An attitude of helpfulness creates a feeling of togetherness within the family as everyone works toward common goals. Encourage the child's creativity by enlisting their help for novel solutions for storage and cleaning up their messes.
You will be amazed how fast you can tidy a house when the children help you pick up a room at a time. Each person will love doing their part. Make if fun by hiding a few pieces of candy before you start. Every once in a while blow a whistle, ring a bell, or simply announce “treat time!” Then the kids can look for the treats and enjoy them together. (Ellison p. 182)
Clean as You Go:
Allow children to only play with three toys, then it's time to put them away before dragging out another one. This rule works well with puzzles, books, and other toys. If you start young, they will clean as they go as a normal habit and be more willing to help clean up on playdates and at school as well.
Hang a clothesline on which you can clip a child’s artwork. Ask the local pizza place for a couple of clean pizza boxes that the children can use for storing artwork under their beds. We made this Art Portfolio with a large piece of poster board.
Using Photos for Labels:
Buy clear tubs to store toys and stuffed animals. The clear tubs make it easier to see what is inside the container. Label the tubs with pictures for younger children that cannot read words yet. Get creative and let the kids help you label the boxes with photos or magazine clippings of the items. Cut out the picture of a toy from the box it came in and tape the picture of the toy to the spot where it belongs on toy shelves. Tape pictures or photos of what belongs in each dresser drawer to the front of each drawer. As children begin to read replace pictures. (see above left)
Place Lower for Kids:
Place the children’s favorite foods within easy reach in the fridge and in the pantry by
storing them on low shelves. Have coat hooks and closet rods at kid height.