toddler sits in mess of toys

How to Keep the House Clean With Toddlers

Does it feel like your house is always a mess yet you’re constantly picking up after your kids? You’ve got clutter everywhere and it feels impossible to stay on top of housework when your toddlers are running around. 

You’re in a neverending battle…

But, it doesn’t have to be like that!

Don’t believe me? 

I’ll show you 7 simple hacks for how to keep the house clean with toddlers (and in less time, too!)

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How to Keep the House Clean with Toddlers

While I’m not claiming to have a spotless house all the time, several little tricks help keep my house tidy daily so that it never gets to a point where I have to spend hours trying to make it look decent. 

Simple habits and adjustments will make a world of difference in your home. 

Let’s jump in!

Use Baskets to Hide Toys

Baskets are my best friend. 

I love using different baskets for everything because it is SO easy to tidy into baskets. 

You can find cute ones that help decorate specific rooms too

You can literally just toss items into the appropriate basket or bin for the fastest tidy-up ever. 

Toys can all go into a sturdy plastic bin or basket. Stuffed animals or blankets can go into a decorative fabric one. 

Heck, you can even keep your diaper-changing supplies on hand in a decent-looking basket. 

It gets better:

Baskets also make it SO easy for toddlers or preschoolers to help in tidying up the house because they don’t need to concentrate on setting toys down properly in the perfect location. 

Give them big applause if they toss the toys into the appropriate basket and they’ll surely be more willing to help. 

Toddler helps putting toys away into bins

This leads me to my next tip…

Keep Laundry Hampers on Every Level

Apparently, I’m all about quick tossable tidy-ups, but it just makes it so much easier to keep an organized house. 

Rather than keeping one laundry hamper hidden away in your bedroom or the bathroom, find a hamper home on each level (or even each side if you’re living on one level) in your house. 

And how does that help?

By keeping a laundry basket within your tossing-reach in convenient areas of the house, more dirty clothes/towels/rags will make it into the hamper and not on the ground. 

Easy breezy cleanup. 

Buy a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home!

This one gets an exclamation point because it is a lifesaver! 


Splurge for a cordless vacuum cleaner to have close by in your most frequented (or frequently messy) area of the house. Ours lives near the kitchen and entrance.

And I’m not just talking about one of the small hand vacs, the stand up cordless kind is where it’s at! 

These babies make daily vacuum jobs so easy to maintain and quick clean-ups a cinch to take care of. 

Here’s the truth:

We’re a busy family with young kids and messy floors are inevitable. It’s constant. 

Whether it’s crumbs falling to the ground or sand being tracked in the front door or whatever today’s craft project was (let’s hope it’s not more glitter!), the floors look disgusting. 

But they don’t stay that way for long!

With a quick and easy cordless vacuum job, these messes don’t stand a chance. 

Ok, but what’s the catch?

Well, I hate to break it to you but you’ll still have to haul out the heavy-duty vacuum cleaner every once in a while to really do a thorough job. 

However, I do think you’ll be surprised at what a nice job the cordless vacuum does on a daily (or hourly) basis!

Declutter Your Home and Keep it Out of Arms’ Reach

Clutter is bound to accumulate. It’s a pesky fly that always makes its way back. It lingers. And when you deal with it, more appears.

Clutter is something you need to do your best to stay on top of because less junk = less mess. 

Having a clutter-free home would be a dream. But just like dreams, that is not reality. 

Most of us can’t live a minimalistic life with little kids at home. 

So when you don’t have time to go through and organize all your papers, receipts, and other bits and bobs, try to have a designated area to keep your clutter out of children’s arm reach. 

By keeping it out of reach, it’ll be less likely to land on the floor, behind the sofa, and strewn all over the tables.

Rotate the Toys

Speaking of clutter…

We can all get a bit overwhelmed with how many toys our kids end up with. And they’re everywhere (the toys I mean). 

Between birthdays and Christmas and nearby grandparents, the toy bin is quick to overflow. 

But did you know that you don’t need to offer all of them to your child at once? 

In fact, toddlers are less likely to play with their toys when they’re inundated with options. Reach for Montessori explains many different benefits from rotating toys

I recommend keeping a couple of bins in a closet to hide away a certain portion of the toys. Every week or two, or even month, you can pull out a bin of “new” toys and put away some of the ones they’ve become bored with. 

The stored toys have now become new and exciting again which brings a new level of focus and creativity to playtime. 

The best part? 

Fewer toys on hand mean fewer toys to pick up throughout the day. 

Get Your Kids Involved in Cleaning

Don’t leave it all until the end of the day. 

Integrate cleanup time after playtime as much as possible before moving to the next activity. Even young toddlers can help clean up, and it’s a great skill for them to learn. 

Whether it’s picking up their toys, bringing you books, or putting the crayons back in the box, involve your kids in some of the housework. They love being big helpers!

It’s actually good for them to understand that messes don’t just magically disappear. And they can start to learn that they are part of the family team, even from a young age. 

If you can try to keep clean up fun, they’ll be more likely to help. I even mentioned this brilliant trick in 25 Home Activities for Toddlers.

Let them play basketball with dirty laundry into the hamper. Allow them to do their best to wipe up a messy spot on the table. And if they put a book into the toy basket, it’s not the end of the world. 

Show them praise and appreciation for helping (or attempting to). 

Do 5-10 Minutes of Speed Tidy After the Kids Go to Bed… EVERY DAY

Prepare yourself for this one!

I get it… honestly, I do… 

It’s been a long day, you’re exhausted, your partner’s exhausted, and the babies are FINALLY in bed. 

The last thing you want to do is tidy the house. 


With literally 5-10 minutes a day, you can put your feet up afterwards with a tidy home and a major weight off your shoulders for the following morning.

(This is another reason why the baskets and hampers are so handy!)

Every night do a quick toss-tidy of everything that didn’t get put away throughout the day.

Grab all the toys on the ground and put them into their designated basket. Then you want to gather all the kids’ books and put them back on the shelf. Toss dirty laundry into the hamper and organize the shoes at the entrance. Do a quick sweep for any garbage or diapers that didn’t quite make it to the bin and, voila! You can go relax in a tidy house. 

I have to be honest though…

If your kitchen is a disaster, you may need to dedicate an additional 5-10 minutes to that. But trust me, it’ll be so worth it in the morning to take care of it now. 

Your future self will thank you! 

By turning these simple tips into a habit every single day, you can maintain a tidier home with less hassle and time. Even your mom friends will be asking for your secret on how to keep the house clean with toddlers!