Two or three times a year - at least around Christmas and right before the girls' May birthdays...and then again perhaps in late August if I can find the time - the compulsion strikes and I must act.
In their upstairs playroom and bedroom, the girls do what we call "PC" (a 10-minute power-clean) almost every night. And then on Sunday nights they must "super clean" by picking up and organizing everything. They honestly do try. Yet they're children...and so their version of "clean" is not quite the same as mine. Plus, they love to craft and collect things (I hope it's not a hoarding disorder, though sometimes I wonder!) and, while they make relatively neat piles of their treasures, there come times each year when I can't stand it anymore. And that's when I undertake a Super-Momma-Mega-Clean!
For this latest time - in mid-May right before the girls' birthday party – I couldn't resist documenting the before-and-after scenes...just for fun:
Of course, this was quite an endeavor, and it took hours of my time that week; besides, reorganizing everything, I hauled out two big black garbage bags of broken toys and really old, beat-up paper crafts. But we'd finished our school year the week before and - yeah! - the weather was beautiful almost all week so the girls and my daycare children reveled in being able to spend hours outside each day. That made the task much simpler than it otherwise would have been.
And I really don't mind doing it. For one thing, I enjoy the feel of a clean, organized house. For another, I see this as simply one part of my "mom job" - and, because I cherish that role, even menial tasks (though sometimes tiresome) don't ultimately bother me. Finally, the girls really appreciate the change. True, they aren't able to maintain it on their own yet, but they express their gratitude in words and with loads of hugs and kisses - the best payment and motivation of all.