As an early intervention specialist, I visit young children with special needs in their homes and have noticed a pattern of children having lots of stuff and it being disorganized. I am empathetic to this because I was actually one of those parents. This is one of the many things that I would change if I could travel back in time. It is important that all children are taught organization skills early on, but is essential for children with special needs.
Children as young as two or three should be taught to clean up. Fortunately, my daughter has mastered this art, and my granddaughter is reaping the benefits.
Below are 5 proven ways to get your child to clean their toys up.
1. Less is always better! Consider putting half of their toys in the top of a closet; out of reach. Trade out the toys once a month. You will be amazed at how novelty works. It is as if they have a new toy.
2. Establish the rule “Everything has a place, and everything should be in that place”. Remember to stick to it.
3. Organize the toys in a way that the child knows where their stuff goes. Label things with words and pictures for young children.
4. Only allow the child to play with a couple of things at a time before cleaning up. The more stuff they have out, the harder it is to clean up.
5. Have realistic expectations! Don’t ask a tired sleepy child to clean up and expect to sit back and watch it happen. Make it a game; let’s see who can pick up the most…..
These photos are of my granddaughters bedroom. This organization system allows her to know where everything goes and easily clean up.