Is it Possible to Have an Organized Home with a Toddler?

Organizing with a toddler

Yes, it is chaos. Big, big, big chaos. They say that kids only have one job— to engage in a lot of play, and my son does his job outstandingly. 

So, to answer the question, is it really possible to have an organized home even with a toddler?

For me, YES, it is possible.

It is possible but it takes patience to make it work. It also takes trust in our kids. I was surprised to see the results with my son. But of course, it might be different amongst kids.

I’d like to share with you how I started with. First--

I Began with an End in Mind

I was clear with my intentions: to make the room feel lighter and allow my son to totally enjoy his toys.

His room was so “heavy” having a lot of toys. It takes time to find the toys we are looking for. I remember when I was younger, our toys were just placed (basically dumped) in one big balikbayan box. Either we play with those that we can easily reach or scatter everything on the floor. Sounds familiar?

 

I Created a Space for Everything

Making space means properly organizing the area to uncover new storage spaces. It could also mean decluttering or reducing the items in a specific area. It really depends on your current situation.

Mine was a mix of both. I re-arranged the room and maximized the vertical space to free up the floor for playing. Second, I went through the toys and got rid of those that are broken and I set aside those that are not applicable to his current age. Of course, I also made sure that these toys are not being used anymore in case my son suddenly looks for it. I involved my son in the decluttering process after. I had to be very gentle and patient with him as he, as expected, wouldn’t want to let go. I just thoroughly explained why and where these toys are going, which in the end, he was totally fine with.

Apart from creating the space, it is of utmost importance to have a home for each item and arrange them in such a way that items can be seen clearly without having to take out the ones in front.

What do I mean by this? Kitchen items must be found in the kitchen area. Spices are put together in one specific place in the kitchen cupboard. Things used in the bathroom must be found in the bathroom. There must be a container or drawer for all oral stuff and other toiletries. Kids’ toys must have a designated area as well. As long as the order or the system you create fits your lifestyle, it will be easier to implement and maintain.  

I Continued the Work by Putting Like with Like

It could be frustrating to take time looking for a certain item, or buying a new item when you have already have it all along, which creates duplicates or even multiples.

Just the same, it could be frustrating for our kids to have a puzzle with some missing pieces as well as toys with missing parts. When toys are not properly organized, kids won’t be able to play with them properly and enjoyably. These toys end up not being used anymore. In the world of Toy Story, this is really sad!

 All for functionality, I reused bags and ziplocks for this.

However, I knew, based on experience, that if I do not share the system—the homes I crafted and the categories I created, this will totally break order. Next thing I did was—

Named it and Scheduled a Run Through for Everyone in the Household

I took time to label some of the containers and storage spaces. This was followed with a “House Tour”. I explained to them where things are stored such as the chargers and all electronics, the cabinet for all tissue and paper towels, the container for the fruit and vegetable toys of my son. I guess you get the picture already.

Because of this, my 2-year old son knows where to get his headphones and where to put it back. He knows which cubby hole he can get his puzzles. He knows where he can find his train set. Apart from that, since his little sister was born, when it is time to change nappy, he knows where to run to get the diaper, changing mat and wet ones! These really surprised me.

As for our household support, work has become easier for them because they know how to properly clean and put things in order. It takes time and patience but it is truly workable!

I Set My Mind that this is a Journey

One last important thing, always remember that this is a journey and things won’t be perfect in a snap while you navigate how you want things to flow in your house.

And when you rebound, be kind to yourself, look back at what didn’t work, improve and move forward.

 

Lots of love and light, Ally

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