My son cleaned his room last week.
That might not sound like much, but we're talking about the best cleaning he's ever done in his entire 17-year-old life. It was actually an answer to a very frustrated mom's short and spontaneous prayer. He not only cleaned up, he went through EVERYTHING in his room. This is the kid who has had an emotional attachment to anything and everything he's ever owned, along with his various collections (pop bottle caps, Bazooka Joe bubble gum wrappers, rocks, etc.). Getting him to let go of things has been next to impossible.
But somehow, now that he's 17, he's realized that he would like the space more than the stuff that doesn't hold any value any more. He probably got rid of 80% or more of his belongings. I hung out with him the entire day, offering encouragement or answers when he wanted them, never once playing the mom card ("See, now isn't that better?", "You should just get rid of that." "You never play with that anyway.", "Are you really going to keep that?!?"). I just asked him questions and let him make all of his own decisions. If he wanted input, I merely presented options and left him to decide.
While it wasn't intended, he actually ended up with a new bed, mattress, pillow, and bedding. And guess what? He sleeps better and more comfortably. Not only that, he enjoys being in his room now. He has desk where he can play cards, tinker with things, clean his rifle, or whatever else he wants to do. The cat loves to come hang out with him while he lays on his bed reading or listening to music. There is actually open floor space. It is nothing short of a miracle.
And even though eight days have passed, it's still in great shape.
And there was much rejoicing!
I offered that we could paint his room, but he said, "no." So it's still white.
And we still have Navy blue black-out curtains to hang over that window. One of these days.