I have a vivid memory of standing in my son's bedroom, surveying the mess everywhere I looked, and him with his head hung low because I have once again told him, "Your room is out of control and you must clean it before you do anything else!"
As I was in my "beginning" phase of getting my home better organized, the proverbial light bulb went on! I had been unknowingly sabotaging any hope of this child keeping his room clean, not to mention overwhelming him with the prospect of cleaning it all himself.
And so, I asked him to pick the things in his room that he still used or played with, and I got rid of everything else. I gave him some freedom to decide how to organize and design his room which made it more fun for him. It took several hours, but in the end he was amazed at how much easier it became to keep clean and tidy.
My son was about 9 or 10 yrs old at the time, and throughout the years he was able to maintain a relatively clean and organized room. By spending that one day helping him, it took away a very common stress within families. Gone were the days of nagging him to clean his room. No more frantic searches for shoes or stuff for school as we're rushing out the door! Best of all....one less room for this mom to worry over, and a happier child.