For those of you who like a neat and clean house, how do you keep it that way with children?
I find that if I am tied to goal of having a neat and clean house, I become a raging shrew against my children as they proceed to undo all the neatness I have worked so hard to attain. If I made a "neat and clean house" my goal, my children would not have their messy projects that take days/weeks to complete. My children would not pick up a book (casually left out)as they walk through the family room and browse through- discovering once again the mother actually knows about a few good books. I would let them watch more tv/computer time, as they don't make things as messy when they do. I would squash their ideas if I thought it would make too much of a mess. I wouldn't let them cook/experiment in the kitchen- as it is usually more work for me to clean up after they have "cleaned up". So, how do you inspire creativity and imagination in a neat and clean house? Are you on top of them to put things away as soon as they are done even if it is temporary? Where do you put the legos?....... Have you ever allowed them to take over the living room with all of their toys arranged in a city complex (thomas the train things were the Metro, legos and blocks were the buildings....)? How long would it stay up? Would let it be up for the summer so they could add to and change tings around as they got new ideas? Or allowed them to take over half of the family room for a month+ while they build and live in a beaver lodge (using all the empty shoe and other boxes and some that weren't empty)? Even if you have to walk around it everyday to get to the kitchen? Or do you require that all toys be put away everyday?