Children are a wonderful gift from above. They are our great hope for the future. They are little sages speaking words of wisdom, and they make our lives fuller. They’re also incredibly messy.

Leave a child of any age in a room and you’ll find a thick layer of toys covering the surface in under 30 minutes. Cleaning up after your kid is almost an exercise in futility. You might even be tempted to gather up every last Lego block and send them all straight to a landfill.

But before you completely ruin their childhood, put down the Legos. We have recommendations that will help you to reasonably control the cleanliness of your home without getting rid of their beloved plastic blocks and stuffed animals. It might not be the sterile environment you lived in before you had kids, but it’s a fair compromise for coexisting with these magical little ones.

Less is more.

The first and most obvious tip is to go for quality, not quantity. Make sure your kids have a few items that keep their minds stimulated and imaginations flowing, but don’t overdo it. Sometimes, the excessive toys are no fault of your own. Consider asking others to purchase books or clothes for them instead of toys. Make a ritual once every few months to donate certain toys. Your children can participate in a meaningful experience to share what they have with other kids who could benefit from their toys. 

Containers are your friend.

Containers are a clear necessity for toys – but it’s not just about using the containers. You have to use them the right way to be most effective. For starters, go for clear bins. That way, you can see what items are in the container without having to take it down unnecessarily. You should also categorize each bin for the same reason. The name of the game is making everything easier to find, which means less mess. And when you label those bins, make sure that your kid can understand it – especially if they don’t know how to read yet.

Put toys at a kid-friendly height.

A lot of your mess can be eliminated by making it easier for kids to grab their toy bin. Not only will they avoid making a big mess taking their toys down, but they’ll also have a much easier time helping you put them away later on. 

Go box-less.

Toys often come in some kind of packaging – whether it’s a cardboard box or a plastic container. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep it. By storing the toys in their packaging, you’re creating more mess. Get rid of the boxes and let the toys mix in freely with one another for more space and creativity during play time.

Install a bookcase.

A bookcase doesn’t necessarily just have to be for books. Find a short bookshelf that allows you to place all of the toy bins and books your kids have on the shelves. The bins can be even more contained by creating a designated space for them.

Toys are a natural extension of bringing a child into this world, but you can live in harmony with all of them without tearing your hair out. Creating a little bit of structure and ease of use makes a world of difference when you’re on constant cleaning duty.