Nesting Phase Tips From Your Friendly Neighborhood Pregnant-Architect

Everyone warned me “nesting” would occur and I would feel the urge to renovate my whole house. I thought, well, this is my natural stage at all times, so it will not affect me. Wrong. Daydreaming about every detail pretty much happened every time I took any break, including 4 am bladder breaks. My brain starts racing and no sleep occurs. It is all a little bit worse because my dark pit of information and possibilities on the renovation topic is deep enough that I can get forever lost on gaskets, a/c grilles, and threshold details. It is a bit exhausting. Also very exciting. Seeing a project unfold before my eyes is absolutely fulfilling. As a pregnant-architect, I learned a thing or two during my nesting phase:

Make the measuring tape your new best friend

Picture this: you need a dresser. You know the exact spot you want it to be. You seek high and low for the perfect piece of furniture and then one day you are hanging out with friends and you see it on sale, calling your name. Will it fit the space you have? Will it go through the door? Here is where your best friend measuring tape comes in. I have a small, lightweight measuring tape that I carry with me at all times. Not only can I check whatever I find in the wild, but I also have a list of dimensions from my house, i.e. nook where I want the dresser to fit in. I use google keep for that so it’s always on my phone with me. This is good for your nesting phase, your renovation phase, your moving phase – any home-related project phase!

Follow your tracks

We usually begin with this beautiful Pinterest idea of what our spaces should look like, but with time our stubborn habits turn our picture perfect jewelry wall into an empty panel, and the actual jewelry laying on the bathroom countertop. Instead of fighting yourself and trying to keep up with a preconceived idea of what your house must be, follow your tracks. Maybe move your jewelry panel to the bathroom. Notice where you consistently leave your bag, your laundry, your keys. From there meditate on a solution that fits your natural inclination. It might take a few tries to get it right, but in the end, you will live in a space that uniquely suits you, and is perfect for your everyday routine. This also works for any family member. Follow their tracks too.

Phase your projects

I tend to be overly optimistic about how much I can get done in a day. At my non-pregnant pace, I would plan for 10 projects, get 6 done, and maybe lose a few hours of sleep trying to finish a 7th. Since being pregnant I had to completely readjust. My energy levels were very low and the type of activities I could do entirely by myself got very reduced. At first, I would always feel l like I could never get anything done – since my expectation was 10 projects/day. What I realized then is that I had to phase my projects. Even if it sounded like a small task, I would split it into a few steps so I always had a stopping point nearby and I could feel like I finished something. This mindset actually helped me be a lot more productive and leave aside all the frustration that came with wanting to get everything done at once. And when I got to full nesting phase mode, I was actually able to finish multiple projects in a day (all phased).

Out of sight, out of mind – or on your face, can’t efface.

I am not a minimalist, but I like things to have their place in the house and for the rooms to not feel cluttered. Enter baby gear. At first, we started hiding everything in the guest bedroom. Two problems happened from doing that: 1) I would forget what I already had 2) I lost sense of how much room I needed to organize all of baby’s things. Clearly, the nesting phase hadn’t hit me at that point. Later we dragged everything to the middle of the living room, in a place that was very annoying and got the guest bedroom set up how it needed to be set up. Then we started separating items by category, specifically room-appropriate categories, into bags. We were gifted baby clothes that go from newborn to 1 year old. I could have put the 1 yr old outfits away on a closet shelf. A year from now I would have completely forgotten we owned that, and it would have been discovered at some point when baby is a toddler and we are trying to find Easter baskets. Instead, all the clothes went into the dresser. First drawer with first three months, second drawer with 3-6, and third with 6-12. Since there is extra room in each drawer, all cloths, swaddles, bedsheets, etc got organized according to how often I thought I would need each item across time. What we try to do is seasonal items get stored away in a labeled container, and things that we are going to use later stay where we will have the chance to see it and remember they are there.

What tricks did you learn while nesting?

Ana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Out of passion for learning, she started traveling to all sorts of different places. Fifteen countries later, she has now settled in Baton Rouge and works for a local architecture firm. Graduate school at LSU presented her not only with tools to advance in architecture but also with a deeper understanding of the culture and geography of Louisiana. It is a fascinating state, and Baton Rouge, as its capital, does not disappoint. Ana is currently starting her journey to a country she has never been to before: motherhood (except if you count a dog, a cat, and a fish). You can find her coming up with a myriad of house projects, trying new restaurants in town, park-hopping with her beagle, or enjoying a good movie with her husband.


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