By Deborah Kearns, RE/MAX Senior Editor, Corporate Communications

This spring, we welcomed a healthy baby boy to our family. His happy addition expanded our family from three to four. It also expanded the housework, cleaning and laundry tenfold now that we have two kids!

I admit, it hasn't always been easy. After a few exhausting weeks, we eventually settled into a rhythm, a productive albeit at times chaotic, one.

What helped were the steps I took before he was born.

1. Take stock and declutter. Before the baby arrives, it helps to declutter your home as much as possible – for your own sanity and to make room for all the baby gear you'll acquire. Paring down unnecessary belongings and furniture is a great way to add some simplicity to your now-very-busy life.

2. Baby-proof your home in stages. You don't have to do it all at once! To save time and money, childproof your home as your baby shows signs of reaching milestones like rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking. Here's a great guide from Parents.com.

3. Make the nursery functional. It's tempting to want to re-create the immaculate nursery designs you see on Pinterest, but my advice is to put function first. Ease and practicality should take precedence over style. Install window coverings that block out UV rays to help keep the room comfortable and dark during sleep times.

4. Check those smoke detectors. You might not think of this in the hustle and bustle, but testing the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home is extremely important. We have smoke detectors in every room, and a carbon monoxide detector on every level. The U.S. Fire Administration has many resources to help you choose and install these critically important devices.

Have your own tips to share on prepping a home for a new baby's arrival? Share them below! And if you're looking for more space for your little addition(s), a local RE/MAX agent can help you find the right place.