My OCD kicked in enormously during my first pregnancy with Phoenix. I was excited to bring a child into our lives. I was also questioning how a little person (and all of his toys) would stay organized in our small apartment. I was imagining my minimal living room looking like a colourful, childcare centre with shiny, plastic toys piled high. There were changes that I would have to be flexible on. No more cactus pot plants in reach, candles have to be moved up higher and breakables completely removed for a while. I’ve somehow managed to combine our living room with Phoenix’s play room and I actually still love the look and feel of our space. Here are my five tips on how to keep your home tidy with toddlers.
1. Amount of Toys
The biggest chance that your living room will start looking like a daycare, is the amount of toys your children own. The more toys there are, the more space you will need to store them and the more likely that a thousand different pieces will end up everywhere. A large mess will always seem like an enormous task to complete, and chances are you will lose motivation to keep it organized, especially when it will all be pulled out again the next day. The best way to reduce the amount of toys in your living room is to monitor the amount coming in and rotate toys. Keep half tucked away in the bedroom closet and swap them around from time to time. Cull regularly. Birthdays and Christmas bring in a bunch of new, exciting toys. This is a great time to declutter, donate or transfer unused or outgrown toys to storage.
2. Maximize Wall Space
Take advantage of your walls and hang beautiful decor. Moving all of the little things off of lower, reachable surfaces created a more minimal space for us. Sometimes we accumulate too many bits and pieces and that just means more clutter and there is something to be said about a clean surface. If you’re finding that you’ve had to remove statement pieces out of your living areas and things are looking bare, maximize your wall space. Beautiful macrame, wall decals, hanging plants, garlands and framed art can add a lot of texture to your home. Shop our handcrafted wall decor and art prints here.
3. Store Everything in Baskets
Baskets are great. There are so many beautiful baskets in homeware stores right now and they are an easy, affordable, storage solution. Phoenix loves easy access to his toys and baskets help us keep them off the floor at the end of the day. We use them to keep his toys and clothes organized. When it’s time to clean up, it’s so easy to pop everything back into a basket. We love the felt storage hamper at Kmart right now.
4. Involve your Toddler
Young children are like sponges. They are watching everything we do, and can’t wait to copy us. Staying on top of your home organization also teaches them how to take care for their toys and space. Phoenix loves to do whatever I’m doing and enjoys feeling helpful. It might seem pointless to put away the toys daily, but there is a good chance that if they see you do it, they will start doing it too. Make it a daily routine before bed.
5. Opt for Neutral Toys to be on Display
Toys that will regularly reside in your living space look much nicer if they’re neutral. We love wooden toys right now, and they’re so much more beautiful to look at (if they are left out). Phoenix likes his plastic toys too, but I try and keep those ones tucked out of sight when he’s not playing with them. I secretly was just as excited about Phoenix’s wooden IKEA kitchen as he was. We’ve built it into our decor. I don’t mind that it’s out in the open because it fits into our style. Wooden toys aren’t a “new thing” either. We’ve picked up some beautiful ones at Kmart, second-hand sales and thrift stores.