I think we can all remember walking into a home and knowing immediately that they had kids. A little bit of chaos is inevitable when you have little hands that love all things sticky and messy, but here are ten ways to keep your house looking like a home when you are raising children.
1. Baskets With Lids
I cannot stress the importance of a good basket. On trend and functional, I like to use lidded baskets because they look beautiful and no one needs to know what is inside of them.
I am sure that we have all received the unexpected call that someone is coming over in 5 minutes. Your house may look like a hot mess... cue the baskets. It is easy to throw your kids toys and crafts into the baskets, light a candle, and pretend you live in a Pottery Barn catalog always.
Baskets come in all different shapes and sizes. So when your company leaves, it is easy to pick up and disperse any items to the various rooms of your house. I like having baskets in the most used rooms in my house (i.e. living room, kitchen, and dining room). By far the most used basket in the house is the one at the bottom of the stairs or the one in the hallway at the top of the stairs.
I prefer handled baskets that make this system super easy to move things to and from the various floors when they are full without having an unmanageable pile of objects all over the stairs.
2. Bottle/Sippy Cup Organization
One of the best things to do when preparing for a baby and growing your home organization is to set aside a place for the ‘kid things.’ Oftentimes the different sizes, shapes, and colors of children's' cups can make a perfectly good cabinet look instantly disorganized.
Let me introduce you to one of my favorite products...the bottle/sippy cup storage. I originally bought this to try to get a handle on our water bottles.
When the new baby arrived, I realized I could utilize this for bottles and eventually sippy cups. As a bonus, you are no longer trying to look for random parts of bottles or knocking them down everywhere at 3 AM. Instead, you can easily put bottles away and grab one in a hurry. Look at you!
3. Drying Rack
Most of you have a drying rack for the massive amounts of bottles and random little things that constantly need to be sanitized. Although having one is definitely a step in the right direction, one step further is moving that rack off your counter and into a cabinet. This can instantly upgrade your kitchen from ‘kids obviously live here’ to an adult friendly space in seconds.
The drying rack that I upgraded to with my second baby offers a ton of space and a place for everything. Plus it’s functional, yet aesthetically pleasing.
4. Baby Bathtub Storage
Closets are for more than clothes. It is easy for us to become super excited by the idea of a new baby and fill their closets with endless amounts of cute outfits. But instead of squeezing one more pair of pants, try to instead plan their closet with more than clothing in mind.
Having a place for their bathtub in their closet is a great use of that space. These tubs are only used for a short period of time, so take advantage of the extra space that smaller clothing offers in the first year and plan for their tub to stay in their closet. Now your bathroom can be maintained in space and look. There are some amazing tubs on the market that are condensed to accommodate smaller spaces. Check out this one that is compact and has a sleek gender neutral design.
5. Kids Bath Toys
Anyone who has unexpectedly stepped on a hard bath toy at 6 AM will need this to update their current system. With our first child, we had the typical bath toy storage that lived in the bathtub and screamed children live here. Like many people out there, we have one bathroom in our home so we have the task of keeping it useful for us and visually friendly for when guests use it. I also had the idea of a beautiful glass shower door, so there was even more of a necessity for bath toy storage that was not in the bath.
One idea is for your kids to have their own shower caddies for their toys that they can keep in the bathroom closets or in your kids’ own room closets if you are limited on space in the bathroom. Plus this gives your children the opportunity to have only the most loved toys in the bathroom with the space constraints and gives you a chance to purge some old bath toys.
Another option is to make some room in the bathroom that is designated for their toys in a cabinet or closet. There are some great bins that are mold resistant to fit into these spaces to store damp toys for later use. Bonus that they can thrown in the dishwasher when need be.
Available on Amazon- $13.99 (So many cute colors!)
6. Towel Storage
Let’s face it, kids love colorful, fantastical, sparkly towels. For those of us trying to keep an adult looking bathroom, there is nothing worse than a princess towel drying next to your fluffy white carefully selected adult towels.
Time to take back that bathroom and move the kids' towels into their own rooms. Each one of my children now has their own space in their rooms for their towels. This gives them some sense of cleaning up after themselves and the freedom to express their own personal towel love while keeping the bathroom more mature looking.
There are so many options for towel hooks in kids rooms that can fit any space or design . I like to keep my kids towels in their closets with a sleek hook system that was easy to install. Remember to use a system at kids’ eye level on the back of their doors so they can easily reach their own towels.
