Add a little clean up time before meals instead of before bed. It’s almost time for dinner, your children are smelling your meal and it’s the perfect time to get them to think about cleaning up before they eat. I’ve found that waiting to clean up at bedtime usually means they want to take their time because they don’t want to go to bed. But EVERYONE wants to eat right? And they usually want that right now (at least I know my kids do)!
Give it time, 15 minutes before dinner is served, direct a quick clean up of a certain area, toys, entry, laundry. Suggestions like “Let’s just take care of this and when you’re finished dinner will be ready.” Remember to let them do it. As soon as they finish, it’s time to set the table and sit down. Everyone is ready to eat and you’ve got a mostly tidy home. Can’t beat that!