How to Get Your Kids to Clean Their Rooms

by on September 3rd, 2010
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If your house is anything like mine, the messiest rooms in the house are the kids bedrooms and play room. You can clean these rooms every single day (if you have the time, energy, and motivation of course!), and yet within hours of doing so, they will be just as messy as they were before. This seems like a futile effort on your part, and over time you may be inclined to give up on cleaning these areas and just close the door to contain the mess and hide it away from visitors to your home.

Of course, that isn’t a long-term solution, and even if you choose the “save it for later” approach, at some point those kids are going to have to clean their rooms. So just how can you get your kids to clean their rooms? Here are some tips:

Walk Them Through It. If your kids are young or have never helped you to clean before, you will want to show them exactly how to tackle the mess. If you think the messy room looks daunting to you as an adult, just imagine how it looks to their young eyes! So grab a trash bag or two, and show them how to do it, reminding them that next time they are doing it on their own.

Suggest a Team Approach. If you have two or more kids, you can suggest that they all work together to clean each other’s rooms. This is an ideal solution if you tell the kids to clean their rooms and you hear, “But I didn’t make it messy!” If they all play together in each other’s rooms and all make the messes, they should all help each other clean. Plus, having a buddy or two to share the load with can make this a more fun chore to do.

Set Standards. Most parents will assign the task of cleaning rooms to their kids only to have do inspection after inspection to get the kids to actually get it decently cleaned. This is frustrating for you as a parent, and it’s frustrating for kids, too. So before the cleaning job begins, set some standards about what you expect to be done (and that you don’t want everything crammed under the bed or in the closet.)

Offer a Reward. There is nothing wrong with offering an incentive for getting (and possibly even keeping) a room clean. Perhaps the reward is something tangible like an allowance or perhaps it’s time spent with you such as with a movie night or a trip to the ice cream shop.

Of course, you don’t want to let the opportunity pass of remind your kids that their rooms wouldn’t be so messy if they would clean up each little mess as they go about their day and not let the messes pile up!

Here are a few other articles written by this author:

How Positive is Your Parenting?

Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends

Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In

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