Once you have kids, you’ll probably never see your house spot-free ever again…but there is actually a way to get your kids to keep their bedrooms clean.
Such is life, but you don’t have to be miserable about it.
That’s just how kids are and they’ll grow up before you know it and you’ll miss them running around and messing up everything they touch.
However, you can make the toddler and preschool years easier and more bearable for you by involving your kids in all the cleaning action. Yes, wonder mom, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.
It may be tricky to get your children to actually clean their own rooms, but it’s definitely possible.
Here are 8 tips you can do to get your kids to keep their bedrooms clean:
1. Help Them Out
Cleaning their own mess might already seem an insurmountable task to little kids. Pitch in and offer a hand so it’s much easier and more enjoyable for them than doing it all by themselves.
2. Assign Age-Appropriate Chores
Delegate simple housekeeping chores to your young kids. Toddlers can wipe off dusty corners with socks as gloves, while preschoolers can make their own beds. Don’t forget to be patient with them and be sure to assign tasks you’re sure they can complete.
3. Give Them Specific Instructions
Moms are all guilty of this at one point where we just bark, “Go clean your room!” and expect a Marie Kondo approved tidy room. But most children don’t even know what a clean room looks like. Give specific directions and instructions like, “Pick up your socks and throw it in the laundry basket,” or “Return your books to the shelf.” You’ll see how it’s so much easier for them to follow through these specific action steps.
4. Make Cleaning Fun
It doesn’t take much to make cleaning fun and enjoyable for kids. Turn cleaning into a game! Whoever rings the bell first after completing all the tasks gets a scoop of ice cream. Put a timer on a chore and whoever beats the clock wins a cookie. Focus on the Family has some brilliant bedroom-cleaning game ideas you can check out too.
5. Make A Checklist
If your kids can read already, make a simple step-by-step checklist that they can check off or place stickers on as they finish each task.
For younger kids who can’t read yet, you can illustrate what needs to be done like drawing a shirt and an arrow pointing to a basket to represent putting their laundry where it should go. Of course, you may need to do some explaining at the beginning and show them how to do it before they can eventually do it on their own.
6. Offer Incentives
It doesn’t have to be an expensive toy or a trip to Disneyland. Sometimes a movie night at home complete with popcorn and ice cream with you and Daddy is enough motivation to get the kids cleaning.
7. Use Baskets
Baskets are a mom’s best friend. It makes cleaning up a breeze. Kids (and you) don’t have to organize every single little toy and you can just dump them all into baskets – and you’re done!
8. Let It Go
Kids are kids and will never do as good a job in cleaning as you or the cleaning lady but you can teach them to be more responsible by involving them in keeping their bedrooms clean.
This list was adapted from this article by The Spruce.