We have chaos as well – 11 y/o with ADHD, husband with ADHD, mom with Aspergers and 8 y/o with Type 1 diabetes….
what I can say:
1) pick your arguments.
in our house, we usually use paper plates, bowls and often plastic utensils. It makes clean up easier.
2) kids need some skin in the game.
– its amazing how much better he ate and cleaned up once he learned how to cook
3) natural consequences are important
– rule… if you don’t set the table, then you can’t eat. If you don’t run the dishwasher, then the dishes are dirty when you want them and you have to hand wash them in the moment. Takes a while but seems to make a difference.
4) If you have to put money into having g housecleaner, then the money is not there for other things. Essentially put it on account. If my house has 5 rooms plus a shared bathroom (with four people total), and I paid $120 to get it clean, then $20 is his/her share for the bedroom, and $5 his/her share for the bathroom. If he is ok with that $25 going essentially against his account, then he makes that choice, and can’t spend it on a new cool science project.
5) Privileges are _earned_ and for a specified length of time, not forever. So a reward for completing homework isn’t that you get to do homework in your room for an unspecified length of time, its that you completed and turned in 90% of your homework this week so next week you can do 1 hour of homework per night unsupervised in your bedroom. You can negotiate from there up or down.
6) only work on one or two things at a time. If you try to work on everything you will drive yourself – and everyone else nuts!