How I Got My Whole House Tidier by Moving One Thing

Are you a tidy person? I wish I was, but sadly I find tidying a little bit…boring. At the end of a day I know that I need to clean up or the house will be a mess tomorrow but all too often I just haven’t had the energy and after my husband and I have both finished writing in the evening we’ve often wandered into the floor to realise it’s still occupied by a small town of superheros and all their arch enemies, plus their appropriate houses, robots and snacks. But then two weeks ago we moved one piece of furniture and suddenly our home is significantly tidier every single day and we don’t have to dodge all the mess.

How I Got My Whole House Tidier by Moving One Thing parenting hack

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When our son was a baby we placed him on a blanket or in a rocking chair in the middle of the front room so we could watch over him. The teething toys and our beloved jumperoo moved in shortly. Then the toy box. We wanted to play with him! When his sister was born three years later the toys were still all there and we added to it with the new things she was given. Yes, we gave old things away to friends and charity shops, but like many parents the toy box overflowed and the contents were all over our living space. It wasn’t great.

Then two weeks ago we painted that room and everything had to be moved out.

We moved the toy box to my son’s room.

It really was that simple. We’d been looking at some kids bedroom ideas and have been trying to create a seaside and pirate inspired room.  We filled the room with things like our seashell decorations and suddenly the toy box fitted right into place. And when he went to bed we put his toys away. We had to, because frankly, if we didn’t he wouldn’t have found his way into his bed.

Now when I know bedtime is approaching I do a quick tour of our house picking up Peppa Pig from the kitchen or Woody from the front room and popping them back in the toy box. But actually, most of the toys are staying in his room where him and his sister now play and – added bonus here – as they’re not in the front room they don’t see a tv and therefore aren’t asking to watch that so much either. I know. Total win.

And when we finally get to flop into the front room we get to to relax and not tidy up. And we’re happier for having a tidier home and our son having a nicer bedroom. Now all I need is to work out a way to get the kitchen to clean itself!

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Messy room image via Shutterstock.


  1. 9th August 2015 / 12:02 am

    Oh, how I would love to have all the toys in the rooms one day!

    When my daughter was young and we were expecting our second my husband thought it would be a good idea to have her toys in the living room, where she would be near us and I could easily watch her while cooking dinner, etc.

    It was great then, but now…. I wish I didn’t have toys all over the living room.

    • Yenti
      17th August 2016 / 1:41 am

      DONT EVER move the toy box to the living room, kitchen, ect………………it belongs in their room and if they are taught at a very young age to keep things picked up your day will be MUCH MUCH less stressful. One HUGE thing I did with my boys is I labeled every toy container with photo’s of the toys. Wrestle men went in one, their weapons went in another and so forth. I would cut the photo’s off the package and tape them to the containers and they were only 1 and 4 and they knew where ever toy went. They are now in their 20’s and they are both still very very neat and tidy. So starting them young pays off. Good luck and try the photo thingy it works GREAT

  2. 10th August 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Great idea! Yes, I wish the whole house could clean itself!!!

  3. 12th August 2015 / 12:14 am

    It was a life saver once the kids toys left the main floor of my house, there bedrooms are disaster but i can close the door.

  4. 14th August 2015 / 6:59 am

    I’m not a tidy person either but our house is too small for us all so I need to find some inventive solutions till we can move!

  5. 6th April 2016 / 3:46 pm

    We are all on one floor and the bedrooms are off of the main living room. I have four kids. When the oldest two were babies, we did like you did and put a lot of their stuff in the main room…then we moved everything to bedrooms when they got older…then that was hard to handle, so we moved kids around, had them share a room and used the extra room as a play room…the play room became WAY too hard to deal with because everything is in one spot and the kids would pull it all out at once and create MASSIVE messes. …finally the solution came to me. I have separated toys into different rooms by type. Stuffed animals, dress ups, purses and jewelry go in the bedroom, misc toys that are small and books go in square cubes that fit in my console table in the living room, doll house, play kitchen, and food and dishes go in the play room, along with any play chairs/furniture they have…and art supplies/crafts/board games go in a cute dresser in the hallway. I feel like I have FINALLY found the answer after years of trying different things. The different items are so far removed from one another, they don’t mix. It makes cleaning up a breeze and easier for the kids to get more use out of their stuff.

  6. Fiona jk42
    30th April 2016 / 10:17 am

    Once my children were old enough to be able to tidy their rooms, we operated a strict “no toys in adult rooms” policy. If a toy was left in the sitting room, dining room, hallway & other designated areas, it was put in a sack for donation to charity. The kids could ransom the toy by doing an extra chore within a specified period. Any toys not ransomed by the end of the period were given away. We found this threat of losing a toy worked pretty well, the kids were careful not to leave precious toys lying around, and it also helped to sort out toys that the kids didn’t really want any more.

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