Do you have a hard time staying on top of all the toy clutter and keeping your kids organized? I definitely do.
My living room floor is CONSTANTLY covered with wooden puzzle pieces, numbered blocks, and loose playpen balls.
And that’s JUST the toys.
Random clothes are always scattered around the house too—because my daughter currently LOVES to walk around with her pants on her head.
Yep, keeping kids organized is no easy task.
Some days I just feel like I spend my WHOLE DAY picking up toys and shoes and dirty socks and all the random clutter kids tend to leave throughout the house.
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If that sounds a lot like your day too, here’s what I’m thinking we do instead: nothing.
It’s time we stop doing the work for our kids and make them pick up after themselves.
Even at a young age they can do this—yes, some of these ideas even my one-year-old can start doing!
Give everything a place. Make it easy to do. And make it fun.
Here are some great ideas on what you can do to help your kids pick up after themselves and stay organized!
1. Teach Kids To Gather Up Laundry And Put Away Clothes
Endless piles of laundry can drive any mom crazy. Here’s a great idea: get a different color mesh laundry bag (like these) for each kid, keep the entire contents in the bag while washing and drying and give it back—and it’s still all contained—to EACH KID to fold and put away when done!
Need to sort your lights and darks? Try using pictures with color-coded labels to teach your kids categories—let them help YOU!
Putting away clothes shouldn’t be mom’s job either. Incorporate creative organization interventions like chalkboard-painted dressers (like this) or pictures of what types of clothes goes where can be helpful tools in getting kids to put away their clean clothes.
2. Minimize Toy Clutter And Give Each Toy A Designated Place
If your kids have less toys to play with, they’ll be less to pick up! Pick out the essentials, store the rest, and encourage them to use their imaginations. After a few weeks, rotate the toys so the kids don’t get bored.
Find creative storage solutions for all those toys—like these DIY toy storage jars for little toys and knick-knacks—and make picking up fun so your kids will want to join in.
Even if you decide to make your toy storage blend in with your home decor, make it clear where each toy goes. Use pictures, chalkboard labels, and color-coordinate to help your kids know where to put their toys when they are done playing.
3. Set Up A System And Routine For Kids To Pick Up Their Clutter Around The House
Kids are always leaving their junk scattered across the house. My daughter is only 1 and yet she still finds ways to do this—I’m pretty sure I’ll be finding pacifiers in only-god-knows-where for the next two years.
With all those knick-knacks and random junk, here’s what works: set up a station to store all those items and then make it a routine for each of your kids to check the stations and put their toys and items away at the end of each day.
I love that all these ideas include options with handles, which make them perfect for tiny humans to cart around as help clean up and organize!
4. Give Your Kids A Place To Hang Up Backpacks And Put School Papers
When kids don’t have a place to put their stuff when they walk in the door, the whole house suffers.
Backpacks are strewn across the floor, shoes are kicked off and scattered, and school papers and letters end up getting lost in the shuffle.
Never miss another teacher’s meeting or hunt for a report card again. Set up entryway backpack stations to catch all the bags and flyers.
Add a shelf with hooks, baskets, and a bulletin board to pin up important papers and notes.
Lacking on space? Use small wood cubbies and a cork board on the wall that’s easy for the kids to access.
Make it a goal to teach kids TO USE their backpack storage space, and soon your house will start feeling a lot more organized with a lot less effort.
5. Organize A Space For Doing Homework…That Works WITH Your Kids
Let’s face it, you might have that amazing den or basement all tricked out for all your kids studying needs, but for some reason they will still end up dumping the entire contents of their backpacks all over the kitchen counter and then inevitably relocate to working in living room.
Instead, create a homework station that is organized and easily portable and can be moved from room to room…just like your kids.
Use a cart that be moved when necessary, and use plastic bins to organize writing utensils and any loose papers or tools.
6. Set Up a Bedside Caddy To Store All The Bedtime Needs
Our bedtime routine begins with dinner (if she’ll even eat it) followed by a hectic bath and with one of us somehow always chasing our naked daughter down the hall and wrestling her to put on pajamas.
Evenings and bedtime are already crazy enough WITHOUT having to search for her favorite stuffed animal for 30 minutes, only to finally find it hiding under the backseat in the car.
And don’t get me started on the never-ending hide-and-seek game she’s playing with her pacifiers (yep we’re definitely losing that one).
What I need is a bedside caddy like this one where we can stash all her night time necessities so they’re all in one place.
Having a bedside caddy makes it easy for your kids to store their favorite books and anything they might need to have in order to go to sleep peacefully.
And stay asleep. Or at least not come wake you if they need something that’s been misplaced.
Keep your kids organized and make bedtime less frantic with a bedside caddy.
7. Keep Your Garage Organized By Designating a Space To Store Outdoor Toys and Park Kids Bikes
If your garage is OVERFLOWING with kids bikes and scooters and push car you definitely need to do something to keep all these toys organized.
Using blue painter’s tape to mark out parking spots for all the kids stuff is GENIUS. And it’s such an easy and low-cost solution.
If you also have a garage floor that’s littered with tennis balls and catcher’s mitts, this DIY sporting goods catch-all is so easy you could get it done in just a few hours.
Now your kids have a place to put all their stuff, and YOU don’t have a sprained ankle from tripping over a misplaced tricycle or loose baseball.