Question: I’m trying to become a more peaceful parent but my living room is exploding with toys and stuff everywhere. I feel like every house in my room is a mess and I’m not sure where to start. So, my question is: What are your strategies/methods when picking up messes?
Answer: To answer this question, there are 4 top tips for tidying with kids from tidying expert, Marie Kondo. It’s important to remind yourself that parenthood teaches us to be more forgiving and as Marie Kondo says, “the joy that comes from parenting exceeds any satisfaction that could have come from a perfectly neat home”.
Table of Contents
Narrate As You Tidy
The first tip Kondo gives is to explain to your children what you’re doing so they can learn from you. If they see their parents tidying regularly with a smile, children will think of picking up as a positive daily activity.
Make Tidying Playful
The second tip is to make tidying playful by showing your child that tidying and play go together. When you are picking up toys and things try to do so right after you are done using them. When your child is around one-year-old and begins to walk, encourage them to put their toys away after playing. This can be done too with clothes and cleaning up their room or play area before they can play. If their play area is in their room or nursery, teach them to put away anything on the floor to make room to play.
Give Everything a Home
The third tip is to give everything a home. It’s difficult because children’s toys have a tendency to multiple and appear in all areas of the house. To help, designate a place where each toy is kept and make sure your children know where their toy’s home is. Then have them assist you in bringing their toys home after playtime. This also makes cleanup much faster since everything already has a home.
Respect Spatial Limitations
Lastly, it’s key to recognize spatial limitations. Once you have a home established for your child’s belongings, you’ll see you have a limited space to accommodate new items. Recognizing this will keep you from acquiring too many new toys and your home from being overtaken by your child’s belongings.