There's nothing like a small tornado living in your home to turn even the most well-organized house upside down. Toddlers are energy in motion and causing clutter is their birthright. I have been blessed with four toddlers throughout the years and each one of them was adept at making messes and causing chaos. They were also completely void of any declutter skills.
Until they were trained. But we'll talk about that more below!
If you are tired of attempting to clean your home dozens of times each day, here are some tried-and-true strategies for living through the toddler period with grace and calm (and a mostly decluttered home).
Toddlers are humans developing at an astonishing rate. They are remarkable creatures and possess a zest for living unmatched by any other age. All that development requires a good deal of stimulation. Toddlers are discovering the world around them each and every minute and the smart parent places items in their toddler's world that are safe, enjoyable and sturdy.
You'll have less discipline problems from the get-go if you provide toddler-approved clutter and remove temptations a toddler is not ready to handle properly. Which brings us to the next point.
You may have beautiful collectibles, fine furniture and elegant decor. But you didn't decorate your lovely home to please a toddler and that's who is spending the most time there during this season in your life. So go with the flow and put away those collectibles, trade out those expensive decor items that are placed down low in your rooms and consider slipcovers for your fine furniture.
Here's the real deal: toddlerhood goes by almost as fast as a toddler moves, so you'll have your lovely home back in no time. However, you can never get back the memories of this precious time.
Knowing this, ask yourself a question: what kind of memories do you want? Remembering how exhausted you were each day from chasing your pint-sized darlin' out of every corner every minute or sweet memories of enjoying your growing baby explore the world you are lovingly providing him.
Only you can decide.
Consider getting a large decorative basket that can accommodate your toddler's toys and then show her how to play the pick-up game each and every time she is done playing in a room. In fact, get a basket for each room your toddler spends time in.
No fussing is necessary, just pick up toys alongside her and help her learn an important skill she'll use the rest of her life.
The key here is consistency and patience. And here's something to think about; if you want teenagers that help out around the house, this is how you train them. When they're toddlers.
It's tempting as a parent to think that more and more toys will keep a toddler busy for longer periods of time. However, all that strategy accomplishes is lowering your bank account and creating clutter in your home.
Instead opt for a reasonable amount of toys (less is usually better), and rotate through them. For instance, put a handful of toys in your decorative basket this week and put the other toys in a box in a closet. Then every couple of weeks, get the box out and rotate through the toys. You can also trade toys with other parents to leverage the fun.
This is a simple concept. When toys go 'stale' they move into the box or into another toddler's house for a mini-vacation and when they return, those toys look remarkably brand new in the eyes of your toddler.
So what's the bottom line? With a toddler in your home, you may not be able to keep a spotless house at all times, but that misses the point, doesn't it? Instead, use these declutter tips to maintain a reasonably easy-to-care for environment that's high on usability and rated tops in toddler satisfaction.