Easy ways to keep a small family home tidy

We have two boys and I can honestly say keeping on top of housework is not my forte

We have an open plan living area downstairs which means we cannot contain the children’s toys to one room, as much as we try.

The flooring is also different, in the living room area we have carpet, and in the dining room and kitchen areas we have wood. It’s a bit of a pain to be honest as we have to treat them both differently, use a different vacuum cleaner head on each and so on but it’s a rented house so there isn’t much we can do about it. 

Over the years we have tried several approaches to keeping the downstairs tidy. 

It can easily become cluttered with toys, clothes, paperwork and so on.

First of all we invested in several Ikea Trofast units

These are great as they have different sized tubs in them that you can chuck all the kids toys in at the end of the day. We have a different tub for each type of toy:


Dinosaurs – trust me there are a LOT of dinosaurs




Train sets

And a box with odds and ends in

The great thing about having all the toys grouped together is that the kids can choose one box at a time. Of course this doesn’t always happen! It also means that the children can learn to put things away themselves and group them together – again that doesn’t always happen.

We live in a house without much storage so you have to be a bit creative

With four people living together there are a lot of coats and shoes. I never realised children would come with so much STUFF! A different pair of shoes for indoors, outdoors, going out and wellies. And coats! A thick coat for cold weather, a thin waterproof coat for warmer, yet wet, weather…

Shortly after moving here I bought a bookshelf that we use as shoe storage. For coats I have bought over-door hangers for inside the door to the cupboard under the stairs. 

DVDs, games, CDs and so on have to be put away. Otherwise you get overrun

We also try to keep on top of mail

Any leaflets or junk mail immediately goes in the recycling. Letters are opened, envelopes go in the recycling and the letter is filed (or put on the pile to file).

After each meal the pans and dishes are put straight in the dishwasher, this tidies the kitchen sides. The surfaces are wiped down.

I find keeping in top of small jobs keep the tidiness of the household under control, which in turn makes for a more relaxing home life. 





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