My family and I recently started pursuing minimalism in our home. I say recently… It really all started back in January of 2018 with a giant purge of books, clothes, and nostalgic items. After that, I was hooked and have been clearing out spaces in our home ever since. But there has been one room that hasn’t needed very much effort in the minimalism department – my toddler’s room.
Don’t get me wrong, she has plenty of toys and a fair amount of clothing, but ever since she was born her room has been a bit of a “sacred space” for me.
I’ve struggled a lot with keeping a clear and clutter-free home. So much so that it’s a little surprising that this blog talks so much about decluttering.
I guess those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach, and I’m stuck somewhere in between.
Because I’ve struggled so much, it’s always been very important to me to keep my toddler’s room clean and clear. I wanted to create a space for her that was very intentional and that provided a secure, safe, and distraction-free place for rest.
Initially, it was a balancing act between keeping up with all of her brand new baby stuff and trying to make it all fit into our guest bedroom, but as we moved homes we decided our daughter would have a room of her own.
Fast forward a year, and she now shares a room with her little sister, and that room has never been so easy to keep clean.
(Disclaimer – we do have a playroom, so we don’t actually keep toys in our girls’ bedroom. That being said, I’m also able to keep the playroom picked up in less than 10 minutes a day as well, but that’s a post for another day.)
So how do we keep a room with two little ones picked up so easily?
We are extremely intentional about what is and what is not allowed in their room.
Every item in their room serves a purpose, and keeping a clear space reduces the number of potential accidents that could occur from having unsupervised access to all of their toys.
Benefits of Making Your Toddler’s Room Distraction-Free
Their bedroom serves a specific purpose. They know that when we are in their room, we are there to change a diaper/clothes, read, or sleep.
Clean up time is so short, which allows me more time to play and less time having to pick up.
Everything has a specific place, so we know exactly where to find clothing items, diapers, seasonal items, or even specific books.
It’s an enjoyable space for reading and spending time together. My daughters and I love curling up in the bed together in the middle of the day and reading book after book after book. I love that I don’t have to lay there looking at all of the things that need to be picked up. Instead, I can just enjoy the time with my girls, and really, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Tips to Lessen Cleaning Time for Your Toddler’s Room
1) Limit what is allowed in the bedroom
We don’t allow any toys other than a few stuffed animals at bedtime. Their bedroom is a place for reading or rest, and we keep it that way by only keeping the essentials in there. That includes their beds, pillows, blankets, night light, and monitors (We use the Angelcare Sound and Movement Monitor for the crib and the VTech Audio Baby Monitor when the Angelcare monitor is turned off.) We also have a dresser, rocking chair, an armoire for blankets, and a bookshelf for books. That’s it!
2) Limit bedroom activities
On an average day, their bedroom is used for diaper changes, nap time, bedtime, or getting dressed. Some days we’re in there to put away laundry or reading together on the bed, but we generally don’t spend time in their room playing unless I’m busy organizing their closet, dresser, or putting away laundry. This keeps the amount of clutter and mess to a minimum.
3) Dust and vacuum each week
By limiting the amount of furniture and knickknacks in the room, you cut down the amount of time you have to spend dusting. I usually just grab a Clorox Dust Wipe and can have the entire room dusted in a minute or two.
I’ll admit that I don’t actually vacuum each week, but I believe you really ought to vacuum right after you dust. But ya know, life gets in the way and it’s almost guaranteed that if you have a plan to get something done, there will be a child who has other plans. The point is that if you’re staying on top of the books and toys, it shouldn’t take you long to hit the room with a quick vacuuming when needed.
4) Pick up books daily
This should only take a minute or two. Better yet, teach your kids how to pick up their own books!
5) Take stuffed animals back to the playroom
I do this often, otherwise, the bed literally gets overrun with stuffed animals. Sometimes we allow my oldest to take “all” her stuffed animals to bed, and sometimes we limit it to one or two. Either way, by “resetting” the stuffed animals daily, she gets a fresh chance to pick her favorite animals to sleep with each day.
6) Stay on top of the laundry
I have one laundry basket next to the door of their bedroom. I toss anything that needs to be washed into the basket, and as soon as it fills up I throw it in the washing machine. That way I stay on top of the girls’ laundry instead of drowning in it.
7) Put “still clean” clothes back where they belong
I have a bad habit of letting the “still clean” clothes float around the room, but I’ve found that if I’ll take the extra 5 seconds it takes to throw it back in the drawer or hang it back up, it keeps the room picked up much better.
8) Create an intentional wardrobe for each of your kids
We love clothes that mix and match! Each of the girls gets 2 drawers for clothing (They really only need one drawer each, but I like to spread their clothing out a bit).
There’s no reason for your child to own 40 t-shirts and 25 pairs of shorts. That’s just more laundry for you, mama.
Keep their clothing simple, wash once a week, and you’ll be much happier for it.
9) Use the closet for hanging clothes and storage
We hang up their church dresses and keep extra diapers, wipes, and seasonal items on a large Utility Shelf.
Do it for the Kids. Do it for Yourself.
Mamas, it is up to us to show our children how to craft and design the life and environment that they want to live in. That means we need to lead by example and take control of our homes.
Start with a small space, something feasible.
Try making the shift to turn your toddler’s room into a peaceful oasis instead of cluttered chaos.
You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t spend your entire motherhood missing the good moments in order to attempt to keep a clean home. In the words of someone very dear to us, “All that matters is family. All the rest is just goo.”
Take a few days, make the shift, and enjoy the results. Enjoy the small moments with your kids without the distraction of clutter and mess. Don’t let the toys sap your joy.