One of my most commonly asked questions is “How do you keep your home tidy with kids?”, I could go on and on and on about how I do this. And quite honestly I feel like I’m always tiding up after meals, vacuuming crumbs and loose gravel that somehow made it into the house. However when it comes to keeping a handle on the never-ending amount of toys that somehow collect in our home — that’s another story.
On that note, where do they all come from? Birthday parties? Kids Meals? Grandparents? The piles keep growing and growing! As much as I love the joy that a toy can bring for the kids, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with them! We try to organize and donate toys every six months or so just to minimize the quantity. And we also get rid of toys that have been broken over time.
Once that is all done I have a few tricks that I’ve sworn by to minimize the number of toys around the house as well deciding which ones to buy/keep and which ones to get rid of. We started by creating a play space! Do you have an area in your home that is not in use? Perhaps a nook or spare bedroom? I encourage you to transform that space into a play space for your kids. This allows for not only great storage but also functions as an area to contain their toys and can teach your kids them to clean up by putting them away after they’re done.
We have two areas in our home that we call play spaces. When we were building I really wanted to add in a little space just off the kitchen for our kids to play and craft/color in. We call it the “Kids’ Kitchen.” I added a little kitchen set up for them to play in, which is so great for boys and girls! We have a rule that all of their kitchen-related toys must stay here.
5 Tips For a Great Play Space.
- 1. Minimize toys and categorize them so they actually get played with. Designate a basket to store the blocks, a basket to store the car toys, a basket to store the train tracks, etc. Once we created this system, the kids know how to put their toys away accordingly and then actually play with them. This was a game changer for us!
- 2. Basket, baskets and more baskets. Even if you don’t have time to properly organize their toys, throwing them into storage baskets makes for a tidier looking space.
- 3. Invest in toys that will last. Get rid of toys collected from kids’ meals and goody bags. I found that these toys are the ones that cause all the additional mess and never got played with! Personally, I really like wooden toys.
- 4. Include toys and accessories that add structure to and act as a design element in the play space, like a play table and chairs or a doll house. Not only do they look great but they also get played with all the time!
- 5. Add in design accessories that make the space welcoming and oh-so-cute! Consider a few art pieces, removable decals (Aren’t the lemons so cute!?), wallpaper or a rug. Super simple yet they really create a beautiful space that you won’t mind cleaning up!
Photography: Tracey Ayton Photography