Whether you’ve had one child or seven of them, you’ve no doubt collected a surplus of baby clothes, furniture and other ‘I’ll get it just in case I need it’ items floating around your home. Abbey McKenna from the Parenting Co. reveals her top tips for managing baby mayhem, creatively!

Is it just me, or does every parent manage to collect a multitude of baby ‘things’ that they’ve had no use for once baby hit toddler and preschool age?

The mountains of bowls, spoons, bibs, clothes, storage containers that I no longer had a use for almost pained me.

I don’t like hoarding, but I also don’t like waste, so I came up with a number of cool ideas for my old baby items. It helped me save the planet, and I save some money too.

Gift and give

I’m sure you’ve all thought of doing this. Giving away old toys, clothes and baby items can actually play an amazing part in your child’s development of social and environmental responsibility and helps to build empathy and understanding.

Instead of tossing out your old items, you can also give them to a friend as hand-me-downs or to those in need via a secondhand store or shelter. It is important that you explain to your child why you are choosing to give these items to someone less fortunate and the impact it will have.

Why not use this as an opportunity create a fun bonding activity with your child, upcycling old items and giving them away? You can even integrate environmental education and understanding into the experience by taking your child to a tip and showing them how your old items would have ended up in landfill.

Crafty bowls

Every parent I know ends up with bento trays or divider bowls that have outgrown the eating habits of their children.

Instead of hoarding them, why not use them to divide craft items such as sequins or buttons? These bowls also make fantastic paint palettes (that can be easily stored) that prevent the paint colors running and mixing into each other.

Storage trays

Head to your cupboard right now and count the number of storage trays or containers that are only big enough for baby-size food portions. Why not use them to create fun shaped ice cubes or freeze homemade stock portions instead?

Most of these storage trays are bigger than your average ice cube, so you can place a small piece of fruit to make it funky or fill it with juice and place an icy pole stick for quick little frozen pops. Perfect for adults and little ones!

Repurpose baby clothes

If you have the time and know-how, the options are endless. Why not use your babies most loved tiny clothes to sew a memory quilt, a special teddy, familiar comforter or cute cushion? I have even seen old baby clothes used to reupholster reading corner chairs!

The options are endless – brilliant bags, educational toys… if you can think it, you can do it.

But if you are like me and like some inspiration and step-by-step help, head to Pinterest for ideas and instructions. If you are not excited by craft or don’t have the time, why not ask a creative family member or pay a tailor to upcycle your fabric items for you?

Upcycled Furniture

Don’t hastily throw away nursery furniture you no longer need. With a bit of handy work, you can create new, unique and useful items that can make your life easier.

Once again, the tutorials are endless. Why not chalk paint a chest of drawers and make it a feature item in your home, or use it to tie in with the style of your child’s new big kid room?

A bit of cutting and hammering can turn an old crib into a blackboard table, a day bed and even a wall mounted toy storage system.

More about Abbey McKenna, from The Parenting Co…
Chaotically organised, energetically tired, beautifully disheveled, erratically in control mother of five children and a rescue dog. Abbey is the Chief Editor for The Parenting Co a teacher, visible learning coach, environmental rehabilitation business owner and NLP practitioner; but her claim to fame is having the best taste in music and the hippest Mom dance moves you have ever seen.