10 Tips for Creating a Nursery on a Budget
Bringing a new family member into the home is a big expense, and with things like hospital bills and college savings funds to think about, you might be looking for ways to put together the nursery on a budget. Check out these 10 ways to save some dough on the little one’s room.
Babies are notorious for growing out of things quickly, so odds are you can find some used items that are practically new. Items like clothing, toys, gear and furniture are always up for resale and are great things to buy used. Check out garage sales, mother-to-mother sales, Craigslist, social media swap groups and neighbors or friends looking to rid of old baby products. Often you can buy these items for less than half the cost, and just need a quick wash or sanitizing scrub. Be cautious of safety regulations when considering used car seats or cribs.
Chances are you already own furniture that can be easily converted into pieces for the nursery. For example, a low dresser with a changing pad on top makes an instant changing table that can be easily converted back to a dresser for storage as the child grows. A hand-me-down rocking chair, bookcase or bench might just need a fresh coat of paint to match the nursery’s decor. Use these tips on how to refinish furniture.
Look for the Long Term
When purchasing furniture, look for items that will last long term. Many cribs now convert into toddler beds, and even full-size headboards or daybeds. Glider chairs are nice, but a recliner or sofa chair can be repurposed easier in another room once the baby outgrows rocking. Consider if an item can convert or serve multiple purposes before buying.
Finding out a baby girl is on the way might have you eyeing that bright pink crib, but consider your family’s future needs and go gender neutral for big-ticket items. Keeping furniture, gear and big projects like wall paint somewhat neutral will insure the items and spaces can be easily repurposed without having to rebuy. Use these tips on choosing the right paint color that will transition with your growing family.
Decorate for Less
With so many cute nursery decorations on the market, it can be easy to splurge. For a flexible and sophisticated look, invest in some nice frames and then change out the artwork as the child’s taste grows. Framed artwork doesn’t have to be expensive, try framing music sheets, pages from favorite childhood books, photo prints, DIY paintings or digital copy prints from online artisans that you can download and print at home. A gallery wall can make a striking accent, and can change as your child grows.
DIY When Possible
Some expenses can be drastically cut by doing it yourself. Things like curtains, nightstands, under-bed storage, closet organization, painting techniques and artwork are great ways to save some money and create a unique nursery piece. Sometimes all it takes is an afternoon, a few supplies and an online search for a good DIY tutorial. Try this tutorial for a simple shelf and rod closet system.
Babies need a lot of stuff—get the most out of your nursery space by maximizing your storage options. Keep low plastic bins under the crib, and cover view with a crib skirt. Organize the closet with extra shelving, bins and over the door shoe holders to utilize every inch of closet space. Divide small items in large drawers with dollar store bins or food storage containers.
Start a Registry
Even if you are not planning a baby shower, it can still be a good idea to start a baby registry as a list of supplies needed. Many stores and online retailers offer completion discounts, diaper coupons, reward programs and freebies like samples and welcome gifts just for signing up.
Skip Some Things
Ask around for advice from seasoned parents on what seemingly necessary items might not be so necessary after all. Fancy crib bedding sets can be expensive and unsafe. Costly changing tables, wipe warmers and diaper disposals might be overkill once you get down and dirty changing diapers. Consider what items you might want to wait to purchase until you know that you really need them.
Separate Needs and Wants
When aiming to pull together a nursery on a budget, it’s important to establish early what items are truly needed, and which will be nice to have. Divide your nursery list into two categories: needs and wants. Focus on what you’ll absolutely need first, and use some of the previous suggestions to save money on those important items.