jellyben, what if you pin some kind of rules about 'you don't get x until you have done y'. Like, no dessert until your bowls are in the sink, no tv until their backpacks are put away, etc. When they ask for dessert, 'Are your bowls in the sink?' At least this way you aren't nagging them, you are just asking them a question. And if it goes on too long, you could always turn it into, put your bowls in the sink without being reminded, or you don't get dessert. I'm sure they will start to remember then! Unless you have some kind of consequence, they have no reason to remember, since they could probably care less if you have more clean up work to do, or the house looks untidy.
When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker