September 23, 2008

Teaching Your Kids how to Clean their Room

My daughter, Sara, is 8 - which means she has a lot of stuff or treasures (as she calls it) or junk (as I call it). Keeping a child's room clean can be challenging.

We would all want our little girls room to look like this:

and we don't want it to look like this:

I'm trying to compromise and find middle ground.

Set some standards for your child's room. Let them know what you require them to do before they start their day. For Sara, her bed is to be made and no clothes on the floor.

Once a week - teach them to dust and vacuum. A little girl loves to sprinkle carpet deodorizer. You can even make some home made stuff together.

Tackle the paper! Kids consume a lot of paper. Whether it be art projects from school or crafting at home we always have plenty of paper! Have one storage unit for paper projects. Once its full - they have to take something out before having more. Encourage your child to make a scrapbook of their art work. You can also take pictures of your child with their project so they can see if forever (but this way you won't have to keep all of it).

Label it! Sometimes I think kids don't do well cleaning their rooms because they just don't know where their stuff goes! Solution: label it. Label their drawers ie. tshirts, socks, underwear, etc. If your child doesn't know how to read yet label it with a photo.

Keep up with Seasons Twice a year the parents & kids together should go through clothes that no longer fit and toys that are no longer played with to donate to friends or charity. This step is a must - if this is not done things will get out of control. This week alone I donated Barbie puzzles that are meant for a 3-5 year old.

Don't let them leave the room! I'm not saying lock them in their room silly- Just don't let them out of their room until the room is clean. Kids can get distracted so quickly if they leave the room while cleaning. I've taught Sara to create piles while cleaning: garbage, donate, and to be put into a different room pile. Keeping them in their room will get the job done quicker!

When all else fails: Inspire them. For some kids cleaning a real messy room can be overwhelming. Help your kids. While at school clean their room for them. It's much easier to keep a tidy room clean then to start from scratch with a messy one.

How about your kids? Is their room clean or messy right now?
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