How to Keep the House Organised with the Kids at Home
All parents know that it’s a difficult task to keep the house organised with the kids at home. Babies and toddlers pull things out and don’t tidy it up and can easily make more mess faster than you can tidy up after them, older children get different types of toys out and swap to something else halfway through and then leave things out a lot of the time and tweens and teens leave all kinds of stuff laying around too.
Some kids are quite tidy and like helping with cleaning up but they definitely seem to be the minority. Now that we’re all at home all the time, sharing the family home 24/7, it’s more important than ever to try to stay as organised as possible and to keep on top of household chores. A messy home will add to feeling stressed and, at this uncertain time, we don’t need any extra stress.
Try to incorporate a few new habits or tricks to help you keep the house organised now that everyone is at home most of the time. Get the kids involved too and talk to them about what you’re doing and why if you’re children are old enough to understand.
Ways to Keep the House Organised with Children at Home
Habits for Tidying up Toys
Children need to be involved in the tidy up process and can start learning these habits from an early age. My 14-month-old loves to pour all the toys out but has also started to understand the word ‘tidy’ and helps to put things away now too. Older toddlers and children can definitely help and can do a decent job too!
Set some rules — for example:
- Always tidy up one set of toys/activity before moving on to the next one
- A certain amount of toys at one time
- Tidy up a room before you leave it (this can be used for the whole house — not just toys)
Small habits like this will help keep the toy mess at bay and also teach kids healthy habits and responsibility.
Designated Areas for Play
If possible, try to keep certain areas for the toys. We’re lucky to have a playroom in our new house (but that’s also the office now so has limited access at the moment with my husband using it in during weekday office hours) so we try to keep some rooms free of toys and others for playing, meaning it’s easier to tidy the toys up.
We have craft mats that we keep out most of the time on our kitchen table, on one end, as our two older girls do a lot of crafting, drawing and schoolwork and they do this there. I like having this designated area for these activities and when it’s time to tidy the areas up, they’re responsible for their own craft mat.
Try the Tray Trick
Trays are so useful for many things around the house! I rarely use them for their original purpose (only for special occasions!) but all the time for lots of other things. One of my favourite uses is to use them for different children’s crafts like bead sets and activities like puzzles and Lego for a quick tidy up. The older girls are often playing with really small toys with lots of bits and it’s so easy to loose pieces when you’re playing on the floor and this is extra important to avoid when you have a young toddler running around. Keeping these activities on a tray makes it so easy to tidy away quickly and gives you the option to continue with the activity later too.
We keep my eldest daughter’s bead sets on a tray and when she’s done we push it under the sofa until next time and I always get a tray out for my middle girl when she’s playing with Lego as she loves the teeny tiny pieces and always wants to keep her chosen ones out. A tray is the perfect solution. We use the 3 Piece Bamboo Tray Set from VonHaus which are lightweight but sturdy bamboo trays with handles so that you can carry them easily. You get three different sizes in a set and they’re durable and easy to clean. They look great too!
Use a Stuffel!
Stuffel toy storage bags are another tool that families with young children should not be without. They’re toy storage bags and play mats in one so that you can tidy up in seconds. Especially great for things like Lego and Duplo but brilliant for all kinds of toys that you have lots of and that are annoying to tidy up over and over… They are really useful and look great too! Read my full review and check out my video demonstration here.
Baskets are such useful items all around the house. They make great storage solutions for toys especially but also keep things like books and hats looking tidier. Many well-organised homes keep a basket at the bottom of their stairs (you can even get specially designed stair baskets that fit across several steps) and the idea is that if you find something downstairs that needs to go back up, you put it in the basket. At the end of the day, you take it upstairs with you and return the items to their designated places. We don’t have a basket on our stairs but use a few of the steps for this during the day and I try to carry something upstairs with me every time I go up.
Tidy Your Kitchen
The room that makes the most difference to me if it’s tidy and clean is the kitchen. I feel much more calm and organised if I manage to keep on top of the kitchen mess. Most days it’s quite hard with a clingy baby but I do try. It makes our house nicer to spend time in and makes me more likely to suggest fun activities like baking something with the kids. For me, it works best if I follow a somewhat routine — I put the dishwasher on in the evening, then empty it after breakfast to start refilling it again. I continue to tidy the kitchen while the kids are finishing their breakfast and so on. It’s not perfect but it helps me keep on top of it.
I hope these tips and ideas will be useful to you too if you’re also trying to keep the house organised with the kids around full-time!
Bamboo trays kindly gifted by VonHaus and Stuffels previously gifted.