If you have young children then I know you can relate to this:
Toys sprawled all over the living room floor like a bomb went off, clothes and socks sprinkled around the house and a bracelet you’ve been missing for a week suddenly showing up in the bottom of a shape sorter.
Yes, it’s true. With kids, you’re running around cleaning up after them, never finishing your “to-do” list for the day with barely any alone time with your partner.
I am a mother of two year old twins and I can attest that when they were younger I often found myself constantly picking up after them, washing their high chairs and the floor from the food fights they had, and never having time to put the clean laundry away. On top of all this I also had to prepare dinner and keep the bathrooms relatively clean for those pesky guests, i.e. the in-laws.
Now that they are two, I’m still doing all those things, but I’ve learned time saving tricks to make my day more productive.
I’m finding that if I do these three simple things to organize my living room each day, it makes my whole house seem all that much cleaner.
And you could barely tell that the house hadn’t been cleaned for an entire week!
The living room, or the place you spend most of your day with your little children, can easily and quickly be organized so that you won’t be the one crawling on the floor looking for a lost bracelet ever again!
1. Do A Toy Rotation
Are you thinking, why didn’t I think of that? It sounds obvious, but it wasn’t obvious to me until I talked to other moms that were much more organized.
A toy rotation was the answer to the messy living room.
Rotating your toys creates fewer toys and your children will get more enjoyment out of them if they don’t play with them every day.
How do I do that? When I decided to tackle the mountain of toys, I made sure that I found all the pieces to all the toys. This might be time consuming, but it creates less confusion and clutter if your children have all the puzzle pieces to a puzzle or all the doll furniture for their playhouse. They won’t go wandering around the house looking for a piece of a toy.
To store the unused toys, I gathered up a few clear storage bins that I rotate every week to two weeks. Over the months of doing this, my children think it’s Christmas every time I rotate the toys. They have a whole new set of toys to play with and my living room is no longer a minefield.
2. Use Baskets
Using baskets in your living room, closets, bathroom, bedroom or playroom for organization is another great tip that will make your home appear clean and tidy.
Throw toys, socks, and towels or just about anything else you want into baskets. You can even get your husband in on it.
Place a basket where he normally drops his socks or newspapers and voila! The room still looks tidy.
You can purchase cheap, contemporary looking baskets at most discount stores or craft stores. I prefer to use cloth baskets as they don’t damage easily and my children won’t get hurt if they accidentally fall on them.
You can jazz them up by placing a photo on the front of the basket showing what items belong in them.
Your children can help clean up once playtime is over by matching the toys to the photo. I have other baskets in my closet for hats or sunscreen and I also have a basket in my bathroom to hold clean towels and cloths.
3. Have a Home for Your Things
One of the biggest things that make a tidy home a mess is not having a home for your things. Do you often misplace your cell phone? If you always place it in the same spot every night, then in the morning you won’t spend those precious minutes looking for it.
In your living room, set up a spot for your remote controls, coupons, reading books or anything else that needs a home. I even have a special charging spot for my cell phone as I often found myself running around the house looking for it.
Make sure when you find a home for your items everyone knows where it is and can put them back once used.
Oftentimes, your husband will throw his sunglasses on the table and never remember to leave them in the car. If this is the case, then put a tray on the table so at least when he chucks them in that direction, it’ll look like he put them on the tray on purpose.
I have found that using these three quick and easy organizing tips in my life greatly reduced my stress levels and gave me more precious time to spend with my family. I have more time to play with my children and I can enjoy spending quality time with them rather than constantly picking up after them.
I no longer feel like I’m drowning in a mess of toys and I know my children enjoy not having to climb over a hill of clean laundry to get to their snack. After all, that is what counts.
How do you wrangle your clutter in the living room? Let us know in the comments.