number two, I also made sure that I had clothes unpacked, cleaned, and organized for nine months, keeping clothing in the next size up on the bottom drawer of the dresser. This will make it much easier to donate, swap, and organize clothes as I go.
Even though it’s hard on hectic days, I really try to stay consistent and organized by folding baby’s clothes before putting them in and making sure I return items to their designated spots after each use. This has made such a difference in preventing clutter from accumulating.
Baby Dresser Organization Ideas
Sort and Categorize with Expandable Drawer Dividers
One thing that has been a complete game changer in organizing my baby’s dresser is drawer dividers. I cannot stress this enough. I’m pretty sure my drawers would be a hot mess if I did not invest in some sort of organization system. These dividers help me separate different clothes sizes and categorize accessories and smaller items in my top drawers.
As much as possible, try to add labels to the dividers and drawers. A simple labelmaker will allow you to create personalized labels on the inside of drawers reminding you of where things need to go. Not only will this simplify the process of keeping the nursery organized, but it will keep all family members and caretakers on the same page. I know my husband appreciates knowing exactly where things go—it’s saved us a lot of fights.
Keep Diaper Changing Essentials Within Reach
Situate your diaper caddy directly next to your changing pad. I strongly recommend finding a changing pad that can be wiped down quickly in between diaper changes, as cloth changing pads can get dirty quickly. Another great pro tip is to find a great wipe dispenser. Plastic wipe packs, even if they are resealable, can be tricky, and you’ll find yourself battling to get a wipe out with one hand while your other is bracing your baby.
Utilize Your Nursery Closet for Special Outfits
Babies go through a lot of clothes—especially in the beginning stages. Keep onesies and sleepers within reach and move special occasion outfits to the closet. Invest in high-quality, space-saving hangers that will last well into the toddler years and keep clothes organized with cute closet milestone dividers.
Use Decorative Storage Baskets
Storage baskets and diaper caddies are essential for keeping supplies organized right on top of your dresser. Grab a caddy and fill it with the diapering essentials you’ll need multiple times a day—think diapers, wipes, diaper cream, burp cloths, and pacifiers. There are plenty of stylish and affordable options to choose from. Plus, you can repurpose the basket for toys and stuffed animals down the road.
Use the Space Next to Your Dresser
Think outside the box and utilize the space around your dresser with storage baskets or decorative bar carts. This is especially helpful if you are tight on space. It’s a great spot to stash overflow from your diaper caddy, burp cloths and blankets, and even tiny shoes.
Keep Pacifiers on Display
If your baby is anything like mine, having a pacifier on hand is a must. I like storing mine in an aesthetically pleasing yet functional way. Try storing colorful pacifiers in a clear apothecary jar on your dresser or in a cute catchall.
Rotate Seasonal Clothes
I really like only to have in-season clothes accessible and store out-of-season clothes in labeled bins elsewhere. Rotate the clothes as the seasons change to free up and keep the dresser clutter-free. Consider stashing space-saving bins under the crib or in a closet.
Store Baby Shoes Upright
Nothing is more frustrating than a massive stack of baby shoes you have to sift through to find the pair you’re looking for. You can devote an entire drawer to baby shoes or use small storage boxes, like a sock organizer, to keep baby shoes upright and in place.
Dress Up Your Nursery Drawers With Drawer Liners
I love it when I open up a drawer and it sparks pure joy. Dress up your nursery drawers with some fun drawer liners. Not only is it an easy way to personalize your baby’s nursery, but it will also prevent clothes from slipping and sliding around.