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5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Organize the Family Room

1. Keep a Kids Catch-All Bin

If your family room is like Marsh's, chances are that LEGO pieces, cars, and little plastic toys are all over the place. Marsh suggests one designated area for everything: "We have a large plastic tub that perfectly fits on the shelf of a sturdy side table, and most of the smaller items go in there. We also have a specific container for LEGOs (I hate vacuuming them up almost as much as I hate stepping on them), and it's large enough for my son to "save" prized creations."

2. Conduct a Toy Pickup Every Day

Marsh suggests spending a few minutes every day picking up toys. Note the toys your kids play with the most. "I vacuum frequently (hence my concern about vacuuming up LEGOs), and insist that toys are picked up nightly," Marsh says. "I also keep an eye on what he plays with and what he ignores, and I store/donate accordingly."

3. Let Kids Help

You might be surprised that your kids are actually good at putting stuff away! "I haven't been very good about insisting that the kids put away one item before starting to play with another, which leads to chaos more quickly," Marsh says, "But then, they're good at picking up when the time comes. My son is surprisingly awesome at putting away his toys."

4. Set Firm Rules About Food

Keep food in the kitchen - it seems it's easier to make a mess when food is in the family room! In Marsh's house, nobody eats in the family room except adults.

5. Don't Leave Everything for Spring Cleaning

Set a schedule and try to stick to it. "I clean in-depth all year long -- steaming the carpet, cleaning out/reorganizing drawers, donating items -- but some tasks are better suited to warmer weather," Marsh says. Assign different tasks to different seasons to help break up the workload.

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