And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Make Sure Your Child's Room Stays Clean

This is a question I've pondered many times over the last 9 years. How do I make sure my child keeps his/her room clean? I have tried many methods......

-I've cleaned their room/s myself. That was all fine and good when they were babies and toddlers but I'm the kind of mom that wants them to become self-sufficient so this method is not my favorite. They need to know how to put their own things away and they won't learn that if I am doing it for them. Now occasionally every mom must dive in and declutter/ throw away trash/ pry away toys in a child's room but that should be limited to twice a year or seasonally IMO.

-Take away everything. Yes I have done that. Several times in fact. While it does provide temporary relief, it is not in fact a solution because it does not get to the root of the issue. What is the root of the issue you ask? Well children must be taught to maintain their own belongings. If you take away all of their belongings then you take away the lesson. Unless the lesson is "be a minimalist" which is another good lesson BTW.

-Stand over them and point at each item and instruct them where to put it. Sigh. This is actually the most used method in our house since our children came into the world. I despise this method but I do believe it helps teach a lesson. At some point you will have to explain to your children where things belong and *how* to clean their room or they will never know how.

-Finally the method that works the best (at least in our house!) and makes me the least crazy (although it still makes me a little crazy because I want these tiny people to remember to do some things on their own) is nightly cleanup. If you want your child's room to really, really be clean and stay that way then you must set aside 10-15 minutes each night to do a quick pick-up. In our house Apple & Speedy spend a few minutes going room to room to pick up discarded toys, shoes, and books. Then they pop in the bathroom and make sure no clothes or towels have been left on the floor. The majority of the time is then spent picking up clothes, toys, shoes, and books in their room. When they tell us they have finished either Hubby or I do a quick inspection. It is time consuming and I have to remember one more thing but it is worth it. A clean room means I'm happier (I can't stand a mess), they can find things easier, and they are learning the lesson of taking care of their own stuff. Someday I hope there will be a magic click and they will realize it is easier to put things away as they use them but until that magical day (I have a feeling it will be after they leave my house) nightly clean up works for us.

How do you get your kids to keep their room clean?

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