I live in a small city condo so making room for our new baby required some creativity (and donating a lot of our unnecessary possessions to Goodwill). After clearing out our office, I made a basic list of things I would need for a nursery.

  1. Crib, Mattress, Sheet
  2. Changing Station
  3. Clothing Storage
  4. Décor
My nursery space is incredibly small (it barely fits a twin sized bed) so I knew I’d have to be minimalistic in decorating. I wanted to find pieces that could be used for multiple purposes, as opposed to purchasing multiple items with only one purpose. Additionally, I wanted the nursery to be environmentally sustainable so I wanted to purchase as much as I could second-hand in order to keep used items out of landfills.

1. Crib

I found a fold-able mini crib on a second-hand website for a portion of the price of a new crib. I ensured that it met the newest safety standards (no drop sides) and was in great shape (no loose or missing parts). I liked that it was on wheels and could be pushed from room to room so I didn’t need to purchase a separate bassinet to use while my daughter was young and sleeping in our bedroom. I saved money by not purchasing a crib bedding set. Many sets are expensive and include items that are not considered safe for infant sleep (e.g. crib bumpers, pillows, and blankets). Instead, I purchased a plain white crib sheet because it was easily bleach-able, matches all décor, and could be used for either a girl or a boy. If you’re lucky, you can also find great crib sheets in the linen section of Goodwill.

2. Changing Station

Due to a lack of space, I decided not to buy a typical changing station (although I frequently see them available second-hand). Instead, I just purchased a changing pad at Goodwill for a few dollars. It was waterproof and easy to sanitize. I bought a white changing pad cover to cover it and match the rest of the room. I placed the changing pad on top of the baby’s dresser to save space.

3. Clothing Storage

There are MANY ways to store infant clothing, but I decided to buy a small dresser so that the top of it could accommodate the changing pad. I found a small dresser with a matching nightstand for $20 total at Goodwill and painted both pieces a neutral white. I don’t really need a nightstand yet, but I like that this set will be useful in a few years when my daughter outgrows her crib. I decided to use the nightstand to store outgrown clothing, once it’s full, I just bag the clean, gently used clothing up and donate it.

4. Decor (Easiest Part to Find Second-Hand)

I found a large canvas at Goodwill for a couple dollars, and I painted my heart art over it. I also found baskets (for organization) and a large bamboo mirror (spray painted gold) at Goodwill. I purchased the rug on clearance online, although I searched relentlessly for a second-hand beauty. The chair was a splurge for nighttime feedings. I specifically chose it since it matched my décor and could be moved into my living room once my daughter didn’t need to nurse in the middle of the night anymore. I wanted a chair that would have longevity in our home, rather than just for the early years of my daughter’s life.
Below is the budget breakdown for the whole project. I’ve seen cribs that cost more than what I spent on the entire nursery. Had I not splurged on the chair and ottoman, the entire nursery would have been less than $300!

Budget Breakdown

  • Second-Hand Crib: $100
  • Mini Crib Mattress: $47
  • Mini Crib Sheet: $6
  • Second-Hand Changing Pad: $3
  • Changing Pad Cover: $9
  • Second-Hand Campaign-Style Dresser and Nightstand: $20
  • Second-Hand Canvas for DIY Art: $3
  • Second-Hand Bamboo Mirror: $5
  • Second-Hand Teal White Storage Baskets: $6
  • Second-Hand Rocking Horse (painted blue): $5
  • Second-Hand Pink Basket for Blankets: $2
  • Chair Ottoman for Feeding: $298
  • 2 Shelves 4 Brackets (painted blue): $16
  • 2 Picture Ledges for Books: $20
  • Rug: $40 (on sale)

TOTAL: $580

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our nursery. By ensuring that most items in the room had multiple purposes, I saved a lot of space and eliminated waste. By purchasing second-hand items from Goodwill, I helped keep items out of landfills and helped generate revenue for job training in my local community.