Decorating the nursery: time-saving hacks for working parents

When anticipating a new arrival, parents are happy to splash out on their baby’s first room – in fact, a recent survey from retailer Next found that the average UK parent will spend a whopping £853 doing up the nursery and will have shelled out more than £5,300 redecorating the room before the child reaches their 10th birthday.

But with a career it can be difficult to fit in the time to do everything nursery prep requires – whether that’s browsing different paints or heading out shopping for baby clothes.  

Fortunately, Family Friendly Working has put together some tips and time-saving hacks for working parents when it comes to decorating a child’s nursery.

Tip 1: Decorate before the birth

60% of parents surveyed by Next decided to decorate their nursery before their child was born, with a further 20% saying they decorated soon after.

Ultimately, it’s up to you when you’d like to start prepping the nursery. However, knowing those few weeks after the birth of your child are going to be fairly hectic, we’d recommend getting a head-start on the nursery and blocking out time in your calendar for décor purposes prior to the birth.

Putting together a to-do list will help you prioritise what to do and when. For example, finding the perfect cot might be a top priority and something you’d want to sort out sooner rather than later; deciding on wallpaper, however, perhaps isn’t as pressing.  

Tip 2: Decide if your décor will have a theme

According to Next’s survey, the most popular dream theme of parents surveyed was “Animal” followed by “Jungle/Forest” – but you might prefer to keep things simple for your newborn and decide on a room theme once they’re a little bit older.

If you are keen to pick one ahead of the birth, choose something that isn’t too difficult to create, especially if you haven’t got a lot of time on your hands before the baby’s arrival.

Investing in wall stickers is a great way of bringing a particular theme to life without the hassle of having to paint (which can be time consuming). We recommend browsing Pinterest for theme inspiration. The platform is chockful of wonderful, whimsical décor to suit every child’s tastes.

Tip 3: Seek out second hand furnishings

The survey also found that a staggering 35% of participants still buy all things brand new when decorating and furnishing their child’s nursery – with the older generation (55+) even more likely to have done this than the younger generation (18-24).

Buying second hand not only benefits the environment, it’ll also save you money. Avoid splashing out on brand new goods by buying second hand products from charity shops or online marketplaces; that way you’re giving used items a new lease of life and cutting down on waste.

If you have many friends with young children, you could even organise a second hand clothing, book or toy swap every month or so to raise awareness of environmental matters and keep the cycle of second hand goods going. 

Tip 4: Decorate sustainably

If you do end up buying brand new, look for durable materials. These won’t need to be replaced or repaired as frequently as their counterparts – meaning the raw materials and energy invested in them can be spread out over a larger period of time. Do some Googling and put together a list of materials to look out for when sourcing products for the nursery.

Similarly, do some research on the company you’re purchasing from. Are they a sustainable company? Do they engage in sustainable practices? Have a browse for reputable, eco-friendly sources.

Tip 5: Be productive in your lunch hour

Working during the day leaves you with few hours to yourself in the evenings, particularly if a large chunk of your day is spent commuting to and from the workplace.

It’s natural to want to spend your evenings relaxing; you may not fancy taking a trip down to a Homeware store to look for DIY supplies and nursery furnishings.

But your lunch hour offers the perfect opportunity for getting these tasks done. You’re already at work and (hopefully) feeling productive, so use your break-time to your advantage and run some errands – whether that’s ordering a cot online or collecting a cot mobile from the local shopping centre.

There are so many things to think about when you’re expecting a little one – and nursery furnishings are just the tip of the iceberg. Follow our time-saving hacks above to help minimise stress and learn more about the UK’s nursery décor habits here.

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