7 Organizing Tips I Learned from Parents on TikTok
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.
Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.
Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.
I don’t know about you, but I could look at before-and-after photos all day. Show me a messy pantry and then — snap! — perfectly labeled containers of cereal and I’m giddy. That’s pretty much what it’s like in the land of #MomHacks on TikTok. But while I may never be the kind of mom who folds my kids’ underwear into tiny squares, I have definitely picked up a few tricks from the very wise parents who share their organizing hacks.
Here are the top organizing tips and tricks I’ve learned from TikTok:
1. Sort and Purge
Lots of TikTok accounts will show you the amazing transformation from chaos to order, but they don’t always show you the full process. @pinchofhelp walks through her playroom organization project with short and sweet directions for how to do it yourself. It might seem obvious, but sorting and purging stuff is a key part of any organizing effort. Put similar items together and get rid of stuff your kids don’t use or need.
2. Label Everything
Moms on TikTok do not play around when it comes to labels. Get your bins and baskets together and then go wild with labeling. You can use a fancy Cricut label maker, get some stick-on labels from a craft store, or rip off a piece of masking tape and use a Sharpie. Whatever your style, labeling makes everything easier to find and gives you that little tickle of orderly pleasure. @easilyorganized shows a game closet transformation that will inspire any organization fan.
3. Simplify with the Essentials
I’m a sucker for some no-nonsense advice, so @hijabing taps my sweet spot with her simple and direct approach to baby-feeding products. Just get one or two bottles, bibs, bowls, and that’s it! The more you get, the more you’re forced to wash. Keep it simple, and you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time doing whatever it is that makes you happy.
4. Minimize Mess
Yes, you want your kid to be creative. But you don’t want to spend all your time cleaning up after their Jackson Pollack masterpieces. You’ll find lots of inspiration on TikTok for ways to clean up messes, but @mothercloud has a ton of brilliant and quick ideas, like putting paint inside of Ziplock bags for mess-free finger painting. Other TikTokers like using a colorful tape boundary around a play area and encouraging kids to keep toys within the lines or creating a play space within a drawstring play surface so you can swoop all the Legos and other little bits and pieces together in one big tug.
5. Prepare for the Worst
Sometimes you just need one small tip to change your world. For those parents enduring nighttime potty training or a random stomach flu, this bedsheet hack is amazing. @MommaCusses suggests doubling (or tripling!) your mattress cover and fitted sheet combo so when disaster strikes in the middle of the night, you can quickly strip the top sheet and cover and go back to bed. Your morning self will take care of the mess and be much happier that she got a few extra minutes of sleep. (Fair warning: there is some cursing at the end of this video!)
6. Make Bundles
Going on a trip? Pack all your kids’ outfits into resealable bags (include everything: underwear to hats). Folding sheets? Put the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and pillowcases together in one neat package in your closet. Love board games? @lauracarnow suggests removing the boxes and putting all the game pieces, cards, and boards into individual baggies to save tons of space. You’ll find lots of different examples on TikTok, but the concept is the same: pack little stuff together to make life easier and more tidy!
7. Encourage Independence
Teaching your kid how to do things for themselves has two benefits. First, they learn how to be a better functioning human being. Second, you have a few more uninterrupted moments. One idea I love is using a shoe bag as a back-of-the-seat organizer in the car, as suggested by @athomewithShannon. You can put snacks in one pocket, games in another, and wipes for cleaning up messes in one more. You stay focused on the road and your kid stays occupied and clean. Other ideas include designating a fridge door shelf as a serve-yourself snack spot or setting up a breakfast bar so early risers can feed themselves without waking up their parents.