Crazy Nesting


Lately I’ve been doing some spring cleaning to get ready for this baby. Spring cleaning with a big dose of insanity.

Standing up on the step ladder to dust the top of my closet, I took breaks during contractions and worried that I wouldn’t feel ready if the baby came that day.

Doug tried to be supportive and encouraging about how the house didn’t need to be ready, but my response was, “Don’t try to give me the big picture. Just clean the bathroom!” I also made him paint a couple of walls. Nice, I know.

We emptied closets and moved furniture so I could dust the baseboards and vacuum.

Finally the wave of crazy passed, and I started crossing off things from my list without doing them. I looked around and realized that this is probably the cleanest my home will be for about the next twenty years. Because in real life, I mostly relate to when Sarah said,

Many times, at the end of the day, I wonder what the heck I even accomplished. This is mostly because I really only accomplish 5 different things….but I did each of those 5 things FIVE ZILLION TIMES.

Last time, Doug knew I was about to go into labor when I carried a bucket of soapy water to the parking garage so I could go wash his car by hand. I also made him clean out our apartment neighbor’s dryer lint pipe. Hopefully it won’t come to that this time.

I just looked over and realized that I no longer even bother to put the ice cream into a bowl, but now I’m eating it straight from the carton. Oh my word.

Do you have any crazy nesting stories to share? Do tell.
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. you have good taste in ice cream, that is my favorite! and even better straight from the carton.

    when i was pregnant with my first, i had her on a sunday morning and was at work the friday before. not a whole lot of time for nesting, but i bet my desk was really clean.

    and with number two, i do remember i was staying with my parents because hubby was putting walls up in our house, and my mom came home one day and i was cleaning the grout in her 2500 sf house full of tile with a toothbrush. every last inch.

    good luck rachel! enjoy that ice cream and clean house.

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Bye Bye Bad Bad Bath

  2. Too funny! I do remember cleaning a lot, but my excuse was that my inlaws were coming to stay with us, so it needed to be spotless…yet I’d never cleaned my blinds so thoroughly before!

    My funny story is that the morning of the C-Section (this was advised, not my preference), I didn’t know I was in labor. I didn’t know that what I had been feeling (probably since the day before) were contractions! I was just so used to feeling my daughter move around, so I didn’t think anything of it. When we got to the hospital to settle in and register for surgery, my water broke! Actually it was more like an explosion…

    I hope I won’t be so oblivious next time around! :)

  3. With my second, I was a nesting *freak.* We knew he was coming soon when my hubby came home and I had taken all the magnetic letters from my daughter’s Leap Frog alphabet thingy off the fridge, and was washing them all…one by one…with Q-tips to get out the gunk in the corners…and disinfecting them…and shining them with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

    When I came home from the hospital, I had a lovely baby boy and the cleanest fridge magnets in town!

  4. With our first, I took out the crisper drawers in the fridge and was cleaning behind them with a Q-Tip… all the while, cursing myself and my need to do this to a fridge that we didn’t own in an apartment that we would be moving out of before the baby was born. I just couldn’t STOP.

    With our second, I was a cooking/food-stocking FREAK. I still shudder to think of the grocery bills I racked up for just me and our 5-year-old son. (Hubby is in the Army and would only be home for five days surrounding the birth of the baby.)

    Damsel´s last post…On how we came to be an Army family

  5. I mowed our grass the night before giving birth. Never mind the fact that I was HUGE.

  6. Are these stories real? You women have me seeing childbearing in a whole new light. Hilarious! Why aren’t there movies about this?

    Katherine´s last post…Bust Your Clutter, Free Your Life

  7. This gave me such a smile this morning! With my first, I started stockpiling food – and he was 5 weeks early! (No complications.) With my second, I was READY by 30 weeks. Onsies in the dresser, blankets in the crib, all I needed was the baby! So my nesting was crafts. I made a chandelier for her room with an old light fixture, ornaments, and hot glue. I sewed bedding – by hand! I made handmade birth announcements with a hand-tied bow on each – all I needed was the photo and birthdate!

