I have been trying not to explode over the disaster area that is my sons' room. As a matter of fact, my oldest son bought a sign for their door that says, "Disaster Area." Their messy room can set me off like a rocket, screaming into orbit. I get very frustrated over the mess of toys and collectibles in their little bedroom. But I am trying not to be that crazy mom. One way I've done this is to discuss it with my husband. He's always so calm and listens so well. Just talking about my frustrations with this dear patient man relieves so much stress in my life.
As a result of our conversations, Todd, my husband, was the one who came up with dividing the boys' room into quadrants and making a map of their room with each quadrant marked. (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/LoriLynn/165996/)
Last night, he came up with another room solution by designing a game for the boys to play all day today. He told them that every hour, on the hour, they must go to their room and pick up one large item, one medium-sized item, and one small item. When they did this, they wrote their items down on a log sheet that he made for them. Prior to all of this "picking-up", Todd had picked one item as the prize item. Whoever listed the prize item on their sheet as an item that they put away won a prize. Of course, there was also a runner-up prize so that both boys felt rewarded.
So, ever hour, my little timer rang and the boys ran to their room. They would emerge muttering their list under their breath and head for the lined sheets of paper on the table. Each boy wrote down their three items dilligently each hour asking me, "How do you spell shield?" and "How do you spell sword?"
At the end of the day, daddy returned from work with a slip of paper folded in his pocket. Both boys are always happy to see Daddy walk in the door in the evening, but tonight they were positively animated. They quickly unfolded the paper to find what was the mystery item that would earn one boy a reward. As it turned out, our youngest son won the $2 prize because he picked up the black shield with the golden lion on it.
...all this, and their room doesn't look too bad, either!