Organising a Nursery with OCD
Last weekend, S built the nursery furniture for Beansprout whilst I got on with washing all the clothes ready to be put away.
It was a mountain of a task, but we did it! Apart from the Cot, it’s practically done!
The washing and the building was actually the least of my worries as I was the one who was eventually going to have to organise putting all the clothes away. I knew it would take me a while and S knew it was no good trying to assist me as she knew I would have to get everything just “right”.
As you may know from previous posts, I suffer with OCD. It’s not the OCD that people jest about when their rooms are a little tidy, or the OCD that means their work is always perfect – it’s the OCD that means a simple task of putting children’s clothes away can take hours due to the fact that the organisation of it all has to be just right otherwise it’ll look untidy, and not right. If not right, the mistakes will then scream at you from a closed door like a fire alarm running out of batteries.
I am fully aware that the way I arrange the drawers and wardrobe won’t last long, and you would think this would assist in how much effort I put into organising them now, however it doesn’t. For the little time that it will stay organised I’m happy – at least it was tidy at one time. MY brain will just accept that the baby is more important and as long as the clothes are clean then thats what will matter. I don’t know why my brain will of a sudden change but it will – I guess I’ve sold it a good argument. At the moment, however, that room has to be presentable to a standard so that if Prince George fancied popping over to play, he could – just as long as he didn’t touch anything.
So, here’s how my brain works…
I have 3 drawers available to me. In the first drawer will be accessories like socks, mittens, hats, and booties, all organised thanks to drawer dividers from IKEA. Perfect. In the second drawer I will have all the baby grows and sleep-suits (we have that many). In the third, all clothes like t-shirts, leggings, and jogging bottoms.
In the second drawer, I will have 3 categories: 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 in one drawer. Simple. No. The trouble with the baby clothes we have is that they’re not just in categories of 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12. Thanks to H&M we have 0-3, 1-2 (H&M), 2-4 (H&M), 3-6, 4-6 (H&M), 6-9 (H&M), and 6-12 so trying to organise the clothes into piles was very difficult (for me anyway).
The 1-2 can also sit amongst the 0-3, and the 4-6 can sit amongst the 3-6. But where does the 2-4 sit? In the 0-3 or the 3-6? Brain overload. On top of this, the 0-3 pile is a huge pile and doesn’t fit as one pile in the drawers so I then have to organise the 0-3 into correct “catgegories” so that I can justify why they’re in separate piles. Thankfully, I was able to organise the 0-3 sleep-suits into 3 separate piles: White, White with pattern/logo, and colour. Simple.
The other drawers pretty much went along like the above, except that because there was less physcial clothing it went in a lot easier.
You may laugh, or think I’m crazy but I can’t help it. I don’t like being like this, it drives me mad.
I was exhausted after completing this.
It took me hours, literally hours, just because I couldn’t make my bloody head accept anything else other than what was “right”. Everything had to have a place, everything had to make sense. If it didn’t, I didn’t feel right. Sure, the room looks spotless and everything is neat and tidy but it took me a long time – time I don’t have (although in reality I did have the time as I had to make time knowing full well what I’d be like). I should have been able to fold things way, put into relatively good piles so that you can find something easily and move on. No. I had to get it into categories.
S tries so hard in making me feel better about my OCD; she tells me how amazing everything always looks after I’ve given it the once over, and how all the effort I put into everything will be a good message for beansprout and how they’ll take pride in making everything perfect, but I can’t help that it will one day it’ll actually reflect badly on beansprout. I don’t want them picking these little neurotic tendencies up and having to organise their alphabet spaghetti into alphabetical order before eating it, for example (I don’t do that, by the way). I will try hard to hide it and act “normal” but I may not be able to hide the things I don’t know I’m doing.
I know I am getting better as I’m now more tolerant when things go wrong or if something hasn’t “fit” but it’s little things at the moment – there’s no way I could have not organised the nursery drawers the way I did.
Over time I’m training myself knowing that having a baby will mean that days won’t go to plan and that pile of washing will have to wait, but it still hurts knowing I have to do this at all.
Anyone else in the same boat? How have you coped with your OCD when having a baby?
I think I have muld OCD tendencies. Your rhoughts on categorising the one-sies tings very familiar. My mum and I were aorting what clothes I have recently and it was doing my head in. She was trying to do rough piles, I don’t do rough piles! My thoughts on your sorting is A. Very nice 🙂 B. put the 2-4 into the 0-3 as otherwise baby might not fit it by the time you get to use it. If it wont fit in those piles, put it adjacent to it – perhaps even with a note pinned on top saying 2-4mths so your baby addled brain doesn’t miss it!
Thank you hun. The other trouble with baby clothes is that some shops can be over or under with their generosity in sizing. One baby grow we have is clearly a tiny (very tiny) baby but it says its 2-4! Madness! Thankfully, ive tricked my brain into not worrying about sizes vs. what the actual size should be. Lol.
Argh – sorry about typos. On my phone at 6.30am.
It’s exciting to read about these final preparation, OCD or not! My wife has what I would call “organizational obsession,” but not necessarily OCD. When we get to the end of her pregnancy (hopefully), there is going to be a lot of work to do to get the room ready. She is already worried about it and she is only 8 weeks. She actually wants us to move ALL of the rooms in the house around to accommodate her “vision.” I appreciated the post. If you get a chance, check out our blog: http://lesbianbabyblog.blogspot.com/.
Time certainly does fly. We managed to pick up little bits here and there when we saw deals. It helped us greatly as we didnt have to then do a massive shop later on. Plus, we did a lot of it online – people would have annoyed me. Lol.
Moving the house around? Yikes! I can understand what she may be going through, especially wanting to nest. I’d happily empty and reorganise drawers and cupboards if i could but i just dont have the patience. Lol
I think i already follow but ill have a look. Thanks!
I feel your pain!!! This has been the hardest thing for callie and i to do because i have OCD and she is what i call a baby hoarder! But i think youre right. Once you startbto focus on the baby, some of those things go away. Like i dont have to color coordinate the closet! I dont have to put the socks in a separate bin and the book shelf doesnt have to be caddycorner at 8inches from the peak of the wall on each side! YES! That kind of OCD. We havent been bome from hospital yet, but i have a feeling im gonna have to relinquish some of my control issues because im pretty sure making sure the cups in my cupboard are in size order isnt going to compete with macho and bubba getting fed!
Thank god. I was beginning to think i was alone! Doesnt it drive you potty?
Ive had to put everything in the closet in age order and then colour. It looks great but took ages. We’ve even bought these closet dividers to put between the ages.
Our shelving looks like something from a store. Books are in size order, but im tempted to go alphabetical once we get more books. Lol.
Congratulations again – im sure once your little ones get moving, the organisation will stop. Lol. I hope so anyway.
Sea has (diagnosed) OCD, which was definitely observable when we planned Bingo’s nursery. Our drawers looked much like yours! That said, the realities of having a small, all consuming, small person have completely shifted both of our standards and increased Sea’s ability to let things go. Now we mostly just aim for clean.
Im thinking this is what’s going to happen to me when little one arrives… I hope anyway – I think id exhaust myself trying to be this organised! Im hoping my brain will just accept clean and tidy like yourself.