New Year Cleaning Challenge: Kid Clutter Solution? Toy Jail!

organize toys

Day 68 of the New Year Cleaning Challenge

Tired of waking each morning to a sea of toys left out after yesterday's play?

Try a toy jail!

This simple concept helps train children to the put-away habit and brings an end to early-morning stumbles over Lego creations.

Designate a toy jail in today's New Year Cleaning Challenge assignment.

Today's Assignment:
Try A Toy Jail

Tired of stumbling over children's toys after bedtime? We've mentioned this in passing, but as an organizing concept, the toy jail deserves an assignment all its own!

A simple basket, box or plastic container, a toy jail holds all playthings that have not been put away at the end of the day. After bedtime, grab the container and sweep public areas of any left-out toys.

To retrieve a toy, a child must perform a small chore. The practice teaches responsibility--and makes sure adults aren't stumbling over scattered playthings when called awake during the wee hours!

Many families create a "job jar" in tandem with the toy jail concept, making administration easier. Write out a number of simple chores on small slips of paper: "set the table", "sweep the porch", or "dust the living room" are examples of suitable bail items for jailed toys.

The toy jail. You have nothing to lose but bruised feet!