Coping with the clutter during the long school holidays

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Excuse the funny coding above, but I’m trying to add my blog to Bloglovin so that people can follow Tidy Away Today that way – and this is supposed to be how you do it, by inserting the code into a new blog post!?!

Anyhow, those that know me are aware that I’m not a tidy freak.  At all.  Hence the blog, to try and motivate me to improve a bit!  I do enjoy the house more when it is clean, neat and tidy, but I don’t love the process of keeping it that way and am always on the look out for ‘short cuts’.

My ongoing strategy is to a) reduce our ‘stuff’ and b) ensure we have adequate storage for everything that’s left.  If something has a home, it can be easily returned and the clutter shouldn’t start to pile up.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?  A place for everything and everything in its place.  Simples.

Except that even when things are nicely stowed in labelled boxes, things can start to do this very quickly…

A crazy mess

That was yesterday, today was worse…


Barely room to tiptoe through the mess!

Now, there’s a looong way to go before the new term and I’m slightly concerned that I don’t have much of a plan in place for clutter control.

As I said, I’m gradually trying to reduce the amount of toys and things we have in the house in general, as it is logical that a less full house will be easier to manage and maintain (same logic applies to the amount of clothes we have and the never-ending cycle of laundry).

Not everything we own has a designated spot yet and I still find myself searching for certain items that tend to ‘float’ around the house, because they don’t have a permanent place – everyday things like scissors, for example.  It frustrates me and wastes time, so that’s on my ‘to do’ list to address.

I rearranged some existing storage in the boys playroom yesterday – bulky toys have been assigned this large, inherited bedding box (which I hope to give a little makeover to, soon).


I have also grouped ‘like with like’ toys a bit better and chucked out the broken things – we have also been gradually sorting the lego into clear boxes, by colour.

Wilko storage

This was at the very start of a long, slow process (we have sooo much lego…)


I know some people may think this sounds mad and obsessive, but if you open a lego instruction booklet in the hope of building something, it narrows down the search a great deal for particular pieces if you at least know what colour they are!  Plus, it looks nicer organised into colours instead of multi-coloured boxes of mess. (Expensive mess, at that.)

mixed lego

I plan on taking some toy boxes upstairs to the boys bedrooms and rotating them regularly throughout the holidays, which should hopefully also minimise any boredom.

Recently, I printed out some star charts for the younger two and a chore chart for our eldest – with the lure of pocket money or a little Toysrus visit after all targets have been reached – I’ve included things like tidying up and being helpful.  You can find the behaviour and chore chart printables I used here if it’s something you fancy trying yourself – I have to say, having never really done anything like this before, the boys are still enthusiastic and we are about 2-3 weeks in.

Sample Image

I printed out and laminated this one for the younger boys, so they can colour in the stars with a dry-wipe marker and rub it all off when completed to start again.  There are loads of different styles and designs though to choose from, some are really cute and you can even buy personalised charts on Etsy.

But other than that, I’ve got nothing – nada!  So I’d love to know, what are your coping strategies to contain the clutter a little bit during the school summer holidays?  Are you just going to stay out all day, every day until bedtime?  That could work…

New Sig

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2 thoughts on “Coping with the clutter during the long school holidays

  1. Phil has spent so long sorting our Lego into colour & also into kits with instructions (in blue ikea cd boxes) that the children are now adamant that Lego isn’t a toy, ”it’s serious grown up work!”
    It all sounds logical – less stuff, easier to control, labelled boxes – just easier said than done… You’re not alone! TOP TIP: My boys tidy up really well if I hover the a carrier bag and mention the charity shop or children with not so many toys!

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