I have found a way to get kids to WANT to put away laundry! This will revolutionize the way kids put away laundry! The secret is simple: early to bed. This method is easiest with kids that can't tell time or haven't thought to ask what time it is when they are told it's time for bed.
How does bed time relate to laundry? All kids do anything to delay going to sleep. I'm using that to my advantage. One day at bedtime I said innocently "let's put some laundry away quick" and they were excited to do so because it delayed sleep. On night number 2 my 6 1/2 year old daughter asked if there was laundry to be put away. "Why yes there is" I said as the excited mother in disbelief that her daughter is ASKING to put laundry away. On night number 3 my daughter was disappointed there was no laundry to be put away. Fast forward 3 months and I haven't had to put any of her laundry away. Her and I help my son (age 5) occasionally but he is also putting away the majority of his own clothes.
The added bonus to my new found dutiful children... I can use NOT doing laundry as leverage when they don't want to cooperate at bedtime. I just can't use it too often or they'll forget what it's like to put away laundry and how much they enjoy it. It's a very fine line I need to walk to keep this up. Now I just need to try to get this to work with cleaning up their toys.