Thursday, January 12, 2012

How to Have an Organized Home (with a toddler!)

One of the most frequent comments I get from visitors to my home is about how neat and organized it is. Many have asked me what my secret is to keeping my home so clean while raising a toddler. A toddler BOY at that. While I am completely flattered that people view my home as clean and organized, I never know quite what to say to these compliments besides an enthusiastic “Thank You!”

With that being said, I wish I could bottle up all of my OCD/cleaning/organizational habits and sell them. I would be rich!

Unfortunately, I can’t. But what I CAN do is share some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way.

Tip #1: Create out-of-site storage for toys.

This monstrous piece of furniture used to house our TV. Now it houses DVDs, toys, pillows, blankets and more.

This is where we store most of my little guy's toys that he plays with daily. Out of site! All I have to do at the end of the day is toss the toys into the basket, shut the door, and be done.

My under-the-stairs closet. This is where I keep all of my little guy's toys that won't fit in the basket in the picture above.

Tip #2: Use baskets, bins, and totes. Invest in cute labels for these storage items.

Tip #3: Spend 5 minutes every evening putting away toys and straightening your common areas.
I do this while the hubs gives our little guy his evening bath. It seriously take less than a few minutes to do but it makes life so much easier to have the family room and kitchen cleaned up and clutter-free.

Tip #4: Invest in large plastic storage bins for seasonal items such as winter blankets, clothes, and accessories. 
I buy mine on clearance throughout the year at Target or Walmart. Store these plastic bins in your basement, attic, or closet where people seldom go.

This is my master closet. It is lined on top with storage bins containing home decor, purses, and winter gear - things I seldom use.

This is my downstairs coat closet. These are all the coats we own (and need)!

Tip #5: Purge regularly. 

I make at least two big donations to Goodwill each year. I also found a local consignment store that takes clothes, toys, kids stuff, and furniture. I frequently drop off items to consign throughout the year. I have a plastic tote that I keep in the trunk of my car labeled “To Consign”. Anytime I decide to get rid of something, I take it to my car and put it in the tote. Then, if I am out and about with time to spare, I swing by the store and drop it off.

Tip #6: Abide by the “If I haven’t worn it/used it/looked for it in a year, I don’t need it” rule.

See my closet above. That is seriously the only clothes I own. :)
Tip #7: Designate a few hours each weekend to plan your meals and grocery list for the week as well as cook or prep as much food as you can for the next week.
My dry erase memo board has really helped me to accomplish this one!

I hope these tips help you to organize your home! I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have about cleaning, organizing, etc!


  1. Come to my house and help me organize it. I pay big. :)

  2. Great tips, Jen! Thanks so much for sharing! ;)
    Have a great weekend!