I don't have children, but I do have a pretty ridiculous obsession with neatness. (Both take up a lot of time, I suppose). I have a wide array of friends with kids—some who enjoy a tidy, neat toy "room" and others who are just fine with the toys migrating into every space, happy and content with where their child ends up putting them. Each option seems like a difficult feat to manage—so, I'm wondering, how do you balance tidiness with having kids?
When I was growing up, there was an absolute "put this toy away before you get that toy out to play" sentiment. Our house was always clean, but I don't have any memories of my parents stressing out over messes, either. It just wasn't messy. Was it because we were required to clean up our own things?
I didn't know of anything different until I went to a friend's house who had Barbie's Dream House (and I believe all of Barbie's friends' Dream Houses) gutted and spewed all over the carpet. What was this? A happy escape from tidiness?
I'd love to know how you parents deal with the toy mess. Do you have the kids clean up after themselves? The more mess, the more fun? Are you a broom-wielding drill sergeant? Leave your tips and thoughts in the comment section.
And if you're at a loss, here are some tips from our archives:
• One Minute Tip: Toy Storage With Wine Crates
• Institute a Toy Storage Limit
• Clean Your (Kid's) Room! Tips for Harnessing Toy Explosions
(Image: Jill Slater/Doryn's Gorgeous Kid Oases)