If you have a toddler (or multiple kids), you know how hard it can feel to keep your house somewhat organized and tidy. So many days it feels like an impossible feat and can be so frustrating. Personally, I hate when our house is a mess. It stresses me out!
But, kids need entertainment, so what do we do?
I’ve found a few tricks over the past few months that have helped keep our house so much cleaner, tidier and PEACEFUL! Three cheers to that!
5 Tips for Keeping your House Tidy with a Toddler
1. Have Less Stuff
First, and most importantly—have less stuff. Buying less saves you money and keeps clutter at bay. Instead of buying more toys, opt for books. It expands kids language and so good for their little brains!
And, if you have to buy some toys (because you can’t have none), opt for toys that are engaging vs. entertaining. We’re not big fans of electronic, plastic toys—they’re noisy, loud and Owen quickly gets tired of them.
For birthdays and holidays, again, ask for books, and not toys. We don’t live near family, so we don’t get any random gifts, but I know this is a problem for a lot of my friends. It can be so hard to tell family members no, because it’s generous and kind.
But, it’s your house! You’re the parent and you set the boundaries. Have a friendly, but firm chat with anyone who is contributing to clutter you don’t want.
2. Montessori their Toys
Okay, so if you already have more stuff than you need, I highly suggest you do a little Montessori-style re-organizing of your stuff. I have a whole post on how we do this at our house here.
Having less toys laying around helps them stay focused and engaged with what they do have in front of them. It makes for a lot less clutter and keeps you sane too.
Related: How to Montessori your Kid’s Toys
3. 10 Minute Nightly Tidy Up
I used to practice this religiously, then I had a kid and got really tired. But, lately, I’ve picked it back up. Once Owen goes to bed, I take 5-10 minutes to scan the house for stuff that’s out of place, scoop it up and put it back.
I do my best to get Owen to tidy up, but admittedly, that’s a work in progress. I also put our own stuff that’s made it’s way around the house back where it’s suppose to go. Then, we get to start our night with a tidy home which makes me feel so relaxed and calm!
4. Use What You Have
Just when you think you need more stuff because your kids are getting bored with what they have, make the Montessori swap, or use what you’ve got.
Owen LOVES playing with random things from the kitchen—tubberware, my food processor (minus the blades obvi—the top part comes apart and is like a puzzle). Beans and spoons, or a bowl of soapy, bubbly water and his cars can keep him entertained for a long time.
5. Make Sure Everything Has a Place
My sister said the key to keeping her house tidy is that everything has a place. And, if it doesn’t, she finds a place for it, or gets rid of it. This was a game-changer for me.
We had so many extra baskets lying around, so I grabbed them and put them to use. Now we’ve got a basket for books, an area for keeping toys, another one for Legos and trains and stuffed animals (he has two—Pengy & Foxy—typically stay in bed!
If you find yourself with a big collection of stuff without a place, maybe it’s time to donate or toss any toys that have been too-loved.
6. Have a Cleaning Schedule
Think about what tasks need to happen every week—wash sheets, laundry, vacuum, bathrooms, etc. If you’re doing this all yourself, set aside certain tasks for specific days and just make it a part of your schedule. It won’t sneak up on you and feels less like a chore when it’s already scheduled in.
RELATED: 6 Tips for Keeping your House Tidy
I typically do laundry and sheets on Monday & Tuesdays, deep clean the kitchen over the weekend and vacuum, well that happens nearly every other day with a toddler and dog that sheds.
We have the cordless Dyson V10 and it is amazing. It makes vacuuming a breeze and it’s really lightweight. Lastly, I like to steam mop at least once a week. We have this steam mop that’s under $80 and kills 99% of germs!
How do you keep your house tidy and sane with a toddler?