Conquer the clutter and recapture the precious space that you once ruled.
If you have your family at home all day, your room felt messy every day, and your days and nights seem to converge. Regain order with these simple tips.
1. Reduce the clutter
It doesn't matter how well organized you are – an excess of toys will always make your home a mess waiting to be passed. Fortunately, getting children on board with the idea of throwing their things away is much easier than it sounds.
The trick is to give them the ability to define themselves and their interests. Encourage the children to make a stack of "baby toys" for donation and have them put aside any toys they no longer care about, e.g. B. Action figures from a forgotten TV show. By separating these toys, they can see how much they have grown and rediscover the toys they love.
2. Choose toys wisely
Since you will likely stay with them for a while, it pays to be choosy about buying toys. To make toys more meaningful to your child, only buy them for holidays, special occasions and rewards. Don't be afraid to ask relatives to do the same.
Avoid poorly made (cheap) toys that are not age-appropriate, unnecessarily large, senseless, or associated with a movie – unless you play it repeatedly every day. The best toys are versatile, promote creativity and can be easily expanded, e.g. B. Legos, wooden train tracks and dollhouse sets.
3. Leave some toys out of reach
If you constantly find play dough and puzzle pieces in the sofa cushions, it's time to put them on the top shelf of the closet. If you call these messy toys "family toys", you'll have more time with your child instead of removing the pen marks from the curtains.
Also try to put a bag of toys, games, and puzzles aside for rainy days. This ensures that you always have a trick up your sleeve on sick days or when visiting a boring relative.
4. Set limits
Don't worry if toys are already spread out on every available surface of your house! You can quickly reclaim order in your household by setting some basic rules, e.g. B. Limit "No toys in the kitchen" or limit the number of toys allowed overnight.
This may seem a bit draconian, but children are generally happier when they have clear expectations and few surprises. That's why it's important to stick out every night, no matter how exhausted you feel.
5. Give children property
Picking up toys doesn't have to be boring. Babies, toddlers and large children can have fun organizing and picking up as long as it's not a negative experience. This means that you should have enough time to enjoy yourself without counting on "1, 2, 3" or calling out empty threats.
A great thing if you plan on additional time for pickup is that you and your child can do fun things, such as: B. Scoop up blocks with a blanket or deliver toys by tricycle throughout the house. If you make it fun enough, your child will pick up at some point without being asked.
6. Give every toy a home
Without a simple organization system, recording can be a huge headache. Don't throw everything in a big toy box. There is a better way.
Buy a number of matching plastic containers and line them up against the wall so your child can easily put toys away and take them out themselves. Designate a box for Legos, one for cuddly toys, one for train tracks … you have the idea.
Use stackable plastic boxes for smaller toys like matchbox cars and dolls. Organize them further by keeping puzzle pieces, doll clothes and other nuisances in Ziploc bags.
7. Beat the books
It is not your imagination. This stack of picture books next to the couch is really getting bigger, and if you wait much longer, it will likely become a huge pile.
Even worse, your child uses these books to shorten bedtime a little later each night. For this reason, it is important to keep the books either in your child's room or a small selection of favorites in a basket so that you can easily access them.
Originally published in December 2017