It drives me crazy when I find tiny toys evenly spaced all over the floor in my home. Toys somehow act like the opposite sides of a magnet and repel each other so they can cover a much larger area of carpet. However, not all is lost. Here are a couple of different ideas that I have found to help me from losing my mind.
1. Get your laundry basket and walk around the house.
Anything that is not in its place, add it to your basket! Now the trick is, once the kids get home from school, they have to separate their stuff from the basket and put it back where it belongs BEFORE they can do anything else! Bribery always works!
2. Have the kids grab a grocery sack and set the timer for one minute.
Everyone runs around the house looking for things that are not in their place and adds them to their bag (whether it’s theirs or not). Everyone gets a penny for each thing in their bag once it’s put back in its place! My kids love this game!
3. Put on an apron with deep pockets while you are cleaning the house.
This way, while you are in a room cleaning, you don’t have to leave the room to put one little thing away and get distracted by the mess in the other room! I don’t know about you, but I cannot clean one room at a time! If I go to a different room to put something away, I get stuck there cleaning that mess! This helps me get things done faster. Then when I am done with cleaning, I put away the things in my pockets.
4. Make a “tidy up apron” for your kids too!
Take a pillow case and follow the directions found here! It’s so simple, all you need is a pillow case and ribbon. Then teach your kids the same technique as discussed in idea #3. They will love cleaning up like mom does!
5. Use a color game.
Tell the kids to look for everything white. Pick it up and put it away, then come and report to me. Then I say look for everything green, pick it up, put it away then come and report to me … works like a charm for little ones, and it helps them learn their colors.
6. Use a sorting game.
Tell the kids to pick up everything you can wear on your body. Next, anything you can eat with. Next, anything that you can play with. It’s like a scavenger hunt!