You wouldn't think this would be an all-day task. That is, you wouldn't think it until you saw our desk:
The rest of the room wasn't much better, but I'll spare you that. Our room doubles as our office, and our desk is the catch-all for everything in the house. It usually works like this: I put things I need to get done on the desk. The boys bring in random things from around the house. John studies and things collect. I try to clean through the stack, and sort things onto the bed, like I did today:
On a normal day, John gets home or it gets late, and all of the piles get unceremoniously dumped back onto the exact same spot on the desk, resulting in a mess only slightly better than it was previously, and a lot of frustration on my part. The difference is that today I actually made sure to finish before that could happen. It really was an all-day event, because it included sorting through papers, finishing tasks, filing, cleaning, fixing, and shredding copious amounts of documents we had accumulated before we got this bad boy from a generous person on FreeCycle.
During the times when my kids could no longer tolerate my negligence, we went in the back yard and started a compost bin with scraps from last week and all the shredded paper from today. I also filled up a good portion of the green waste bin while they played, so I actually got ahead!
The hubby knew I was going to clean our room today, but even so he seemed kind of shocked when he came home to this:
That alone makes the effort worth it (although an ice cream sundae after dinner didn't hurt either).