If your child goes to school or daycare, find out their cleanup routines and mimic them at home. (At most schools, cleanup occurs after an activity is completed.)
Institute a “five-minute cleanup” every day: after mealtime, select a song (take turns picking) and play it while everyone cleans up one part of the house.
If you have multiple children, or are attempting to clean up with a group of children, have them line up and pass the items from child to child along the line until they reach their proper home.
Don’t let your child leave a room messy. Establish a pattern in which a room must be tidied up before leaving. Turn it into a little melodrama—close the door and become a wizard who casts a spell on your child and who won’t let him leave until the room is picked up.
Make sure that everything being cleaned up has a set place to go. Whenever possible, label drawers and boxes with words and pictures so that cleanup is also a learning activity. Have a bin for random stuff—otherwise things stay cluttered, or items get misplaced.
Praise, praise, praise—even if only a few items were cleaned up.