My kids are older, 21, 19, 14 and 13, and I just spent the weekend explaining to them that "cleaning house" is not "picking up". They just don't understand that you can't clean your house until it is picked up. I really think that my house was neater when they were younger. It might be because I was home more and not watching and/or waiting for them at a sports/school function. Their stuff was smaller too. Anyway, I am having trouble with them picking up their things. I am either tripping over shoes or moving school books off of a table, so, I have decided to bring back the "Saturday Basket". I used this method when they were younger too. I went to the thrift store and picked up this little beauty for only $3.99:
I just added a little sign and there you have it.
Now, when they leave their stuff lying around, I just toss it in this basket. Their junk looks a lot better in the basket than all over the house. Now, the catch to it is, they can't have it until Saturday. I don't care if it is shoes, sports equipment, work aprons, homework/school books, it stays in the basket until Saturday. If it becomes a permanent resident, I donate it. It gets really ugly the first couple of weeks, but, with their dad's help, it starts to get a little easier until the basket is not longer needed.
If you have trouble with your little and/or big ones picking up their stuff, try the basket method, it just might work.