I have two young boys. It's a frigging nightmare trying to walk anywhere in my house without the threat of standing on a toy tractor or wooden block! And, my children have a playroom right at the end of the house so that you don't have to walk through it to get anywhere else. You'd think they'd play in their playroom and therefore I'd have a toy and mess free house wouldn't you? You'd be completely wrong! For some reason, they hate actually playing in their playroom, I might as well rename it the toy store…cause that's all it is, a place to store toys when they're not making a mess in my lounge. I don't really mind this too much though because it means I can watch them playing whilst I cook or come and play with them whilst sneaking a peak at my favourite tv show that's on in the background.
I hate the fact that there's constantly toys strewn about the place and it's a constant irritation to me that as soon as I tidy up, the place is messy again (I think they actually walk behind me throwing more toys down as I go, just for fun!) But, having said that, they are 3 and 16months, they're not really at that age where they play with one or two things in an isolated area yet. They move from one thing to the next in minutes and love to move from one spot to another each time they play with something new, leaving the last thing where it lay, especially my youngest. So, what do you do? Well, I've just learnt to look where I go when I walk! I tidy up to a degree during the day but tend to just leave them to their mess until early evening/bedtime and then as a family we spend a few minutes picking everything up and transporting it all back to the toy shed (that's what I'm calling it now I've decided!) The thing is, whilst this may mean that if I was to get an unexpected caller my place may look a little bedraggled, and it would probably leave the real domestic goddesses in fits to think of it, what else can you do? If you were to tidy up every single thing that the children left on the floor during the day, you'd probably not get a lot else done. And, it's no fun for children of this sort of age to constantly have someone on their back about cleaning. Also, let's face it, you can guarantee that as soon as you put something away, it'll be just the thing they want to play with next.
I know that this isn't really a tip about achieving a wonderfully tidy home but unfortunately, sometimes there's just nothing else to do but make your piece with the mess!