Tricks to an Organized House, with a Toddler


Tricks to an Organized House

I remember, my son was about four months old, and playtime took place on one of those soft floor gym play mats. There were cute animal mobiles hanging down from the top for him to play with, and a mirror to smile back at my toothless boy. It was easy to keep my house organized with his few toys neatly stored in one basket.

One basket. Hashtag organized!

But right around the time that Ajax turned one, it was like toys exploded all over our house. Admittedly, he was usually the one distributing the toys everywhere, but since he turned one, the number seemed to have multiplied overnight! No more one basket.

As soon as the mountains of toys appeared, so did my frustration with a clean house. One afternoon, I tried chasing behind my little “Destructo,” picking up one toy as he moved to the next. I soon realized I had just literally spent an afternoon picking up, re-picking up, and also picking up again–that same toy. No thank you.

I care about where my son’s toys don’t have a designated room, because we live in a townhouse, and we don’t have a playroom. Our entire downstairs is open – living room, kitchen, and dining room, so that is where Ajax usually plays – everywhere. Even though our entire first floor is his play space, I’m not ready for my whole house to look like his playroom.

So to help with my need for organization, I’ve got a few tricks that I use with my son’s toys to keep them from taking over our house.

    • Baskets and crates – Loads of baskets and crates. You can’t have to many of them. They’re my favorite way to store toys and puzzles and books. You can put just about anything in them, and they still look just as fabulous from the outside. Not to mention they come in every shape and style imaginable. Wooden crates are some of my favorites, not just because they work well with my decor.
    • Separate and rotate toys – My toddler {and likely yours} has already accumulated a surprising amount of toys. I keep some of his toys in baskets, not in our main living space, and rotate them when his interest in his current toys wains. I’ve noticed when all the toys are piled in one area, he only seems to play with the same few, instead of digging for different toys.
  • 5 minute pick-up – Right after my son goes to bed, I take five minutes and pick up the toys that he got out that day. Honestly, most nights it doesn’t even take five minutes. Most of the toys go into a basket I keep in the main living area just for his toys. It helps me throughout the day to not stress about toys getting everywhere {you can say it, it’s weird} because I know that they will all get put back as soon as he’s down for the night.

I know everyone has different priorities when it comes to their house, but hopefully these tricks help if you’re like me, and maintaining an organized house is what keeps you sane. And because I secretly love all forms of organization, I’d love to hear what your top tricks are for keeping your house organized!


  1. Call me crazy but I started taking the minimalist approach- less toys=less mess. And really- do I need 2 rubbermaids full to the brim with toys? Does my little guy need that many? No. It’s not worth my sanity! We have favorites and special toys from Grandparents and a lot of those overlap.

    • You know those square baskets from IKEA that have the little hole in the middle of the basket and fit perfectly into the Expedite shelves, they shed. Like mad. Just an FYI=)


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