Problem: My kids live like slobs. I don’t like it. It drives me insane.
Clean your room, go put that away, make your bed, dirty clothes in the hamper…. things like this sound familiar at your house? They sure do at mine! Here are 5 systems I’ve used to help kids stay on top of their rooms.
1. You clean it, you keep it. I actually outlined this on a blog post — but when it’s bad I clean it up all by myself. And when mom cleans stuff up, mom keeps it and you get to earn it back by doing MY jobs. I find this to be effective every now and then, and I tend to always keep this on the table. My kids know if it’s bad I’m goign to come clean it up and they will suffer the consequences. The main problem of this, is that they don’t learn to clean it up on their own, and sometimes I’m just left with a bunch of their unwanted stuff that I wish they could’ve thrown away on their own.
2. Pay them. Our allowance system pays them for cleaning their room, mostly if they do it without me asking. I will say this isn’t particularly effective, but if kids are low on cash it often does work.
3. Help them. This is mainly with my 5 year old. I sense sometimes she’s just SO overwhelmed by what she’s done, that I will take 2-5 minutes to help her get started and often she just takes it and runs with it and often even does a great job with it for a few days in a row afterwards. Keeping things clean isn’t innate, we have to teach them.
4. Hold life hostage. Want electronics time, or to play with a friend? The room has to be clean. Boo-yah!
5. Deep clean it on the weekends, and extra cleaning on time off from school. A lot of times my kids rooms have gotten really bad because their organizing systems have gotten outdated. On Summer and winter breaks, we take a few days to address problem areas in their rooms and update systems, and throw away un-needed items. No one wants to clean on your “time off’ but no one wants mom to explode leaving little pieces of mom all over the wall because she can’t even step foot in your room.
So, those are 5 systems I have used to keep the rooms clean at our house. I tend to lose focus on one or the other over time. Consistancy is certainly the key with any good system, but kids tend to wear us down… don’t they? Do you have any good ways of helping kids to clean their rooms? Share it in the comments!