When my oldest two girls were toddler and preschool-aged, I was a fanatic about keeping my home spotless.
A total basket-case.
The floors were always swept and mopped.
If someone was coming over, no toys could be strewn about.
I never left a dirty dish in sight.
And I liked everything to be beautifully organized, even before the days of Pinterest.
As a full-time working mom of two little ones, I’m sure you can imagine the stress I put on myself to keep everything under control. And the insane amount of time I put into cleaning and organizing.
And maybe you even do this yourself?
The One Organizational Task that is Totally Pointless
My oldest two daughters are now 10 and 11. And my youngest is 3.
As I go through the toy explosion phase once again, I realize how ridiculous it was for me to be always trying to keep my kids’ toys organized.
What a complete waste of time and energy.
Now don’t get me wrong – I still LOVE organizing and still want my house to be clean. But organizing toys? I won’t even think about it.
For all you lovely Mamas browsing Pinterest and looking at playrooms where Legos are organized by color, games are always neatly put up, and toys are perfectly stacked, I’ve got news for you – those are a brief snapshot of time and almost always staged.
My unofficial study has revealed that 99% of kids who actually play with their toys aren’t going to keep up with ANY fancy system a parent creates. Instead, they want to pull toys out, get down to play, and be able to put them back easily.
And my friend, that’s the way it should be.
How to Organize Toys the Right Way
If you want to reclaim some time and sanity, stop placing organizational systems that are too advanced and completely impractical for your kids.
Instead – buy a bin or a toy box. (Cute options here.) And have your kids throw all of their toys in the bin when they’re done playing. This way, the toys can be easily picked up and put out of sight. (Think of it as an organized mess.)
If there are sets that go together (like Legos, for instance), get a big basket or a smaller bin where they can all be thrown together.
And if there are just far too many toys in your house, have your kids go through them with you and get rid of some.
Keep Your Sanity; There’s Zero Point to Making Toys Look “Pinterest-Worthy”
As a mother of both younger and older kids, I’m here to tell you that your kids will NOT play with toys forever. There will come a day when you no longer have to worry about picking up or organizing toys because there won’t be any!
So, for now, let your kids play with their toys and toss them a bin when they’re done. Save yourself a whole lot of time and a whole lot of stress.
Katie Barton is the owner of Cabin Lane. She's also a home improvement writer for Bob Vila and Homedit. Her cleaning and organizing advice has been featured on Realtor.com, Yahoo News, GoBankingRates, and more. In her spare time, you can find her with a paintbrush in hand, searching for her next project.