I posted this as a comment on a thread about organizing and thought I would post it here too.
Well, I have 4 boys ages 7-18 months. I hate messes! But… I had so many mothers tell me that had experiece with children that I would regret it if I concentrated on keeping the house looking like a picture perfect place! So, to keep my sanity and so I can sleep, I concentrate on the kitchen and the living room and want to keep them clean all the time. I have a dishwasher which has enabled me to keep up the dishes, otherwise I got behind all the time!!! Another thing that really helped me was some basic organization that my mom and sisters helped me to do!
I live in a mobile home that is large to us (as we have lived in smaller places) We do not have much space either! I know what you mean about a bit of clutter making it look bad!
I am always cutting down and going through clothes and toys. I recently put all the toys in a small dresser. Toy cars and small trucks in trucks in top drawer, Lincoln logs and small blocks in the next drawer, and legos it the bottom. I also have a tub up high for blocks and keep all puzzles and games out of their room so they do not use them unless I give them permission. They have bookshelves in their room with a box right now for extra winter stuff on it, extra books and tub of baby toys on the bottom. They also have some shelves of their books. Lots of dressers help and tubs that have specific things assigned to them. I find it is easier when I know where stuff goes.
I have a basket for library books, a magazine rack and I try to throw away magazines I am not going to read again and others store on a shelf. Another thing that really helps, is my husband built and entire wall of shelves for me in the smallest room in the house. It gives me so much more organization!
Lest you think I am organized, I just sound that way in a letter, I work hard to keep those rooms clean and it is somewhat of a obsession with me and I have to make sure it is not more important to me than the boys. They have to be boys and make messes too sometimes!
When I was pregnant with my second I wondered how on earth I was going to live with the second one! It was so much easier for me. They kept each other occupied and the work was not doubled, but it seemed just easier to me! It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are in the last stages of pregnancy or your son has the flu!

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