The parenting columns for Chase's age started talking about teaching your kid how to clean up their own toys a couple of months ago. I tried, but all he would do is grab stuff and spread it around more or throw it around the room. I was so frustrated & figured that I just didn't know what I was doing!
Then, suddenly, he just "got it"! Without me even working with him, Chase started to show a sense of order in things. He still likes to play with the empty macaroni & cheese box & tear the top into pieces, but now he puts the pieces inside what's left of the box, dumps it out & puts it all back in over and over again. He's one of the best helpers at Gymboree class for putting the balls back in the basket to be put away. He loves to hand me his clean clothes, one at a time, to be folded & put in his dresser drawers. To encourage him, I sometimes hand him trash & let him put it in the garbage can and yesterday, while I was washing doors (preparing to put our house up for sale), I let him "help".
Its so much fun & I guess I really shouldn't stress about stuff like that so much. Seems like there are just certain things that come naturally and in their own time.