If you’re a parent to a kid, of pretty much any age, you know how much of a nightmare it can be trying to get them to clean their room. You cleaned it last time, and the time before that, but you swore you wouldn’t do it again, it’s time for them to do it themselves. When the time comes, you can try some of these tips to help get your kids cleaning their own room.
Set the Standards
Multiple times now I have told my kids to clean their room only to hear, “but mom, it’s already clean”. Upon which I go and inspect the room, only to find all of the trash stuffed under the bed and clothes crammed into the closet. It’s not hard to imagine kids and adults having different standards of clean this is why you need to lay down clear standards on what it means to have a clean room.
For me, this means sitting down and making a list with my kids, which is what I recommend you doing too. Make a detailed list of everything that needs to be done, such as:
- Pick up trash
- Making the bed
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper (this step can include actually washing the clothes for older kids)
This helps you can your child stay on the same page and have the same standards of “clean”.
I have found that it is easier to begin by cleaning together. Get them help with small things around the house. Then, start on their room and clean it top to bottom with them. Show them how you expect things to be done, and then give them a chance to do it.
You may have to clean together multiple times, and that’s totally fine, as long as you are not the only one cleaning. Cleaning with your child can be a great bonding and learning experience for both of you.
Let Them Decorate Their Own Room
Letting them choose how their room is set up will give them a sense of ownership and pride in their room. This makes them more likely to clean it and keep it clean. If they have a room that they really like, they’ll always wants it in the best condition. Obviously, don’t go crazy and totally remodel their room and install a jungle gym, but moving around furniture is free and relatively easy.
There are tons of little things you can let your child do to personalize their room and give them a sense of pride. It’s also a lot easier to get them to clean a room they want to clean than it is to fight with them, and sometimes parenting is about compromising.
Throw Out Junk
One reason your kid’s room is always a mess might be because they have too much stuff. Sometimes throwing stuff out can be harder than cleaning, but it is important to be firm and explain to your child that they have too much stuff. Explain that if they haven’t used it in the past month, it probably isn’t worth keeping.
If your child is hell bent against throwing out some of his toys, explain donating them. I basically told my children, “you haven’t used this toy in so long, don’t you think it wants to be played with? If we donate it we can have room for more toys, and another little kid will get to play with it and it’ll make them soo happy.” That did the trick for me, but you might have to be a little more creative.
Set an Example for Your Kids
Whether it is keeping your room clean, or eating vegetables, the last thing you want is for your kid to call you out on your hypocrisy, “but mom, you didn’t blah blah blah”. It can be embarrassing and definitely weakens whatever argument you are trying to make, so set a good example for your kids.