It's looked this way for the last... two weeks? At least? Probably more because we were on vacation last week and it was like this before that.
Every now and then Norman or I will go in and put some things where they go. We don't make Lucy clean it. It's her room, and if she doesn't clean it, the consequence is that playing is harder and she can't find stuff. Also I understand the frustration of having to clean up a "mess" when you're in the middle of creating something.
Lucy has free rein over safety scissors and a large amount of paper, scotch tape, stickers, and writing instruments. She creates paper trash like nobody's business. She's quite prolific and is not sentimentally attached to most of it. She also makes quite a mess of the drawers that all these craft supplies are kept in, of course.
And every now and then, I just can't stand the playroom anymore. I just can't stand that much of a mess for too long. Plus I feel sorry for Lucy. I know when it gets that bad, there's just no possible way for her to even begin to clean it. Like, it's developmentally impossible for her. So about every two months or so, I go through and really clean everything out and toss the scribbled on and cut up bits of paper and junk mail that she hoards. Today she helped... a little. I put everything where it goes and cleaned out and organized the craft drawers.
I got rid of almost a whole trash bag full of stuff (mostly paper). But only the stuff she won't miss. One of my earliest traumas was my dad going through my room and giving away a bunch of the toys I had left on the floor. I was about Lucy's age. I know he was doing the best he could, just like I am. I'm about the same age now as he was then. But man did that suck.
So it'll look half-decent for the next day or two. :-)