Now, for those of you who know me, I am not a big stickler for tidiness. I don't ride my children every weekend to clean their rooms. There are dishes in my sink every day, new ones because we wash and then put in, and do it all over again. My house holds piles of clutter, piles of dog hair, and piles of junk mail, all of which I fight with... and sometimes it is a losing battle.
I am not a great role model for my kids, so I can't exactly demand of them if I am not willing to do myself, if you know what I mean.
After our Saturday Morning shenanigans with trying to get out the door to go camping, we returned home on Sunday night to that large, broken piggy bank in the middle of Geoff's room. On top of all his dirty clothes, and piles of paper thrown on the floor that he didn't need through the last several months of eighth grade... I wouldn't let him sleep in his room on Sunday night, because there was no walking into that room without slicing a foot open. There was broken glass in the bed.
On Monday, Geoff picked up all the glass he could and boxed it up for the garbage. I told him I was too tired after work to continue the job and that we'd tackle the rest on Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon, I was downstairs and I heard the vacuum going, which meant only one thing: Geoff was trying to vacuum, and there was still a nightmarish amount of stuff on his floor. I didn't need the brand new vacuum we'd bought in April getting completely killed, clogged, demolished because of his haste. It was time for me to go supervise.
The vacuum was on top of a pile of glass, and he was trying to get the vacuum to suck up pieces that were too big.
I'm not sure whether that is just 14 year old boy thing or Geoff thing. I had him take the vacuum out of the room, I tackled the laundry pile, and had him address all the discarded papers, soda cans, wrappers, and all kinds of things.
We worked for two hours together, and then he told me that he'd keep going... I took a break and he kept to his word. Another hour later and I was back up there to check on him. He took a break to water the garden and ... of all things, do dishes. He came back up as I was finishing. We redressed his bed, and talked about the next projects - cleaning the "baby" books off the bookshelf and cleaning out the closet. All told, close to four hours of work.
I should require that he do this more frequently. I should also do similar things more frequently. The room looks great... I hope it stays that way for more than two days.