When every flat surface in the house looks like this:
What would have taken me two hours to accomplish alone, takes us 15 minutes, and only costs me a few dollars. Today, they each earned $1.25. It is worth every penny.
Then it's time for nickel clean up. We write each child's name at the top of a piece of paper. We work very quickly and I call out jobs for each child to do. "Andrew- socks, hamper." "Jack- crayons, drawer." There's no time for extra words. They are working quickly to get to the next job. Each job means a nickel for them. They put a tick mark under their name for each job they complete. Each tick mark means a nickel for them when I pay out after the house is clean.(They were using code names today)
I save nickel clean up for days when the house is really bad. For day to day picking up and cleaning, it's the usual nagging. A variation on nickel clean up is jelly bean clean up. We just replace the reward with some little treat. They like that too.