    Karla @ Mom’s Potluck´s last post…Easy all-natural popcorn in the microwave

  8. This made me smile so this morning– something about how rational thinking sweeps out the door so close to welcoming a little one. And all those poor bemused husbands.

    Best wishes for all that’s to come.

    Missy K´s last post…First Day

  9. It’s been almost 26 years since my youngest child was born, but I still remember the nesting phase. I went into a frenzy cleaning out kitchen cupboards, standing on a ladder to reach the top cupboards. Like anyone could see into the top cupboards! I must have cleaned other things, too, particularly since I had home births, and I wanted my house to be clean before the midwife got there.

  10. hahaha!!! Same space!!! I am scrubbing away and wondering really how will I ever find the energy to clean every single surface, declutter every single drawer, no little piles of chaos – nothing. Show house I tell you!!! And I have about a month to go still… What do people do when they stop having kids?

    My worst nesting so far… was when friends we hadn’t seen in years were visiting from overseas… and my husband asked them to dinner on their only free evening… I said don’t come that night we are having a baby… everybody laughed and I stood and made 45 perfect hamburgers with every condiment… everything was perfect as only an imminent woman can be… They left at mid-night, I cleaned up SPOTLESSLY till 1, went to bed till 2 when my waters broke and the new arrival arrived by 2:30 – wham!!!

    At least the house was clean!!! I spend the last month of every pregnancy cleaning the bathroom before I go to bed, just in case the mid-wife arrives in the dead of night and I haven’t managed to clean it before she gets there!!!

    • That is the best story ever. :-) I usually break out in a rash of baking — cake after cake from scratch, dozen after dozen of cookies, muffins galore. I was waddling to all my neighbors with huge plates of baked goods right up til the day before!

      • oh yes. i baked too. instead of nesting i baked. i hate cleaning so much. i am just now finishing my daughters room and shes already 6 months old. ha

  11. With #4, I washed the ceilings. Waited for it to hit with #5 but it never did. She is now one month old and I feel gypped I never got the manic instinct.

    I enjoy your blog so much. It makes me feel peaceful.

  12. A week or so before Dacey was born (she was overdue by that point), Kyle came home and found me in the midst of manically cleaning out all of our dresser drawers. Actually, when he got there, I was cleaning out my underwear drawer and all of his underwear was stacked in piles all over the bed. He had a good laugh over that site.

    You just keep up the good (hard) work, mama, and you’ll be meeting Little Brother in NO TIME!

    Megan at Simple Kids´s last post…Storytelling Day: The True Story of Jack and Jill

  13. My first comment is GET OFF OF THE LADDER!!!! I was on a ladder late into my 8th month to hang my, yes, brand new curtains and caboom, fell off. Backward, thank God, just bruised. Still horrifies me to think of it. As long as you are on the ground, I think the nesting cleaning thing is pretty normal. Ice cream, ah, wish I could that now!!! Enjoy these final days… and thanks for sharing! :)

    Mary Anne Davis´s last post…Lindy’s Dinnerware

  14. I remember climbing up to the top of a 13 foot ladder so that I could scrub our vinyl siding with a brush…

    Lynn´s last post…Trouble in Crafty Land

  15. The night before my fourth baby was born, my husband found me at the utility sink scrubbing the bottoms of my other three children’s shoes. He knew the time was near!!

    Tesa´s last post…Letting them grieve

  16. such a great story! I’ve never had a baby, but I go through the same thing the night before I leave on a trip somewhere… for some reason, the house has to be immaculate, the floors scrubbed, the fridge sparkling even though it will just sit collecting dust while I’m away. I think it quells my travel anxiety a little bit.

    Mary R´s last post…Travel and Foodie Friday: What Was Your Favorite Meal This Week?

  17. Love it. I CANNOT WAIT to get to the nesting stage. I am still on the outskirts of the lay on the couch feeling miserable stage. But I just wanted to chime in to say “Bravo, Mama. Bravo.” for eating the ice cream straight on of the carton.

