Have you experienced "nesting" yet? When I was pregnant with my twins, it hit me right around 32 weeks. All of a sudden I felt I needed to have my home ready for them, but I wasn't quite sure where to start. Here are some things you can do to prepare your home for baby, whether your have weeks to go or just a few days until the arrival of your little one.

1. Declutter your home

Decluttering your home can sound like a daunting task, especially when you're expecting a newborn! But it's easier than you think to get your home ready for your newest addition. (Honestly, decluttering has always been overwhelming for me, but I feel SO much better when I declutter my space. It is always worth the effort for me!)

Here are some steps to follow to declutter before baby arrives:

Step 1: Choose two or three rooms that you will frequent most often with your baby (most likely this will be your living room, kitchen and bedroom).

Step 2: Start by noticing where things tend to pile up. For me, that’s always been the kitchen counter or dining table.  Find a new place for these items to go so they stop piling up!

Step 3: Let’s clear out what you don’t need or want anymore. Go through each drawer, cabinet and shelf and ask yourself, “Do I still need/want this item?”

Step 4: Make 3 piles, “Keep, Donate, Toss” and put everything into 1 of those piles.

Step 5: Organize the “keep” items, throw away the “toss” items (or recycle if possible) and give away the “donate.”

Turn on some music and make it fun! Order a pizza and ask a friend to come over and help.

By following these simple steps over the course of just a few days or a weekend, you can quickly create a stress-free and comfortable newborn-ready environment in your own home. 

2. Batch cook

The thought of cooking a ton of food in one go can be intimidating, but batch cooking is a lifesaver, especially when you're getting ready to welcome your newborn into the world. You'll thank yourself later!

Here are a few simple steps to follow to get started:

Step 1: Plan out your meals. Choose recipes that are easy to make in large quantities, and make a list of all the ingredients you will need. Soups and stews are easy to make and freeze for later, and can be really nourishing for your body after birth.

Step 2: Go grocery shopping. Try to do this a few days before you plan to start cooking, so you have everything you need on hand. There's nothing worse than getting half way through a recipe and realizing you don't have an ingredient.

Step 3: Set aside a block of time to cook. Depending on how much you want to make, you may need several hours or even a full day to get everything done. Consider getting the help of a friend or family member to make it more fun! 

Step 4: Cook in batches. Prepare one recipe at a time, and portion it out into individual servings. Use freezer-safe containers or bags, and be sure to label everything with the name of the dish and the date it was made.

Step 5: Freeze your meals. Once everything is cooked and portioned out, place the containers in the freezer. They will keep for several months, so you can have a variety of meals ready to go whenever you need them.

By following these steps, you can create a stockpile of nutritious, homemade meals that will make the first few weeks with your newborn a little bit easier!

(Psst: wanna skip the cooking? In most cities, there are food prep companies that you can order from. If you're local to Fort Collins, check out FreshnLean or SuperNaturalEats. It's way less expensive than ordering individual meals on GrubHub or DoorDash. You can even add a fund for this to your baby registry and have friends and family donate specifically for this food prep service.

3. Stock up on essentials (& not just baby essentials)

You’re likely already thinking about things like diapers, wipes, bottles, etc.

But have you considered stocking up on regular household items like paper towels, toilet paper, dishwasher soap…? Leaving the house with a newborn can be overwhelming, especially if you're a first time parent. Being stocked up will prevent you from having to make unexpected trips to the grocery store. You can also set these items up on Amazon Subscribe and Save so they’ll show up on your doorstep and you never have to worry about running out those first few months with your newborn!

If you haven't tried grocery order pickup or delivery yet, now is the time! Many stores offer it for free or little cost. You can fill your cart with the usual items you purchase, and then save your cart so it's ready to go every time you order. It's easy and quick to make slight adjustments to the cart depending on the week.

Be on the lookout for Part 2 for more tips! I'll dive into setting up baby care stations/baskets, lighting your home correctly for those late nights, and preparing YOUR wardrobe (because I know you've probably already got your baby covered).