I’m a mum-of-three & pride myself on my super organised house – I clear my kids' toys out twice a year

A MUM-OF-THREE has revealed how she keeps her house immaculately organised, with colour coded books and school stations.

Rhiannon Parker, 33, from Yorkshire, has dedicated hours to making sure everything has its own space in her home, but says it's saved her time in the long run.

The teaching assistant and writer, who's mum to Izzy, 12, Ethan, 10, and Esmae, six, loves Stacey Solomon and says she's made people realise organising isn't nerdy – or particularly difficult.

But she admits you have to be ruthless in your quest for a tidy home – with clearouts before Christmas and every birthday, as well as a handy hack for saving space with kids' artwork.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Rhiannon, whose husband Andrew, 35, works in online marketing, reveals her top tips…

"I absolutely love organising, I've spent hours doing it.

We moved into this house, which is a three-bed, almost four years ago.

At the time, I probably spent an hour-a-day organising, but sometimes would do a full day while the kids were at school.

I find it really satisfying. I hate clutter and if I'm ever feeling stressed or cross, I'll get organising.

Having a designated spot for everything is my biggest thing.

We even have a charging station, I bought a paper organiser from Home Bargains for 79p and turned it into an area for all the tablets and phones.

I've got a drawer which is just for homework and keep any school letters in a wall mounted folder, so they never get lost during term time.

Clearouts are important, too.

When my kids were really small, I probably would've thought 'I can't get rid of this'. But the reality is, if my parents gave me a load of pictures from when I was a kid, would I be that bothered?

Before, we had five big folders of our kids' artwork, but it was getting dog eared and wasn't practical to look through, as it kept falling apart.

So I photographed all the artwork and turned it into one 6×6 inch photo book for each of them, which is tiny compared to a huge folder.

That's something I really loved, a lot of people have copied my idea. Now it's easy to keep on top of, you just take a photo and pop a little note next to it, saying what it was and how old they were.

I recycled all the originals. When my kids were really small, I probably would've thought 'I can't get rid of this'.

But the reality is, if my parents gave me a load of pictures from when I was a kid, would I be that bothered?

I know every parent has different boundaries but I've got a memory box for each of the kids so if it's something really special, it goes in there.

Otherwise it goes in the bin, when kids are making junk models you can't keep them all, but a photo of it is nice.

Now they actually sit down and go through the books, saying 'oh I remember this'.

I have a big clearout four times-a-year, just before Christmas, when they go back to school and the kids' birthdays, which are in April and June. It's to clear some space for their new stuff.

I'll get the house cleaned, decluttered and reorganised. It's an ongoing thing, I have a basket in my cupboard under the stairs for stuff going to the charity shop.

If I see a top and think 'this was a bit small the last time she wore it', I'll pop it in the basket.

Then, every so often, I go through their toys and think 'have I ever seen them playing with this?'

I leave a toy out and if I don't see the kids playing with it, then it's gone. If the toys are in good condition, I sell them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay

I'll leave it out and if I don't see them playing with it, then it's gone. If the toys are in good condition, I sell them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

The money tends to go towards the next birthday or Christmas.

I buy a lot of their toys secondhand, for my daughter's fifth birthday I bought her a bike for a tenner, which we cleaned up.

There were a couple of people selling Duplo too, so I bought a whole load, cleaned them up, sorted them into sets, kept two and sold the others on.

I actually made money on the Duplo because I'd sorted them into specific sets. That funded her birthday that year.

Things that can be cleaned like Lego, bikes and any outdoor toys, Facebook Marketplace is great, because you can sell on their old one and save up money to buy their new one.

Sometimes if I'm not sure if they will miss a particular toy, I hide it in the garage for three months and see if they ask for it.

Only once has my son asked for something after I've got rid of it, to be fair I'd asked him about it but he later said 'I wish I hadn't sold that'.

But he's 10, he realises he can save up money and get it again.

I try not to be secretive about getting rid of stuff, I want them to be involved in the process.

I don't feel guilty about doing stuff like that, organising gives me more time with my family, because it saves time in the long run.

I don't feel guilty about doing stuff like that, organising gives me more time with my family, because it saves time in the long run

The biggest thing for me is the decluttering, if we have too much stuff it makes me feel overwhelmed, so I have to keep on top of it.

