There is nothing quite like knowing that someone else will be inside of your room all night – hanging their clothes in your closet, sleeping in your sheets, and wandering around to look at all the things you’ve collected – well, there’s nothing quite like that impending event to motivate a very thorough cleaning.
My teenagers are no exception.
For weeks I asked them nicely to clean their rooms. I knew we’d be having company over the holidays and wanted one less thing on the chore list. And being the thoughtful kids they are, they made several half-attempts at getting the job done. To stop the nagging, they’d empty the overflowing trash can from time to time, shove a few layers of clothes into a bigger pile not visible from the doorway – nice little things like that.
But this week the rubber hit the road. Our overnight guests were scheduled to arrive on Sunday night, and so it was that I discovered an added benefit to sharing an evening with dear friends from far away – I also gained two very clean and tidy upstairs bedrooms. Five trashbags full of accumulated who-knows-what were hauled down the stairs, a mountain of clothes ready for a Goodwill donation appeared in the laundry room, and several slightly used and long-forgotten toys became instant treasures for my youngest as his two older siblings parted with old treasures.
Oh, and the best part? It no longer smells like a locker room upstairs.
I’m thinking of inviting overnight guests once a month – it’s cheaper than a cleaning lady and far more effective.