Do you have these at your house? My kids leave snail trails behind everywhere they go. We observed the slimy trail left behind one day outside and ever since then this analogy has made perfect sense to my kids.
When Sweetheart is finished watching TV, she gets up and leaves the room. Blanket and cushion she was using still laying in floor. When Little Bit has a snack, the paper towel gets left on the kitchen table along with the cup she was drinking out of. Someone takes their shoes off under the table and there they sit. Someone draws and then leaves the pencil and paper on the coffee table. I could go on and on.
If I am present to remind them, these things get picked up immediately. But heaven forbid I get busy doing something in another room. I've actually taken them on a tour of their day through all the rooms pointing out the trail of slime they have left behind them. They get it.
One day I just KNOW all this nagging....I mean reminding is going to pay off. In fact, some days it seems like it is already paying off.
But I am convinced that when they finally stop leaving the slime behind, my house will be clean. I've had other theories over the years. When my children were younger I had what I called "the horizontal surfaces theory." See, I always walked around saying, "If these toys just weren't all over the floor, my house would look clean." But in reality, when all the toys got picked up and put away, there was still mess. It was on every horizontal surface in the house--the kitchen island, the side table in the living room, my night stand, the formal dining table, the fireplace mantle, etc. They were, by the way, all surfaces that my kids couldn't exactly reach at the time. Or at least the contents of the table was not theirs.
So....that blew my excuse about the toys. Now I'm blaming the snail trails, but I could be wrong.
What do you figure is the one reason why your house gets messy often?
(If your house does NOT get messy, you may leave a comment but only if you promise to go help a friend this week who is not as fortunate as you!)