"Congratulate yourself for every bit of organizing you can do. It's tiring," says Marilyn Paul, author of It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming Truly Organized. "We're really creating our environment when we try to keep things organized, so we can find what we need when we need it. That goes on for several years until a kid can help out when they're three or four years old," says Paul.
Here is Paul's method for handling kid stuff.
Baskets, shelves, or clear containers are essential. "There needs to be a place for every single toy to get off the floor. Every doll, every car, every train. Everything," says Paul.
You needn't spend a fortune on buying fancy storage systems. Christina Baglivi Tinglof, author of The Organized Parent : 365 Simple Solutions to Managing Your Home, Your Time, and Your Family's Life, recommends zippered freezer bags, empty cookie tins, and shoe bags that hang from the back of a door, among other solutions. Remember the "reuse" part of the reduce-reuse-recycle mantra for green living and you'll be surprised how many cool containers come your way.
Line big toys up on one side of the room and keep smaller toys segregated in baskets. Cars belong in one basket, trains in another basket, and dolls should sit on low-hanging shelves, says Paul. Children thrive with order: Your child will get accustomed to sorting his toys as long as you adhere to it.