How do you know it’s all worth it?
For years, nay, literally decades, you remind and cajole and bug and nag them: please pick up your stuff. Please throw that away instead of just leaving it on the floor. Please, please, please.
Eventually, (if we’re smart) we learn not to worry so much about the bedroom. It has a door that can always be closed. So we concentrate our efforts on the common spaces.
Please don’t leave your shoes lying around.
Are you done with this soda can?
Is this junk mail that came for you, or do you want to hang onto it? (And if so, could you please take it up to your room.)
On. And on. And on.
Months dragging into years blooming into decades.
Then one day it all ends. They’re gone. Really gone. And you finally have a chance to clean up the house once and for all; and then savor the joy of watching it stay picked up. Because there’s no one but you and a well-trained spouse living there who enjoy the clutter-free ambiance of trash in the can, folded laundry in drawers, and old newspapers in the garage.
What could be better?
Coming by after a week in the new house with the new roomies, you overhear him lament,
“I wish Frick and Frack were neater.”
I would say it brought a smile to my face, but that’s not exactly true. What it brought was a 10-minute laugh to my belly.