As hard as I try to tidy up as the day goes on, on days where I have been indoors all day with the kids (aged 1 and almost 3), the floor always looks like there has been some kind of explosion in a toy shop. Building blocks, toy animals, balls EVERYWHERE. It is exhausting even thinking about putting everything back in its home, let alone actually doing it. I used to wait until the kids were in bed before wearily tidying up as I always assumed that tidying up with kids around, trying to help would be more stress than it was worth. However, I had a sudden brainwave a few weeks ago which has made my life a lot easier… not to mention it is helping my daughter learn the importance of tidying up and has given her some responsibility.
The answer was sitting right in front of me – Lauren’s toy supermarket trolley (or ‘cart’ for those of you over the pond):
Here’s what we do before bed every night: I set a timer and tell Lauren to dash around downstairs with her trolley, picking up every toy that’s on the floor and placing it inside. I encourage her to make sure she looks under tables and behind curtains to get everything. Each night we try to beat our record time. During the day I remind her that if she puts something away now after she’s done playing with it, there’ll be less picking up to do at night which means she will be quicker and might break her record.
Once every toy has been collected, we then wheel the trolley back to our toy storage area and then together we put everything back in its place. This is also educational as it encourages sorting by type, not to mention reinforcing where everything’s home is… maybe some day she will tidy up of her own accord? I can but dream…
This technique has really made a huge difference to the tidiness of our home not to mention my stress levels – let me know if you try this method of tidying up with kids and if it works for you too. If you don’t have a trolley already, I have had a look on Amazon and these two options are affordable and have great reviews: