Super Helpful Tips To Get Your Kids To Finally Clean Their Room

Super Helpful Tips To Get Your Kids To Finally Clean Their Room

Is it true that some kids naturally clean their rooms and help around the house, but it’s practically impossible to get other kids to help? Not at all! It’s true that some kids have easier personalities, but all kids are trainable.

How Do We Get Started?

The easiest way to get kids to clean their rooms and help around the house is to start early. Children as young as 2 can help pick up their bedroom and playroom. And by 3, they can begin helping with household chores. Most children think helping with chores is fun at that age.

  • Explain how to clean their room, why it’s important, and how often they’ll be cleaning their room.
  • Clean their room with them and talk about what you’re doing the first couple of times.
  • The third time, your child cleans and you watch. Give helpful tips (but not criticism) as needed.
  • If your child has mastered the chore, they now own it. If not, watch them again and give helpful tips. If they still aren’t performing well, step back and assess the situation. Have you offered clear training? Is there a better way to explain what you want?

Once your child can clean their bedroom by themselves, inspect their work the first 2-3 times they fly solo and periodically after that. You’re not looking for perfection; you want them to do their best, age-appropriate work.

Little boy sweeping blocks out from under his bed

What If My Child Refuses To Clean Their Room?

Refusing to clean their room or purposely doing a bad job should never be allowed. Young children know that Mommy and Daddy love them. Teach them that sometimes love means getting an extra scoop of ice cream, and sometimes it means being told to eat your vegetables. Either way, children must obey their parents because this is right.

For older children, talk about why having a clean room is important–establishing good habits, knowing how to maintain a home when they’re on their own, inviting friends over, etc. And it’s OK to use that tried-and-true parental statement–my house, my rules. They can set the rules when they have their own house.

Are There Ways To Help My Child Be Successful?

Absolutely! If there are barriers you can remove to help them be successful, you should do so. Consider:

laundry hamper piled with clothes and clothes on the floor

Clothes hampers – Make sure each bedroom has a clothes hamper that’s big enough. I often see older children trying to use the same hamper they had as small children, although their clothes are now 5x bigger. Additionally, remove the lid on the hamper–anything that gets in the way reduces the likelihood of clothes landing IN the hamper.

Dressers – It’s common to see children using dressers they had as young children. Their bigger bodies wear bigger clothes that don’t fit in small dressers. Drawers need to be deep enough to accommodate your child’s clothing. And like adult dressers, drawers should never be more than 2/3 to 3/4 full; otherwise, it is hard to put clothes away.

Closets – Like dresser drawers, closets shouldn’t be more than 2/3 to 3/4 full. Leaving space makes it easier to put away clothes and increases the likelihood your child will do so. Most kids’ closets are overfull because they need purging more often. While your child is growing, review what fits and what doesn’t every six months.

Hang vs. Fold – Observe your child. If they’re good about putting clothing in a dresser but horrible at hanging things up, arrange their bedroom so that they are folding clothing rather than hanging it. If their dresser isn’t big enough to accommodate this, put shelves in the closet and let them put folded clothing there. Your goal is for them to have a tidy room—the tools can vary.

Limit Stuff – The more your child has in their bedroom, the more there is to pick up. You aren’t doing them a favor if they have too many toys, stuffed animals, or books in their room. A good rule of thumb is to have no more in the bedroom than the child can put away in 10 minutes or less.

A floor so covered with toys that you can't even see the floor

Take a picture – Take a picture of your child’s room when it looks the way you want it to (or sections if you can’t capture the whole room). Put the photo in a plastic sleeve to be kept in a place your child can pull out to see what their room should look like. If cleaning quality slips, have them match the picture.

Teaching your child how to clean their room teaches them how to care for themselves.

That’s good parenting!

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