How To Keep Your Kids Rooms Clean

Keep your kids rooms clean

“How do you keep your kids rooms clean?”

This is a question I often hear parents asking, and it’s one of the biggest causes of arguments in my household.

My kids hate cleaning their rooms. Not that this is anything shocking or new, because I haven’t met a kid who enjoys doing so.

Miss 5 has the messiest bedroom in the house, without fail.

There are clothes all over the floor- she loves to take out at least 3 or 4 items before finally deciding which outfit she will wear. She will also pull out all the summer clothing in the middle of winter to try on for fun.

There are also the dreaded “bits and pieces” scattered on the floor- an Uno card, a Domino piece, one Barbie shoe, one Barbie broken arm, a pen lid, an odd sock, a chocolate wrapper (!). “Bits and pieces” make me cringe- they are a minimalists worst nightmare.

But one of the best ways to introduce minimalism and the concept of living with less is by encouraging your kids to keep their rooms clean. Here I share with you 5 tips to help keep your kids rooms clean, and your lives less busy.

 

5 Tips To Keep Your Kids Rooms Clean:

  1. Keep your own room clean: Actions speak louder than words. If you are constantly nagging your kids to clean their rooms but your own bedroom looks like a dump, guess what’s going to happen? They aren’t going to clean their rooms! Lead by example, and you will more likely see results.

 

  1. Teach your kids that things don’t hold value: This one is helpful for kids who like to hold onto everything. Remember that to live an unbusy life, we must learn to place less value on our material possessions, otherwise these possessions take hold of us. If we start teaching our kids the same principle from an early age, they will learn that it’s ok to get rid of stuff and not to hold onto everything. This will make it easier for your child to clean his/her room and keep it clean.

 

  1. Don’t bring it home: If you can stop items being brought into the home in the first place, there is less chance it will end up on your child’s bedroom floor. When your child comes home from school, have him/her empty his/her school bag straight away- lunch boxes to be put in the kitchen, dirty clothes in the laundry and collect any school notices. Read through the notices straight away and either file for later or place in the recycling bin.

 

  1. No food: We have a blanket rule of no food or drink in bedrooms (except for a glass of water on the bedside table at night). I was brought up this way, and now that I am a parent I see why it is an excellent rule. It reduces mess on the floors, prevents mice from visiting and allows the family to eat together (or at least in the same room!).

 

  1. Look for hiding spots: I’m not talking about finding a hiding spot for yourself once things get too tough- I’m referring to hiding spots that kids find to dump their clothes and toys. Miss 10 loves to stuff her clothes down the side of the bed, against the wall. She sometimes shoves all her clothes into the one drawer rather than putting them in the correct drawers or hanging them in the wardrobe. The sooner you discover the hiding spots, the sooner you can get your child out of this habit!

 

Yes there will probably always be arguments about cleaning rooms, but the more we put the above lessons into practice, the more likely there will be a change in attitude.

We don’t expect our kids to clean the entire house and perform all the chores (as much as it would be wonderful) but we have set an expectation that they must help pull their weight. They must at least keep their own spaces and things tidy, and put away the things that they have used. This is a common sense approach and should be non-negotiable.

Do you have trouble getting your kids to keep their rooms clean? What are some approaches you have taken that have worked? Would you add any tips to my list above?

A Child’s Life Teacher

Walk with child


 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it can also be like a chain connecting us to feelings of guilt.

Oh, if I only knew about minimalism five years ago!

What do you wish you could go back and change?

I hope nothing. Every experience in our lives contains a lesson to be learnt, and sometimes these lessons repeat themselves until we finally “get it”.

Recently, I had a conversation with Miss 10 about some issues at school, namely friendships. She has had a bit of a rough time with friends at school, and hasn’t found that one true friend. She is usually the third wheel in a group of girls who have already built a solid friendship, so she tends to feel a little left out.

We spoke for a long time, and it was during this conversation that I was able to see another side to her situation. My heart ached for her, and I really felt sorry for what she was experiencing. I was also angry with some of the other kids at school and the way they had been behaving towards her.

I wished I could take back all her pain and the crap she had experienced over the past few years.

But then I had a light bulb moment.

Whenever I am experiencing something difficult in my life, I try to remind myself that there is a lesson to be learnt in this experience. Rather than feeling sorry for my daughter, and wishing I could protect her from these friendship problems, I decided to view her situation through different glasses.

I realised that these experiences were her “lessons to be learnt” and maybe they were repeating themselves because she had not yet learnt the lesson.

When I brought this up with her, it helped her make sense of what she had been going through. We even agreed that in a way, it was good that she was experiencing these issues now while still young, so that she could get a good understanding of what a true friend really is, and what behaviour is unacceptable. She could learn these lessons in a supportive environment, having her parents and her teacher to lean on. Then once she begins high school, she will have the opportunity to make new friends and will be a better judge of character.

But in this experience of listening to Miss 10, I also realised that a lesson had been presenting itself to me for a very long time but I was not “getting it”: I don’t think I was truly listening to the issues my daughter was coming to me with.

Each day she would come home and tell me about some of the arguments she was having with other girls, or incidents that I simply dismissed as petty arguments. You know how it is, one day girls argue then the next day they are best of friends.

But there was more to the story, and there was a lesson for me to learn: not to take my children’s issues lightly. Now, we cannot be problem solvers for every single thing that happens to our children, and we have to teach our children to be resilient, but I believe we also have to accept our children for who they are. Some are more sensitive than others, and that’s wonderful, because this world needs more sensitive people.

And what I may think is only petty or minor, could mean the world to my child. I can sit and listen to my child’s retelling of her day, or I could really listen to what she is saying and try to help her uncover what lesson she could learn.

I feel for those children who do not have the opportunity to spend quality time with their parents, or do not have anyone who can guide them through life’s tough moments, and help them uncover what lesson life is trying to teach them.

As parents, we can be our children’s “life teachers”, we can guide them on their journeys and help them uncover the lessons hiding behind every experience, no matter how small or insignificant we think an experience is.
And that’s where it helps to live a less busy life. We need to create more time for ourselves to spend with our children, to listen to their concerns and really be there for them. It’s not enough to listen with our ears, but keep our hearts and minds closed (or thinking about other things, such as what to cook for dinner or an upcoming client meeting).

Living an unbusy life also helps us to see things more clearly in our own lives- it helps us notice the things that we might normally think are small and trivial, when in fact they could be life changers in disguise!