How to Get Your Children to Clean Their Room

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Looking for tips on how to get your children to clean their room? You've come to the right place. With just a few simple steps, you will be able to see your kids' floor and walk into their rooms without stepping on LEGOS.

How to Get Your Children to Clean Their Room

8 Tips on How to Get Your Children to Clean Their Room

Most people do not find cleaning to be the most fun task. Even Mary Poppins encouraged a spoonful of sugar to help the cleaning medicine go down. As a parent, if you have been wondering how to get your children to clean their room, you are not alone. Just like cleaning isn't the most exciting thing to do, figuring out how to motivate your kids to do it can be daunting as well. But, by following these eight steps, you'll be seeing more of your kids' floors in no time.

  1. Set clear expectations. Simply saying "Clean your room!" may feel overwhelming if a child's room is really messy. Breaking the job into smaller tasks is a great first step on how to get your children to clean their room. Some sub-steps I created when recently trying to help my child clean up his room, include:
  • Put your toys in the bins. (Download our free kids toy organization printable.)
  • Put your LEGOS in the box.
  • Separate your clean and dirty clothes into two piles—one for the clean clothes and one for the dirty clothes.
  • Fold and put away your clean clothes in the appropriate drawers. (Download our free kids closet organization printable.)
  • Put your dirty clothes in a basket and when it is full, take it (or get help to take it) to the laundry room.
  • Put your art supplies in boxes.
  • Put books on the bookshelf.
  • Make your bed.
  • Put garbage in the garbage can. When it is full, take it (or get help to take it) to the outdoors garbage can.
  1. Establish rewards. Incentives make all the difference when identifying how to get your children to clean their room. Choose a couple of smaller prizes and one large reward to keep them motivated. Mini rewards can include stickers, a treat, or even just a break. Larger rewards can include an allowance, screen time, a play date with their friends, and anything that is important and would motivate your child.
  2. How to Get Your Children to Clean Their Room Create a chore chart to track long-term progress. As part of your reward system, create a chart or use an online system like My Job Chart that tracks long-term success with long-term rewards. For example, you could place a sticker for every day your children keep their room cleaned. Then, you could establish longer-term rewards for when they pick it up every day for an entire week, month, quarter, half of a year, or for an entire year.
  3. Determine consequences. A key ingredient in how to get your children to clean their room is establishing clear consequences. The more you can make chores about choice—a choice your children make on their own based on clearly established rewards and consequences—the less of an emotional fight you'll get in later should your children choose not to clean their room. Consequences could be simply the withholding of the set rewards. If that's not significant enough, identify something REALLY important to your child and identify withholding that as the consequence.
  4. Set a timeline. Tell your child by which day and time he or she should have the room picked up. Provide friendly reminders as the time is drawing near to the deadline.
  5. Make cleaning fun. Turn on the music, amp up the excitement and positivity, dance while doing chores, and/or wear funny "cleaning clothes." Do whatever it takes to make the otherwise boring task of cleaning fun by using your creativity and doing things that will elicit a smile—and a little excitement—from your children.
  6. Remain involved by directing the cleaning. The older a child gets, the more it seems that as parents, we should be able to assign a task, walk away, and come back to see the results of it having been completed. But sometimes, that is not the case. For children who truly struggle keeping their room clean, you will have to supervise their efforts. Depending on how much oversight they need, you may have to sit with them the entire time. Amber from X shared that she reads to her children while they clean. This helps her get in solid
  7. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! Regardless of whether your children completed one task or every item on their check list, celebrate! Validation and affirmation in the form of words, actions, and mini or large rewards go a long way when it comes to how to get your children to clean their room.

What tips do you have on how to get your children to clean their room or do other chores?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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