The best advice I ever got was "Never do for your children what they can do for themselves." It was from a beloved great aunt. Shes passed on some years now, how I wish I could have told her how wise those words were. At the time she gave me that advice, and I remember the day well, I was picking up my daughters toys off the floor. She expected my daughter to do it. I should have too. Instead I did it. And continued to do it. It was a few years, after her passing unfortunately, that I saw the wisdom in her words. Now I add to that, "If they can make the mess they can clean it."
Yesterday we had a birthday party for 3 of my brothers. Getting gifts, cake and cards ready for 3 was no easy task. I had my oldest daughter helping me. We gathered the bags and tissue paper, the cards and gifts and dd remarked, "Its so funny how you quickly pull out gifts from over here and bags from over here and cards from this box here." Yes, isn't organization a marvelous thing?! What a concept! I explained that if you have a place for everything and everything is in its place you will always be able to find what you need. A light bulb went off and she finally understood why I drill in to them why we put things where we do when we clean up. So do I have to wait till they are all her age before they get the concept of picking up and putting things away where they belong? They all do learn that right?
Thats a pair of socks, a car, a snowglobe, a doll blanket, a pencil, and a toy truck on the tv stand. I'm thinking those things are probably not in their place.