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Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Corralling the Chaos

I’m one of those rare, slightly off people who really enjoy cleaning. It soothes me after a long day, and I get a lot of satisfaction from a neat and orderly house. So when we began cloth diapering, I was looking forward to having a new organizing project. I know, weird, right? My husband says I should seek help. However, hopefully something I’ve learned from my ever-evolving cloth diaper storage schemes can help you control your own stash. Because, something as cute as cloth shouldn’t be shoved into a corner somewhere!

  • When we first started out, my husband’s only requirement was that all the diapers went off and on just like disposables and that they all needed to work exactly the same. Our beginner stash consisted of 18 pocket diapers that could easily be contained in one very cute wicker basket. We just put the cloth wipes and wipes solution on top of the pile. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and very attractive.
  • After spending some time getting comfortable with cloth we branched out and bought some prefolds and covers. This was also around the time that our first son potty trained and our second son was born. So, the diapers moved into the nursery closet and out of their basket. We used a hanging sweater organizer to easily separate out all the different types of diapers. This option works great if you have plenty of closet space and want to keep your stash out of sight.
  • Going a little cloth crazy, I decided to add an AI2 system to our stash along with some bamboo fitteds and doublers. My poor hubby was getting overwhelmed. To ease the confusion, I switched to a toy storage rack with separate bins. This gave me dedicated space for each type of diaper: AI2 inserts in one, prefolds in another, covers in a third, pockets in a fourth, and all the bamboo and other doublers in a fifth bin. A large bin holds all the accessories- cloth wipes, wipes solution, burp rags, reusable nursing pads, and our beloved CJ’s Butter. Now my husband knows what he’s grabbing for and diaper changes are streamlined. Bonus: the top holds books!
  • Last but not least, one final option I set up for a friend. She had some plastic storage drawers that we used to divide out separate types of diapers. If I were doing this for my stash, I would put the pockets and fitted in one drawer, the prefolds and covers in second drawer, and the AI2 inserts and doublers in the final drawer. We put all the accessories in a basket in the top so they were easily available. This is an especially low-cost option that would work well for a large stash.

It may take some experimenting to determine exactly what works for your family. Get creative! My next project is going to be to modge podge scrapbook paper on the bins to make them more bright and colorful. I’m also going to add fun labels, detailing what goes in each bin. Having an aesthetically pleasing and fully functioning storage system will make cloth diapering more manageable and, dare I say, maybe even fun. No one ever said that changing diapers can’t be a fun experience. Happy organizing!

Bio: Heather is a work-at-home violin and piano teacher, but she considers her full-time job to be chasing around her 3-1/2 year old and 2 month old sons. You can read more about her sensibly eco-friendly lifestyle at

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