Mom’s ‘Toy Jail’ Hack Is the Surefire Way to Get Kids to Remember to Clean Up Their Toys

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If you’ve been watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” you’re probably in full-on decluttering mode. While your kids might fall in line with your new tidying habits down the road, chances are that they aren’t exactly eager to get rid of toys or put them away sorted by type but and by size.

Let’s be honest. Our kids may not be eager to put their toys away at all even if we’re satisfied with dumping them all together in one big toy box.

There are multiple ways to try to manipulate your kids into keeping their toys picked up. You could try things like playing one of their favorite songs while they pick up their toys or turning clean up time into a dance party. You could try making it a game where they have to beat the clock to see how quickly they can get everything put away.


If your kids aren’t biting for these techniques and if you’re sick of picking up all their toys yourself, we’ve found a solution that’s almost too easy.

Disclaimer: technically you will still be picking up your kids’ toys, but it should be motivation for them to keep them put away in the future.

Buy a large plastic storage bin. A clear one works well because you can see what’s inside, but any color will do. Make sure it’s large enough to house however many toys your kids usually leave around the house. Get a permanent marker and maybe a lock depending on how determined your kids are.

Now that you have your supplies together, you’re going to make a toy jail just like one mom did as posted by Servidio Education Solutions. She simply wrote “TOY JAIL” on the lid of the plastic bin in all caps and then wrote an explanation. “You left it out and I picked it up, I’ve got your stuff, you’re out of luck, To get it back please do a chore, Then it’s yours just like before. Mummy.”

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With all that clutter from the holidays, you’re probably tired of picking up the toys around the house by now. – What a great time to teach the kids how to pitch in and do chores around the house. They won’t want to of course but if you create a toy jail, you’ll come out on top! – What are your favorite sneaky ways to get the kids to pitch in? – #mom #mother #mommy #motherhood #momlife #candidmotherhood #motherhoodunplugged #specialeducation #specialneeds #specialneedsmom #momofboys #momofgirls #singlemom #momoftwo #momofthree #momoffour #supermom #autism #dyslexia #dyscalculia #workingmom #parenting #parents #parenthood #momproblems #parentproblems

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That’s it. Self-explanatory. When your kids leave their toys out, you pick them up and put them in toy jail until they do their chores to earn them back.

Parents are loving this idea and leaving comments on the post like, “This is brilliant!!” and “This is the solution to my problems!!!”

Do you think a toy jail would motivate your kids to do their chores and pick up their toys? Have you found another way to motivate your kids to pick up their toys?