This didn’t happen overnight though. I came from a big family were things were a bit chaotic, I wasn’t taught how to do this, I learnt it over time.

My parents have eight children and I’m the second oldest, so growing up I had to be organised and help get the younger ones dressed. I've always hated clutter too.

One of the reasons I’m so organised is I’m naturally really forgetful.

It's a coping mechanism, I don’t have to be thinking ‘where did I put this last?’ because I know where it goes.

The catalyst for me was when I had two kids under two, it would be really stressful going out for the day and they'd be crying because it was taking so long.

Knowing the baby's bag was always packed and by the door, with everything I needed in it, was a lifesaver.

When I first started taking this seriously, I had a baby and a two-year-old, so if I can do it anyone can.

People might feel like they don’t know where to start but you can do little projects while you’re watching TV or homeschooling the kids, and it adds up over time.

Rhiannon’s top tips for other mums

  1. Break your organising down into achievable chunks of time, like an hour-a-day.
  2. Find a dedicated spot for everything.
  3. Shop in cheap stores like Home Bargains, Wilko, Primark and Ikea.
  4. Take photos, then throw away your kids' art and replace them with a small photo book.
  5. Do big clearouts throughout the year – donate clothes to charity and sell on their toys, for money to put towards their next birthday or Christmas.
  6. Get labelling.
  7. Clean and tidy everything away before bed, so you're set for the morning.

I'm a big fan of Stacey Solomon, I only found her account a few months ago, when a friend shared one of her tips.

I thought 'oh gosh, this is great' because I like organising, but people think I'm a bit of a nerd sometimes.

When you get a celeb like Stacey showing the benefits, I think that's a great thing. She's made it seem cool and fun, and has shown how easy it is too.

She does these small projects day-by-day, so it's achievable. Millions of people are seeing that, so they think 'actually organising isn't a huge task, I can do something in half an hour or even five minutes'.

Stacey's done a lot to make it seem achievable – and she does it all on a budget.


Home Bargains and Ikea are two of my favourite shops. I like Wilko too, they've got a lot of stuff for kitchens and stationary.

We decant our food into containers, like Stacey does, and Wilko have them for a couple of quid, whereas they can be up to £15 in other shops.

I also like to repurpose things. iPhone cases make great drawer organisers, and my straighteners came in a box which I now use to separate my son’s underwear from his socks.

Primark do these clear toiliteries bags which are a fab way to organise your kids’ toys, because they can see exactly what’s inside.

They’re quite cheap and easy to find in summer, it’s about £5 for a pack of three.

When I found Stacey's account, I thought 'oh gosh, this is great' because I like organising, but people think I'm a bit of a nerd sometimes

Command hooks are great for keeping stuff hidden, just pop them inside your wardrobe and kitchen cupboard doors to hang stuff like your oven gloves and dusters.

Labels are really good too, you only need a Sharpie.

I like to organise stuff by colour, because I'm a really visual person. My books are organised by colour and I have coloured drawers for a lot of my kids' stuff.

For me it just works. Because it looks nice, it motivates me to keep on top of it.

The kitchen’s probably my favourite place to organise.

I used to work in a supermarket as a teenager, it sounds so sad but stacking shelves and making everything nice was one of my favourite parts of the job.

I don’t have a pantry, I’d love to, but I got a cupboard unit from Ikea and organised everything – with little baskets for the rice and the pasta.

It helps so you don’t overbuy, because you know what you’ve got, but also visually it means you know where to go for x, y and z.

Before I go to bed, I like to clean the kitchen and tidy everything away for the next day.

I am realistic though, our house is lived in, it can't be immaculate all the time.

And my kids aren't babies anymore, it's not my job to clean up their mess.

My eldest loves organising but my youngest two aren't fans.

I hate cleaning, I do as little as possible, and one of the advantages of organising is it makes it quicker, you just wipe down surfaces without having to clear them first.

All this organising saves me about two to three hours-a-week, simply because I never have to hunt for things.

My kids know their school stuff is all hung up by the front door, so you're not digging around or constantly running late.

I'm a firm believer that if you spend five minutes organising, it saves you time overall."

You can follow Rhiannon on Instagram here.

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