I must admit I read about this idea in a magazine once. Some poor, worn out mom was tired of nagging, I mean always asking her kids to pick up their rooms. So one day she came up with the idea that an inspector needed to come visit and check out the state of her kids rooms and leave a report. I really had no idea such a thing would work, but I was willing to give it a try with my 6 and 8 year old. I told them that they needed to pick up their room because Inspector Gerard (in my house funny sounding names work best!) was coming to check their room. I told them he would be here later, when they were out playing. I think I mentioned something about how I hoped he didn't condemn the place etc., etc.
Immediately my children began putting away, dusting, vacuuming. It was amazing. They wanted a good report from this Inspector Gerard. Later when they were finished I checked their room, wrote up a quick report on a piece of paper (he did find a pair of shoes under the bed that needed to be corrected:) ) signed the report and stuck it to their door. When they found the report they quickly put away the shoes, smiled over all the "stars" they received and then we celebrated passing inspection with a mug of hot chocolate.
Now, really, I don't think my kids really fell for Inspector Gerard, they knew it was me. But it was just the added excitement that helped motivate them. So hats off to Inspector Gerard, he'll be visiting again soon.
For more helpful hints head over to Shannon's at Rocks In My Dryer!