  18. I had post-nesting with my first (I think after having had a high stress job – just being home with a sleeping baby was strange!) Two days after my first, a friend was surprised my mom wasn’t over at my house helping – my mom replied, “Um, she’s making brownies right now. I think she’s fine.” It was like this weird thing clicked in my mind that “I’m a mom and I make brownies!” I went on a cooking spree.

    Two weeks before my second was born, we moved! Yikes. Talk about nesting. Our sales just went way faster than we expected and we had to move while I was soooo ready to have that baby. That was tough. But, we did it!

    Kelli´s last post…Crickets

  19. Oh yes, I nested like a crazy person too! About a month and a half before my due date, I started batch cooking like crazy. I made 2-3 meals every week that I could stick in the freezer. (Just about everyone I knew concluded that I was nuts, but I tell you what — all that work paid off BIG TIME later on.)

    I also completely reorganized our linen closet and attached handwritten labels to every shelf for towels, sheets, bathmats… Now, every time I open that closet and see the labels, I remember the look my husband gave me as I sat there surrounded by towels. It was like, “Who are you?”

    Shannon @ Anchormommy´s last post…Gimme S’more! An award-winning recipe & a cupcake coma

  20. A few weeks before my first, I climbed on a chair and starting cleaning the top of the fridge. Next, I got down on the floor, pulled the drawer out from under the stove and started cleaning that. My mom was there at the time and when my husband wondered what the heck I was doing, my mom just said “Nesting. Back away.”

  21. Ha! We’ve been thinking about having a second, and I’m starting to think more seriously that this would be a fantastic idea–not because I so want a second, or because new babies are so fascinating, or because I want our first to have a sibling–but because seriously, the coupon drawer has just gotten totally out of hand since my last nesting phase! ;-)

  22. Very funny and brings back such memories. Our first was 2.5 wks early and we had just had our kitchen floor tiled. Contractor was a friend of hubbies and helped me wipe down the new floor and scrub the walls between loads of baby shower laundry and wiping every baseboard in the house.
    With my daughter, I new I was in early labor but went to work anyway. It was Friday and work was only 4 blocks from the hospital. I made every phone call, detailed a work to do list, met with each dept head then headed home to have an anniversary dinner with hubby which turned out to be clear broth for me since our girl came just after nine that night.
    Our twins were a scheduled c-section, but the day before we had our oldests 1st Communion and then a family celebration at our house afterwards- to this day everyone jokes that there were more eyes on my belly than on all the beautifully dressed boys & girls;)
    Good luck and happy cleaning

  23. What a wonderful feeling, to scurry (yes, I know, comparing to squirrels, even though there are no squirrels in Australia) around dusting, cleaning, moving and making sure your nest is squeaky clean.
    12 years ago my bundle of joy was delivered to us.
    The joy of preparing for his home-coming was a delight, I was on a high, like Snow White when she is cleaning the Dwarfs cottage.
    Blue birds would of come in handy in those hard to reach places!
    Thank you for trip down memory lane.
    All the best for when your bundle of joy comes to meet you.

    Tracy9´s last post…Found

  24. Denise C. says:

    WIth my eldest son, I lived in a teeny, tiny apartment (smaller than a studio) and cleaned like there was no tomorrow. (After he passed away, I did the same thing.)

    With my second son, I remember a fly coming into the house, and FREAKED OUT. I distinctly remember telling my husband, that EVERYTHING was RUINED. The house would need to be DECONTAMINATED. I scoured right up until I went into labor with him.

    With my daughter (also my last) I freaked out over minor stuff….”that light bulb is still burned out!….”

    Best of luck to you for a smooth labor and delivery. ;)

    P.S. That ice cream is making me salivate! ;)

  25. I don’t remember with my first, but with the last two there was definitely a NEED to have the house completely in order the day before I went into labor. The kind of need that made me clean ALL day and night until it was perfect….I always wonder if this was a sign of impending labor, or if the intense level of activity brought on the labor… who knows? :)

    Hope you get some rest before the baby comes!

