Here's how it works:
- I warn the kids that in 5-10 minutes I will be collecting for the Lost & Found box. This gives them an opportunity to grab their stuff and put it away.
- Once time is up, anything that belongs to them that is not where it should be gets tossed in the box. Makes for an easy cleanup!
- Once an item is in the box, Mom or Dad are the only ones who can take it out of the box (or a child with Mom or Dad's permission).
- In order to get something out of the box, the child must do a chore (specified by Mom or Dad) such as sweeping the kitchen, wiping down the bathroom counter, cleaning up a particular space, etc.
- At the end of the week, anything that has not been earned back gets tossed or taken to Goodwill.
So far this has been working marvelously for our family! They are more careful about leaving their things out, and if they do leave something out then I can clean it up by simply tossing it in the box. Then I get lots of help with the chores so they can earn their items back, and we declutter because anything that's not important enough to warrant a chore means it's not important enough to be in our home. :-)