Does your living room look like a toy tornado just passed through? You’re not alone. Keeping everyday living spaces clutter-free with little ones underfoot can feel like a never-ending battle.
Below are three simple tips for helping keep the chaos under control:
Create storage areas for toys and books. Be sure to have designated baskets, containers, or shelf space available in the everyday spaces of your home. It seems like an obvious tip, but many of us fail to consistently follow through with this basic step.
Store small collections of toys near the place they are most likely used. When my girls were toddlers they had a designated playroom. Where did they spend most of their time? In the living room! Young children often want to be near their parents. Keep a few items in a basket in your living room. Designate a cabinet in your kitchen for kid-friendly bowls and spoons. Embrace the stage your child is in; it will pass by faster than you can imagine.
Teach your child how to clean-up. Simply HAVING baskets or organizational containers in your home is not enough. We must teach our children which toys go where. Children as young as two-years-old can help with clean-up, if you provide a consistent place to store items.
Keep toys to a minimum. Don’t let the designated toy baskets around the house get out of control. If they start to overflow, redistribute items back into your child’s bedroom or play area.
Make it beautiful. Search for function and form with your organizational tools. I recommend a single high-quality basket in your living room for toy control. If you have a “treasure hunter” in your home, go shop your own closets (or local thrift store) for unique ways to display their finds. Being a parents doesn’t mean your entire home need to be filled with primary colors and plastic containers. Keep it creative!
Make exceptions. Meet Barbara. (Photo Above) She has been my daughter’s favorite doll for the past six years. While it is good to have an organization routine, there will always be exceptions to the rules. For example, at our home Barbara has free reign over any room.
Do you have a tried-and-true tip for keeping the toy chaos from taking over? Let’s chat in the comments.