lifestyle toddler

How to: keep your house tidy with a toddler


I don’t know what it is about a clean house that just totally changes my outlook on the entire day. My to do list seem way more doable, I don’t dread getting work done from home and it even gets me motivated to work out. Less stress for mom, certainly makes the day more enjoyable for everyone else. Anytime we have company over, the first thing they comment on is how clean our house is even though there is a toddler living here. It really makes people think I have my shit together, even when I don’t, and who doesn’t enjoy that feeling?! Here are some of the ways I keep my messes at bay and how you can too.

How To Keep your House clean with a Toddler

Independent play time. Every morning after we eat breakfast, I have my toddler play independently for an hour. I use that time to clean up the biggest messes, like the dishes, that I may not have time to do later when she needs all of my attention. Clean those messes that will really drive you nuts throughout the day, like the dishes or messy bathrooms. Independent play is great for toddlers and I find that mine enjoys it the most in the mornings.

Start in the kitchen. For some reason, a messy kitchen just brings down the entire house and makes it look messier. I always start the day by loading up the dishwasher, clearing the clutter off of the counters, and giving them a quick wipe down.

Get a toy basket. I don’t know about your toddler, but mine loves to bring all of her toys from the bedroom into the living room. It used to drive me nuts but I found using a basket helps out greatly. Leave it in your living room, and whenever they move onto another toy, have your toddler put the ones they are not playing with into the basket. At the end of the night before bed, we bring the basket into her bedroom and put them away together. It also gives your toddler a bit of responsibility and I love that time together before she winds down for the night. If your child naps, (you lucky people, you) you can put away their toys before nap time too!

Have your toddler help out. Yes they are only a few years old and yes they may fight you on certain things but have your toddler help out however they can. My two year old loves “helping with laundry” and throwing away trash. Whenever the laundry piles up, I have her help me put the wet laundry into the dryer. Then once it is dry, I will fold it into piles and ask her to put the piles into each room that they go in. It makes my life a little easier and she has so much fun knowing that she is helping me out. If she doesn’t feel like helping out, I obviously don’t force it. She is two, and learning, and I want cleaning to be as fun and easy as possible.

Prioritize the mess. There are only so many hours in the day, and you don’t want to spend your entire day cleaning, when you could be playing with your child and getting other things done. Your house does not need to be spotless, just clean enough to keep you a  little less stressed. Prioritize what messes are most important to you and let the other ones go until your toddler goes to bed, or for the next day. If you have a sink full of dishes and a toddler putting stickers all over the walls, conquer the dishes and leave the new wall art for another time.

Simplify and declutter the toys. We don’t have tons of toys in the house. I never saw the need for it and I simplify my toddler’s toys every few months. Once she grows out of a toy, or gets bored with it, I either donate it or put it in storage. If it something she really enjoyed, I store it, if it was only used a handful of times and she never got much enjoyment from it, I donate it. There is no need to have hundreds of toys when the majority of them will not get played it. It makes her appreciate what toys she does have and whenever she gets to pick out a new toy, it is much more exciting! I also look for toys that will grow with her, like her play kitchen that she got for Christmas, that I know will be used for years.

Do you guys use any of these tips already? Be sure to let me know what works best for you and your family. I love learning new tips and tricks to make life easier for all of us.


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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Robin Masshole Mommy
    April 13, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Getting the kids involved at a young age instills great habits in them! I always have my kids help me out with the “chores”.

  • Reply
    karen
    April 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

    What helpful tips! I’m totally sharing this with my cousin who has a little one messing up her house right now! Its good to have a positive attitude and sense of humor throughout this, right?
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  • Reply
    becca
    April 13, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I definitely agree that the kitchen is the most important! Having a clutter-free common area is the most important!

  • Reply
    Roxanne
    April 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I agree toy messes are super easy to clean up and kids can help by a certain age. The crumbs and dust can wait to while snuggles happen. I keep thinking my house will be spotless again one day, but that will mean my kids are grown and I’ll miss all their tiny finger prints everywhere.

  • Reply
    Heather lawrence
    April 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    The mess will keep but the little ones grow! I try not and worry too much about the mess.
    I can clean when they sleep and they can roll up their sleeves and help with the mess.
    The only thing I HAVE to get done in a day is to make my bed. The rest can wait 🙂

  • Reply
    Ana De- Jesus
    April 13, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Great tips. Keeping a house tidy with a toddler is challenging but prioritizing mess is a good way of dealing with it!

  • Reply
    Jesenia
    April 13, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Great tips! My toddler has completely turned my cleaning routine upside down. 🙂 I agree that simplifying helps keep the house tidy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lesley Carter
    April 13, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    We use toy baskets on every floor, but my favorite is getting my toddler involved. She knows before she can move on to another game or activity, she needs to clean her mess first. It goes a long way.

    • Reply
      whisktangofox@gmail.com
      April 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      So smart!!!

  • Reply
    Debra
    April 13, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    We love having a toy basket in our living room. Makes it so I don’t have to walk every toy back to her bedroom every single time!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    April 13, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I definitely need to have my kids put away all the toys before bed. Starting tomorrow I am going to have them do a 5 min clean up before bed. 🙂

  • Reply
    karissa Ancell
    April 13, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    These are great tips! My daughter is no longer a toddler and I still use a lot of these like simplifying and having them help out.

  • Reply
    Heather
    April 14, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Love these tips! I love having a clean house, but I will settle for somewhat picked up for 15 minutes these days 🙂 My kids are giving me a run for my money, and I am in the process of de-cluttering 🙂

    • Reply
      whisktangofox@gmail.com
      April 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      It is impossible to have it perfect, but as long some rooms are picked up, I can breathe. Haha.

  • Reply
    dani cc
    April 14, 2016 at 9:52 am

    We don’t have any kids at the dollhouse. We do prioritize cleaning our messes. lol

  • Reply
    jill conyers
    April 15, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Awesome tips even if you don’t have a toddler. With a few minor wording tweaks you could have titled this post How to keep your house tidy with a teen. Ha!

    • Reply
      whisktangofox@gmail.com
      April 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Haha definitely!!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    April 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Great advice, I know i need to prioritize the messes or else I will be cleaning all day everyday.

  • Reply
    Denea
    April 17, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Great tips! I did get the toy basket and I try to have my toddler help me but maybe I need to get better at that! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      whisktangofox@gmail.com
      April 21, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      It is rough most times trying to get her to help, but I try not to let it get to me and just try again the next day!

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