Check out this art/playroom from the home of Lisa Mahar, the owner of a shop called Kid O in NYC:
Can we all please take a moment to digest these shelves:
This is what I dream about. Shelves stocked and stacked neatly with oodles of art supplies, and my kids taking down the supplies one at a time, and using them appropriately. Look, I'm not trying to hinder artistic expression and creativity -- a lot of the time art is messy. I'm just saying it would be nice if this type of organization wasn't destroyed just for the heck of it!
In the interview, Lisa mentions one technique she uses for getting her kids to pick up after themselves. She tells her kids, "you put away the things you want to, but whatever you don’t put away, I’ll put it away but when I put it away, I’m going to put it somewhere where you can’t get it for a week..." I've actually tried this once before when the boys' room was a disaster. I told them that whatever was left on the floor was going to Goodwill. You really do get an idea of what they care about. Anyway, it's inspired me to do that on a more regular basis and try to weed out the toys that are just taking up space and causing clutter. I'm actually tempted to head back there with a trash bag right now while they are at school! I don't think they'd even miss whatever I threw away.
How about you -- do you have any techniques for getting kids to clean up their things?
[Images from the home of Lisa Mahar, featured in this article on NY Social Diary]