It doesn’t matter how many times you ask politely or how loud of a voice you use; kids tend to have a problem keeping their bedrooms clean.
There are a couple of reasons for that. For a start, cleaning is not fun. But that’s not the only thing holding them back. Until they’re taught how to tidy, children don’t have an easy time understanding what to do.
And some rooms – like theirs — are downright difficult to clean
For any – or all – of these challenges, you can try these smart ideas. They’ve all worked for parents who grew tired of repeating, “go clean your room!”
Show them the way
Take some time to show your child what you mean by “clean.”
Apryl Duncan at The Spruce suggests sitting in on the first cleaning, to supervise. Give them one task at a time. For instance, “tell your children to pick up their books.” As they are doing so, remind her that pushing the pile from the middle to the room to beneath the bed isn’t “cleaning,” despite the fact that the room appears cleaner afterward.
Then, ask her to put those dirty clothes strewn around the room into the hamper or basket. As she works, remind her that clothes fit for another wearing should be put away immediately upon removing them.
Make cleaning more fun
Duncan has an ingenious idea to make cleaning more fun for kids – especially if yours is competitive. “Put a timer on a chore and see if they can beat the clock,” she recommends.
“Can you get all ten of these books put away in one minute? Go!” adds Abbi Perets at sheknows.com.
If two kids share the same room, pit one against the other (I know, we’re shameless!). “Give each one an empty bucket, set a timer for a minute, and see who can collect the most toys,” Perets suggests.
Oh, it doesn’t get more shameless than bribery. Perets offers up this one (which we love by the way): “Hide a few quarters (or dollar bills, depending on your kids’ ages) around the room,” she suggests. Then, tell him how many you’ve hidden and that, if he does a good job cleaning, he’ll find them.
Get more storage
Most kids’ rooms are bursting with toys, sports paraphernalia, clothing, art work and books. Consider purchasing bins and baskets to hold like-items together. For instance, use bins for LEGOS, doll accessories (ever suck up a Barbie stiletto in your vacuum?) and art supplies.
Label the bins or baskets so that a child doesn’t have to guess what goes in which. Use photos of the items for younger children.
Once they have a place for everything, it’ll be easier to put everything in its place.
Where to put those baskets and bins
Avoid clutter on the closet floor by building shelves in the bedroom that are within the child’s reach. Even if it’s a board rested on bricks, if it’ll hold your storage solutions, it’s worth it.