“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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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?