Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fluffy Goodness! {My Cloth Diapering Set-up}

A few people have asked me what my cloth diapering "set-up" is like - where I store them, what I do with dirty diapers, etc.  So I decided to do a blog post with pictures.

First, a picture of the changing area in Sophia's room.  I still prefer using a changing table because it helps me keep her "contained" a little bit better. Please excuse the messy bottom shelf.  That is the catch-all area for stuff.  On the first shelf I have 3 fabric bins from Target that hold diaper inserts.  I also have a basket of disposable diapers (yes, disposables! Sigh.  Chris still won't use the cloth diapers when they are going to his house).

This next picture shows how I store my diapers.  I am currently using a hanging organizer, but my diaper stash is starting to outgrow this area, so I may have to come up with a different system soon.  For now though, it works.  I am totally OCD about organzing and labeling (as most of you know!) so I have labeled each of the sections (Pocket Diapers, All In One Diapers, Covers/Shells, Overnight Diapers, Cloth Wipes) to make the different types of diapers easy to find.

Okay, so now that I've shown you how to store the pretty, clean diapers, let's talk about how to store the dirty ones :)  There are tons of expensive cloth diaper pail liners on the market, but I honestly don't feel that they are necessary.  What I have been using is a kitchen trashcan with a swing top (having a lid is pretty important to control odors).  I put a regular trash bag in it and then put a mesh drawstring laundry bag on top of the trash bag.  When it's time to empty the pail, I simply pull out the mesh bag and leave the trash bag.  Every couple of weeks I change the trash bag too.  Anyway, I dump the diapers into the washing machine, then throw the mesh bag in too.  Then when it's time to get the diapers out of the dryer, I can put them in the mesh bag to carry them upstairs.  Easy!  Another option that a lot of people go with is a hanging zippered wet bag.  Some of these can get REALLY pricey, but I just ordered one from a really sweet Mama who sell handmade baby items in her online store Maxille Love.  If you go with this option, you don't have to have an actual diaper pail at all.  If I had a 2 story house, I would probably go with the diaper pail option for the bedroom, and then the hanging wet bag option for the living room because it takes up less space.

That's it!  See, cloth doesn't take up that much more storage space, and is way cuter than a box of disposable diapers. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Curious About Cloth?

Okay, so this blog post may not interest some of you, but I wanted to write this for those of you who have expressed interest in cloth diapering.  With Earth Day just around the corner, what better timing to talk about going green?!? :)

My current Cloth Diaper Stash

Let's start at the beginning of my "journey" into cloth.  I started cloth diapering Emma when she was 18 months old.  However, I did not have much support from her dad, so I gave up on it within a few months.  I kicked around the idea of using cloth with Sophia, but after my seperation and buying a new house and all of the other craziness that was going on in my life around the time Sophia was born, I just went with disposables.  Fast forward about a year, and I started thinking about cloth diapering again.  Part of it is my new desire to choose more organic and earth friendly options whenever possible, and partly because I just think they are so darn cute and comfy looking! :)  I mean, think about it, would you rather where paper or cloth underwear?!?  I talked to my mom and my BFF, Nicole (a fellow cloth diapering Mama), and they encouraged me to go for it if that is what I wanted to do.  So... I went for it!

Now that you know my story, let's get into the different diapering options.  My favorite and most "user friendly" style is a pocket diaper.  I love Bumgenius 4.0 pocket diapers.  The great thing about pocket diapers is that you can add as much absorbancy as you need, so it is very customizable for you baby's needs.  Here is a picture of the inside of a pocket diaper.
Bumgenius One-Size 4.0 Pocket Diaper

While pocket diapers are my favorite, they are also quite expensive (approximately $18 each!).  The cost is still cheaper than disposables over the entire lifetime of diapering, but it can be pricey to build up your "stash."  Another diapering option,which is much more cost efficient, is using prefolds and covers.  These are the diapers that most people think of when they hear the term "cloth diapers,"  BUT, they are not even close to the old fashioned diaper pins and plastic pants!  The prefold diapers can either be fastened with something called a "Snappi", or you can simply fold the prefold into thirds and lay it into a waterproof diaper cover. 

There are other diapering options out there, but these are the ones that I use.  Hope this has helped clear up some of questions that you may have had about modern cloth diapers! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Move Over Martha; There's a New Girl in Town!

Okay, so those of you that know me, know that I LOVE to organize!  It's one of the few things in life that brings me peace and a feeling of accomplishment.  When life gets crazy, you can do two things: sit down with a glass of wine and some chocolate, or ORGANIZE!  :)  And while the first option DOES sound appealing, I usually go with the second one.

Anyway, over Spring break I decided to organize some of the more commonly neglected areas of my house: the linen closet, the coat closet, and the laundry room.  I'm sort of embarassed to admit how bad these 3 areas had gotten...  I guess this is where I will pull the "single, working mom" card so you all have sympathy for me instead of thinking I'm a slob. ;)  Honestly though, it is almost impossible to find the time and energy to take on large-scale projects in the evenings when my little "helpers" are around.  So, I sent them to spend time with their dad this week and I got stuff done.  I took before and after pictures because I wanted to remind myself how BAD the areas were to begin with so that I never let them get in that shape again.

First project was the linen closet, which really doesn't hold "linens" (unless you count the girls' bath towels), but a menagerie of other things...  I guess the pictures will do a better job of explaining.  The first picture is (obviously) the "before," and the other pictures are the "after."  I purchased baskets from the dollar store to organize all of the stuff, and then labeled them to make them more user friendly.  I figured this would also be helpful for babysitters or guests to find what they need.

My second project was the hall "coat" closet (although it has never had a single coat in it since we moved in!).  This closet was pretty much the "throw things in and slam the door" closet.  It was never useful at all.  NOW, however, I find myself opening the door just to gaze at its loveliness! ;)  I used more of my handy little baskets in this closet to organize "hair stuff" (I usually do the girls' hair in the living room before we go out for the day), "household stuff", and "dusting and mopping" supplies.  I also splurged a little on this awesome wire cubby thing at Target.  Now we each have a place for our school bags, diaper bag, purse, etc., and the bottom compartments house my reusable shopping bags.

The third (and most difficult!) area that I organized was the laundry room.  With 2 littles girls (one of whom wears cloth diapers), I spend a great deal of time in the laundry room, so I have no idea why I had let it get in such bad shape.  It was depressing and down righ hazardous to walk in before.  Now I think I could meditate in there (or at least hide out from the kids!  Hee hee.) 

Anyway, I started off by taking everything out of the room and cleaning the floors, then I did a lot of tossing out junk that had accumulated.  I also splurged for this room on a new utility table to use as a clothes folding table.  Yay! :)  I also got a shoe rack to contain the pile of shoes that get kicked off by the garage door.  I even decided to hang up some artwork to make the room more inviting, and I hung up pictures of my loves over the folding table. :)

My "mini" project of the week was organizing my kitchen junk drawer.  I used more of those little baskets and some fun contact paper to make it pretty. :)

Hope you enjoyed seeing all of my hard work!  I think I've inspired Sophia to start organizing cabinets! ;)