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I’m awfully sentimental -- I like homey places that feel lived in and loved. I’ll often keep something simply because I like the person who gifted it to me, even if I don’t have space for it. But I live in New York City in an 850-square-foot apartment with two children. So you can imagine the clutter situation that I am in. What’s an urban mama to do? Get organized.

Enter Korinne Kubena Belock, founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a home organization company with clients from Los Angeles to New York City. She came into my home, walked me through each room and helped bring sense to the madness, one room at a time. Here, I share her wisdom with you.

From the storage space in your children’s bedroom to your kitchen’s drawers, here are 18 steps you can take to keep your apartment with kids organized.

KEEP THE NURSERY LIGHT AND AIRY. “Having a baby can be so overwhelming,” says Korinne, “and there’s so much stuff coming in and it happens all at once. Suddenly you’re forced to look for storage solutions for all these tiny things that are hard to contain.”

1. A changing station full of drawers. This way you can have a place to hold diapers, lotions, swaddles, onesies and much more. Labeled drawer dividers make it easy for you and other caregivers to keep things orderly.

2. Bookshelves that grow with your kids. Just make sure it’s mostly full of books. Dolls and stuffies don’t sit well in quantity and should be relegated to a bin.

3. Make the most of what you have. Maximize tiny closets with a customized system like Elfa, which allows for double hanging space adjustable shelves. And remember that you can store things under your child’s bed or crib, either with built-in drawer or specially sized bins.

DON'T LET THE TOYS TAKE OVER. “Urban families often live in open floor plans with no dedicated playroom, so one of my clients’ biggest complaints is that toys are taking over their home.”

4. The Five-Pile System. Empty all drawers, shelves and baskets and put like with like. You can then filter everything through her five-pile system: trash, recycle, sell, donate and “put elsewhere.” What’s left over gets strategically put back in bins, stacks or baskets depending on the space.

5. The Six Month/Two Week Purge. Take the toys your kids haven’t touched in six months, and put them in a temporary hidden area, like under your bed, for two weeks. If it goes unasked for, it’s out the door.

6. Stop things at the door. Spread the word that you just don’t have room for that indoor slide or that 4-story dollhouse. And when your little one starts going to birthday parties and bringing home tons of grab-bag toys? Give each kid a bin labeled “Little Things” and when it’s full, that headless Olaf figurine can finally be tossed.

7. Put toys in front of kids. A few open topped bins to sort larger toys like dolls, instruments and trucks can keep the living room looking organized. Labeled, stackable clear plastic bins can keep sets of smaller things like Magnetiles and doll clothes in order. A good test? Korinne says if you’ve got clean up done in 10 minutes, your system is working.

8. Art Supplies: Mobile, Clear, Labeled. As is typical with many city mamas, I am not blessed with a Martha Stewart craft room. Korinne recommends keeping things mobile so your supplies can go from a storage closet to the kitchen table without much fuss. Clear labeled containers that stack are helpful for keeping crayons in one space and glue bottles in another, letting kids know what they have to work with.

ONLY KEEP ESSENTIALS IN THE ENTRYWAY. “Think, what are you currently using, which bag, coat, shoes? That’s what goes here.”

9. A surface catchall. “This can be beautiful and useful, but should only hold the necessities. One pair of sunglasses per family member, one set of keys. And if you have a nanny, this is where you can keep the zoo pass or some petty cash for easy access.”

10. Large bags? Large bins. On the next shelf down, you can use a large basket to contain an assortment of totes, laptop cases and clutches. The rest gets relegated to a closet.

11. Shoe bins for everyone! Korinne says, “Each family member can have their own basket, and you could label them—even little kids can recognize their names, and making them part of the process can really help things.”

12. Create a home command center. Consolidate everything you need to run your home into one area. Pick a spot where you can fit a mail sorter, calendar, catchall, and notepad along with a few file holders so you’ll be able to pay the bills and keep track of your kids’ growing activity schedule without missing a beat. You’ll be one step closer to organizational serenity.

DON'T LET THE PILES PILE ON. Now that my kids are in preschool, my house is now constantly littered with piles of drawings that I just can’t part with fast enough. There is also a large swath of wall in the living room where my children have hung twenty of their favorite pieces.

13. Make a drop bin. Place a bin (open topped and big enough to hold a standard piece of colored paper) wherever it is that the backpacks get cleaned out. Once a week, while the kids are sleeping, spend five minutes tossing what you can. One favorite a month can go in a keepsake box.

14. Display the masterpieces. There’s a way to honor your kids’ work without letting it take over. Find one spot, choose your favorites, and hang those.

YOUR KITCHEN NEEDS A MAKEOVER TOO. “It can take a long time to rethink the organization of a kitchen,” says Korinne, “you really need to focus on how you use the space.”

15. Do a deep clean. Empty every drawer and cupboard and, with her five pile system, get rid of whatever you do not use.

16. Free up prep space. If your kitchen is short on counter space, relocate what you can, like cookbooks and other nonessentials to higher shelves or other areas of the home.

17. For each drawer, a purpose. Dedicate your drawers to specific tasks, like lunch prep or bottle feeding -- it will streamline your prep time. You can also subdivide drawers with internal bins, which will let you know if you’re running low on something or have collected one too many of something else.

18. Open shelves. Stack white dishes or rows of clear glasses work well on open shelves, but other things should be stored in attractive bins or put in closed cupboards.

Photography by Jonica Moore Studio for Well Rounded.

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

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3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

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(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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