    Ashley´s last post…Thankful Thursday

  26. Two nights before my son was born 5 weeks prematurely, I was on the floor constructing homemade Oompa Loompa costumes for Halloween, complete with papier mache green-hair helmets.

  27. Funny post. I have three kidlet’s, but with my last baby I think I went OCD with the nesting cleaning. The night I went into labour I went over the top cleaning and washed ALL the walls in the house…. I have never washed walls before….. Then I went into my daughter’s room and set up her dolls, put all their clothes, brushed their hair and then put all the stuff back in the doll house, all neat and tidy. As my house was spick and span I need to clean “another” house…LOL

    Alexis J´s last post…The evilness of JUICE

  28. I haven’t had the opportunity to have a baby yet but if this is what I can expect I think i might be looking more towards it.

    I have some windows in the living room that really need a cleaning and my stock pile could always use a good sorting. :)

    Meg´s last post…Kroger Mega Savings Event Shopping trip

  29. My little one was overdue by 6 days so you can imagine what i did in those six days !!! My windows , doors , cupboards, fridge, carpet, beds, drawers everything had been cleaned up twice and I still thought the house was not clean enough ! The most hilarious bit was that when my waters broke ….I was sitting on a bed with a pile of onions that i was chopping to stock up on ‘Masala’ for curries . Being Indian, we need that for nearly all the food we make. So there i was sitting with this huge pile and suddenly i realized that something had happened. lol Got admitted to the hospital in 30 mins and delivered my princess :)

  30. I’m waiting for that energy to come back right now at 38 weeks! I have been doing a lot of batch cooking and stockpiling of “essential” items . . .you know, like popsicles. We have 3 boxes in our freezer right now. But I’m starting to tire of cleaning, and instead am doing lots of “mental” nesting like reading up on post-partum issues, etc.

    Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…Almost done

  31. Alaskan Andi says:

    I did the same with all three of my children the week…and night before birth. I insisted everything be picked up and sorted. My sweet husband went along with it with little resistance. I think it is a coping mechanism. I like to be in control and when I know I will be at some sweet, adorable little one’s bidding 24/7 for the next while…well, who are we kidding – the rest of my life… I have to put everything else in order. I had scheduled c-sections for all three and stayed up to 2 o’clock in the morning. Then, with bags in hand and hubby driving, would wake up at 5:00 AM to get to the hospital in time for my appointment. I also loved minty ice cream. Straight out of the box so I didn’t have to clean anything but the spoon. It is such an exciting time. Sit down and meditate about the wonderful new things that are about to happen in your life. I am so happy for you and yours!

  32. when are you due? i’m due in 3 weeks :-)

    anywho, for the past 3 months i scrub everything down in clorox-once a week. i guess i just feel the need for everything to be sterile?!

  33. I love sharing the nesting-crazies: I crawled around our bareboard home, meticulously cleaning dust and grime from BETWEEN the unpolished boards, with a scalpal.

    Cathy´s last post…I want to talk…

  34. I nested like crazy with all three of ours, rearranging furniture, cleaning, rehanging pictures. Just to get everything perfect. My husband never knew where anything was going to be when he came home from work.
    WIth our first (19 years ago) I suddenly decided I wanted to start making a quilt! My Mother jumped to and helped to buy all of the supplies. I was sitting in the middle of all of it when my water broke! 5 hours later our first son was born.
    Enjoy these times, they go by so fast.

  35. I work in the music business and was on tour for four months straight while pregnant with my little gal. Living on a tour bus with scatter-brained musicians and sloppy crew guys is hard enough, but I had nesting fever BAD. Every morning, while everyone else was sleeping off the previous night’s debauchery, I was cleaning away the empty beer bottles, scrubbing the sticky Jagermeister off the floor, folding and putting away sweaty stage clothes, organizing fan gifts into labeled boxes and re-organizing the leftover catering in the fridge. I even sorted the water bottles and soda cans by color in the storage drawers under the seats. Everyone made fun of me for “nesting the bus”, but I guarantee it was the cleanest bus any of them have ridden on before or since.