Dilemma: in an effort to keep our three young children from watching too much TV this summer, we have not turned it on all week, resulting in three rooms in this house that we are unable to walk in due to said small children keeping themselves occupied.
Solution: "sell" TV time (all shows must be approved) in one- or half-hour blocks to aforementioned children, making them "pay" in advance by cleaning up a room that is then inspected by an authority figure before the TV is turned on.
Caveat: for this system to work it is critical for at least one child (preferably the older one) to be so motivated by the desire to watch TV that he will clean up the majority of any mess and not mind that he is doing almost all the work, since younger children are not as effective at cleaning.
Win-win for authority figure: house is either neater or they are not watching TV! Woo-hoo! The invention of the season!