Your Life as a Parent: Life Is Messy

Life with a toddler is an adventure, which means things may not be as neat and clean as you’d like them to be around the house. Socks and toys will get everywhere, your toddler’s art masterpieces may be scattered on every surface, and the dishes may start to pile up.

Try not to worry too much about things being messy at home. It’s part of the fun that comes with having a curious little toddler around.

You can help make things easier by:

Giving everything a home. Set up baskets or boxes, or low shelves that your little one can reach, so your little one knows where her toys or belongings go.

Setting an example. Show your little one that you put things away and back into their places after you've used them.

Turning picking up into a game. Put on some music and "race" your toddler to see who can get the blocks or the puzzle pieces into their respective boxes first. She may end up enjoying this game as much as she does make a mess.

Narrating as you straighten up. As you put things away, talk to your toddler about what you are doing and narrate as you go. Be positive and say good things like “this makes our home happy” so she has positive associations with straightening up.