There is a corner that our son sits in when he’s eating his food. His high chair overlooks the table but is backed up to a corner. Whenever he eats we try to put him in his high chair. While we used to give him crackers elsewhere in the house (and other little treats) the general cleanliness of our floors suffered. When we had to wear shoes in our own home after a day of his snacking we quickly decided that all eating would occur in the chair at the table. In part it was enlightening when we cleaned to see all of his mess concentrated in one single spot on the floor. It piled up quickly and with great variety. So far his only way of indicating that he is done with his food is by throwing it on the floor (or as I like to call it: losing interest). While we hope to change this behavior in time it is a fairly clear signal.
So we have a messy corner in our home. The food piles up in this messy corner and is swept away quickly (or scrubbed depending on the food in question). While the rest of the house still suffers from other types of attack (like “I found this piece of paper and decided to rip it into small pieces and spread them all over the floor”) these are typically not the sticky, smelly, crumbling items like those that are meant to be ingested and digested as part of a regular diet. The messy corner is a success. We did, however, note one flaw with the messy corner: the walls. When we recently gave our son pasta he showed us a new trick when he threw it over his head and stuck it to the two joining walls. Oh well… at least it’s still isolated in the corner.