All three of our boys have their own "private shelf." This is a bedside table or dresser top which has been designated as each boy's DO NOT TOUCH area. (The original private shelves were in fact shelves, but they've morphed over the years; we still use the shelf name, however.) If something's on someone's private shelf, you can't touch it without getting permission from the shelf owner.
We started the practice when the boys were very young, as a way of diminishing fights over toys, (and encouraging respect for someone else's stuff) and it's worked pretty well.
Generally, all of the private shelves are pretty messy, but recently the Maker undertook a fairly ambitious organization part of his, something which has never before been done. I was pretty impressed with it myself. In case you can't see everything clearly from the photo, here's a list of things on his newly organized private shelf:
- Drawing paper
- Post-it notes
- Pocket knife
- Cigarette lighter
- Thomas the Tank Engine whistle
- Tape measure
- Miller Lite Batman ring
- Masking tape (in holder)
- Harmonica (in holder)
- Scissors and magnifying glass (in holder)
- Popsicle sticks (in holder)
- Miscellaneous cards (Pokemon, etc.)
A lot of these things are for art and drawing, but as you can see from this picture, he also designated one of the bins as a recycled paper holder. I'm pretty sure that's my genetic material.