Think Outside the Box (or Bookshelf)
Don't get stuck if putting things where they're "supposed to" go doesn't work for you. Try keeping books in baskets, for example. Books, especially for younger children, are more challenging to keep neat because of their bulky size. "My son's books are not in bookshelves with the spines facing out," says Paul. "They're in a shallow, rectangular basket. His books are set up so that the shorter ones are in the front and he can flip through them."
Rotate toys to meet your child's developmental need. This is key to lowering the kid clutter quotient. "There will always be too many toys. That's life in America," says Paul. If your child is no longer using a toy, move it to a basket or bin in the garage or closet. "Get old toys out of the space so it's not so overwhelming. Even if you do that once every six months, it will help," says Paul.
"We're tired at night, so we want to say, 'Never mind, we're not going to pick up our toys,'" says Paul. You can balance routine and spontaneity, but cleaning up at the end of the day is an integral lesson to teach your children. Try singing songs that help make the task fun, or make it a family event, with Dad joining in as well. "I want my son to know that cleaning up is part of life, so we work on it at the end of the day with him," says Paul.