Kids can have a sort of natural-disaster-esque effect on a home. Toys strewn all around from playtime, smears and crumbs and dirty dishes left in odd places from mealtime, socks and shoes somehow missing partners, and colors that got way outside the lines during arts and crafts.
And you’re probably way too exhausted chasing them around all day long to go back and pick up every last little bit they’ve left behind and put it neatly back into its place. We get it. Taking care of the kids is an entire job in itself, but having to go over everything and mop/sweep/vacuum/wash, too? I can be a little bit sometimes.
Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for your kid to leave for college before you can start getting your home looking like responsible adults live there again. We are sharing some tips on how to reduce kid-related clutter so you can stop apologizing for the state of your living room anytime guests come over. You can thank us later. For now, keep reading to check out how you can get organized, and click this link to read the full article.
Curb toys before they accumulate
Most people have more material items than they’ll ever use, and children are especially guilty of this—they call them “toys.” And since children have yet to master the fine art of editing and purging, you may have a crazy collection of squeezable, beeping, flashing, and bouncing objects clogging up every square foot of home space. But there are a number of innovative ways to head clutter off at the pass. In fact, it’s something of a movement: Call it kiddie-decluttering.
Pley, for example, is a leading toy rental company that allows kids to select and receive their desired toys in the mail. When the kids tire of the toys, they can be returned for new ones.
Birthdays are also big clutter accumulation events, and a website called KidsCanGiveToo.com is similar to a gift registry that allows children to donate half of their presents to the charity of their choice.
Divide and conquer
Size really does matter, especially when it comes to toys. If you store the big stuff together with the small stuff in one toy box, the tiny things will fall to the bottom and the child will have to pull out all the bigger toys in order to reach them. Result: ungodly mess.
There are all sorts of baskets and storage boxes available specifically for segmenting and organizing toys, but more and more parents are getting creative and using tackle boxes, makeup cases, and hardware storage containers meant for screws, washers, nails, etc. to store their children’s miniature items. Children get an enhanced sense of responsibility and maturity when they have the same type of storage containers they see their parents using.
Give each kid his own space to stash stuff
Designate specific, easily accessible storage spaces for your kids, and make sure there is ample, organized room for their belongings.
As a father of three sports-obsessed boys and co-founder of interior design startup Décor Aid, Sean Juneja has trained his children to store their belongings in their own individually designated spaces. For example, the mudroom was expanded to create separate cubbies for each boy. They each have a place to store their schoolbags, shoes, coats, etc., and everything is there waiting for them as they leave for school or a game, so there is no frantic hunt for a missing shoe, backpack, or glove.