Almost every single time. Getting our boys to clean their rooms is like pulling teeth sometimes. I don’t get it either because if they just put away what they are playing with when they are done before getting something else out, they wouldn’t have much to clean at the end of the day. Nope, instead they have to tear everything out all at once. At least I can say they have some great imaginative play skills since they want to pretend like little tornadoes running throughout the whole upstairs most days. I just wish they would pretend to be something else like a clean up crew but I think I might be wishing for too much. I decided to list some tips below that may help your child keep their rooms cleaned or make it easier for them when cleanup time comes.
Things used to be a lot worse so by doing some of the things I have listed below, they have started to have an easier time with it. I think our boys’ problem was that they just had too much stuff and didn’t have any place to put it all. That and the fact that for some reason they took forever to figure out to put things away as they played. By the end of the day, their rooms were such a mess that they became too overwhelmed to clean it all up. These things we do may or may not help since all kids are different and if your child is younger, they may not be ready to clean their rooms all by themselves just yet. Our boys are 11 and the other almost 8 so they don’t get much help from us anymore.
Clean their rooms for them
I don’t mean to literally just clean their rooms for them but once or twice a year, I go upstairs and do the “mom clean” as my boys call it. Over time, they accumulate so much stuff and I can’t fathom how they end up with so much stuff. I choose a day when they aren’t home and head upstairs with a trash bag or two and a couple boxes. I go through every single thing they have and throw out junk and broken toys. I gather up any toys that are still in good condition that they don’t even play with anymore and we donate them. I even go through the millions of hotwheels and matchbox cars they have and get rid of the ones that are dented and scratched up. This minimizes how much stuff they have in their rooms to clean up.
They both have a clothes hamper in their rooms. This is still a working progress because they still leave their dirty clothes everywhere instead of walking a few steps over to the hamper to throw their clothes in it. They are like their father that way. But having one in their rooms is a great way to keep dirty clothes off the floor. Every couple days I have them bring all their dirty clothes down. I don’t wait more than two days though or half of them will never get washed and then they wonder why they don’t have any clean socks or pants.
This is something that I never thought they would need in their rooms. They aren’t allowed to take food upstairs or do any crafts up there either. All that is supposed to be done at the dinning table. But for some reason, I tend to find a lot of trash up there. Sometimes food wrappers although not often but most of the time it is old school papers and that kind of thing that gets thrown out of backpacks and whatnot. Having a trashcan in their rooms, they are more apt to throw trash in it instead of somewhere else in their rooms.
Hooks for coats and hats
We don’t have much closet space in our house. We have tons and tons of room and space in our house, just not many closets. Our kids don’t even have closets in their bedrooms. So all their clothes are in their dressers and we put up hooks to hang their coats so they are put up and out of the way. Both our boys have a pretty big hat collection so we got one of those hat hangers for both of their doors so they had a place to put them.
Storage bins and more storage bins
I really don’t like large toy boxes. They do have one but the only thing that goes in them are big toys. That way they don’t have to dig everything out just to find what they are looking for. They have a few short bookshelves and I have storage bins for all their smaller stuff. Legos, Hotwheels and Matchbox cars, another bin for their train tracks and trains, etc. This also makes it easier for them to get certain things out and put them away when they are done with them. At least that’s the idea. They have been slowly getting better it at.
Check their rooms
After they are done cleaning their rooms, make sure to check to see if everything is in it’s place. Don’t just take their word for it. At least I can’t take my kids’ word for it anyway. I used to just take their word for it but that ended up becoming a major problem because they knew I wouldn’t look. That was when they were shoving everything under their beds or under a table in the corner of their rooms every single time. When I started checking, they slowly started to put things away where they belong. We still have issues with stuff being shoved under the bed or in the corner but it’s been a major improvement.
Don’t expect things to be perfect
This is more my problem. I have a problem with making sure everything has its place and it going back to its place. It took me a while but I had to realize that even though I check their rooms, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If I do expect that, then it makes it more difficult and frustrating for them. Then I don’t get anywhere at all. So I don’t expect it to be. It makes it easier on both us and them.
Make sure you tell them they did a good job
If your child is having a difficult time cleaning their rooms and it’s always a struggle like it has been for us, make sure to tell them they did a good job after it done un-perfectly right. I know my boys like to hear they did a good job and it encourages them to keep it up.
So hopefully this helps. It’s still a struggle in our house but it has slowly gotten better over time!