Taming the Clutter: Staying Organized with a Toddler
Let me start off by saying: This is the picked-up version of our house. B's a tiny tornado, and we're frequently playing "Don't step on the tiny plastic daggers" all over the house. That being said, there are a few things that we've implemented with B's toys and other kid accessories that make our house feel a little tidier as a whole, even when the tornado's in full force.
I'm sharing the four tips below I've found helpful for taming the mess in your own family spaces.
- Baskets + more baskets. Our main floor has zero built-in's, and not a lot of storage space for toys and books, so we utilize baskets instead. Target and Home Goods are my go-to's for affordable baskets - bonus points for baskets that match your existing home decor style. We limit the toys in the living room to what can easily be put away in the basket. Everything else is (sometimes neatly) put away in the playroom upstairs, and we'll rotate toys out every month for said basket. I also keep a small basket of diapers and wipes on the main floor, which is a huge timesaver/sanity saver my mom implemented for us when B was a newborn. Even if we didn't have an upstairs, it's so nice to have more than one place to change a diaper (something I literally didn't think about before we had B!)
- Kids' stuff can be decor too! B's just as much a member of our home as anyone else. She has a few toys and other things that I work into our living spaces because they work well with the decor. We keep a simple white teepee in our living room, along with a rocking Goldendoodle dog from PB Kids and her little Eames knock-off rocking chair (that I'm forever obsessed with). Her DockATot floats around the main floor, too, usually with a folded up quilt on top to make it look neater. All of this is functional or a toy, and looks cute with our existing decor. When we tidy up, these items get tucked neatly into corners or have their respective places in the room. It can definitely work!
- All toys need a home. Whether you utilize a playroom or not, the majority of toys in your home need one organized place to "live." I think this is imperative to keeping the chaos contained, and it's a healthy way to start teaching organization with your kids since it directly applies to their own possessions. Cube storage pieces are brilliant solutions for this in any room you choose. In our playroom, we have cube storage for B to access and a few buckets in the closet with toys on back rotation.
- Rotate/clean out the toys. This is the hardest one for me! Kids are just tiny humans who love new things as much as anyone. We have so many great toys, and by keeping them on rotation, it's like she's got a brand new toy after a month of forgetting about it. The hardest part for ME is remembering to clean out (or put in basement storage for future babes) the toys that are no longer in her age range. Other things that drive me crazy? Finding ways to contain all the little pieces of each play set. This is a constant. battle. omg. But when we get it nailed down, it's at least a solid 24 hours of organized goodness until it all gets destroyed again ;).
My level of OCD on clutter is pretty low, to be honest. I have a pretty high tolerance for a mess, but when we are getting ready to have friends over, or if it's simply been days and days of toy chaos I'll hit my limit. On average, I'm succeeding at 2/4 of these 4 tips on a daily basis, but we really try to keep things neat and tidy (at least when B's sleeping) as much as possible. It makes the house feel cleaner, even if it needs a good dusting, when toys are picked up and organized.
I'll leave you with this photo of reality... The Tiny Tornado's in a dumping phase :)