7. Dishwasher Basket
Raise your hand if you have ever taken apart your dishwasher to get a piece of a bottle out of the bottom or accidentally melted a tiny spoon to the bottom. Now let me introduce you to something that will make washing bottles and putting them together a breeze… the dishwasher basket.
This little guy will save you all the hard work of trying to fit cumbersome things into the dishwasher. Made for the multiple parts of bottles on the market today, there is a space specific for bottle nipples and even straws. Now everything you need is in one organized and easy to move container that cuts down on time putting away dishes. Plus you never have to worry about a small part falling into the dishwasher again with the closed design that keeps all parts in a safe place.
Bonus points for this product because it can continue to grow with your family even after all the bottles and tiny spoons are a thing of the past. They are perfect for cup lids, parts of water bottles or straws.
8. Art Display
I love that my creative daughter is at the age where she brings home multiple drawings and projects from school daily. However, my fridge was starting to look more like a modern museum of art than the minimal feel typical to kitchen appliances. So I decided to come up with a solution to cut down on the clutter on the fridge.
The easy to install system I now have in place allows kids to hang and display their artwork in their rooms with this display area from Target. This one comes with easy to use clips that kids themselves can take down and put up new artwork with ease.
Another tool that I frequently use is the memory box. I have one of these in each of the kids rooms. They can choose to put the pieces that they love into these boxes once they are done displaying them on their walls. At the end of the month, I go through each of these boxes and keep what I would like in long term storage and discard what is left with no little feelings hurt.
Available at Target $17.00
9. Homework Station
Just like you having your space, kids also need a place to call their own to decompress after a long day at school. Homework is an important part of the learning process and having an area for them to call their own can help them to also be productive. An organized homework area stocked with frequently used products is critical for taking the stress out of homework.
Some people have a space in their home that can be used for this like a study or a space in kids’ rooms. I personally like to have the kids close, especially when they are younger and require more personal time.
The system that works for us is homework to be done at the kitchen table. This space allows for me to be able to get kids’ snacks and help with homework while making dinner. We have a designated area of homework supplies that the kids can easily get themselves.
I love to use these containers that I found in Target in the dollar section. These easily fit in a drawer or cabinet and can be kept out of sight while not in use. You could try these OXO Good Grips Airtight POP Large Cookie Jar for the same kind of look.
Homework can get done without any hassle and clean up is a snap.
The smell of your home is one of the first impressions that can impact a guest. Kids bring all kinds of fun smells that can waft throughout your house, but you can put a stop to it now.
I personally like to use a mixture of candles and diffusers throughout my home depending on the space size and the odors that are commonly present. Throughout all the rooms in my home, I have the Glade Plug Ins on a low setting to give a consistent all over smell that is refreshing and can easily set the scene for different seasons. For some additional scent, especially when guests are coming over, I love to light some candles that give a boost of homely ambiance.
However, now that I have another little one, I have started to transition from candles to large diffusers in spaces. Diffusers are great because you are able to customize pretty much everything about them. I have one in the downstairs that is able to cover the entire space. Try this one from Amazon with amazing reviews that not only diffuses, but also has a modern design that can fit with any decor. As far as scent, there are so many options, but I find that citrus scents like lemon, orange, and tangerine keep the house smelling fresh and clean. Plus citrus scents mix well with others scents that might already be present in your candles and plug ins. Try some with odor eliminators around particularly smelly spaces like the diaper genie or garbage can to give your house a sweet smell of home.
11. Bonus Tip: When In Doubt Ask A Friend Or Pinterest
The by far best tip that I received when I was pregnant with my first child was to find other people in the same season of life that I was in. Surrounding yourself with people that are having or have children already was an amazing resource that I am grateful for every day. Some of my most used and loved “hacks” of organizing have been from friends and family. Many of us share the same struggles when it comes to organizing our homes, so use the resources available to you and ask around. You never know what might inspire you!
Another fantastic tool for brainstorming is Pinterest. This wonderful tool gives you access to other peoples’ ideas for your organizational needs. I am constantly inspired by things that people come up with and love to read about how it has helped them in their journey of home and kids. Follow along with us on Pinterest for our latest tips and tricks in the world of organization. Try not to get too carried away with the pins and wish list projects.
I hope you enjoyed these ten tips for keeping your house looking like a home with kids. Feel free to leave any of your tips in the comments. I would love for us to be a community that learns and grows with each other. Can’t wait to catch up on our next blog!
Shop this Blog Post: