A day to pickup, clean, organize, declutter … whatever will give you that good feeling when your room or house is clean!
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I Love to Keep My Room Clean
Kids are masters of mess-making, especially in their rooms! How can you teach them to take care of their playthings and to keep things tidy? This children’s book can motivate the kids to take responsibility and keep their room organized.
How to Clean Your Room
Ages 5 to 8 years. A delightful adventure emerges as each little boy and girl goes about the task of cleaning his or her room — a chore that no child likes — in “How to Clean Your Room”. Eileen Spinelli spins a glorious tale as she inspires children to clean their rooms — not in a rush, but with the wildest imaginings and a tender touch. For the bedroom is where you laugh and cry, dream big dreams, and store your precious memories. This book could start a whole movement of children asking to clean their rooms! Includes special features children love — pop-ups, pulls, flaps, and a spinner.
Tips to Help Kids Clean Their Rooms
- Make a chart of basic expectations – I remember a specific time when I asked my kids (age 8 and 11) to cleanup their room. There were clothes all over the floor, papers here and there, and their dresser and desktops were covered in stuff. After about 15 minutes of them working, I came to check on their progress, and my daughter had pulled everything out from under her bed, and my son had taken everything off of his shelves onto his (unmade) bed. Their room had completely come undone. Trying not to completely come undone myself, I took a deep breath and realized that they didn’t understand there’s a time for basic cleaning and time for deep cleaning. They had embarked upon a huge organizational effort, when all I really wanted them to do was some basic pickup and straightening. So, I pulled together a chart to post in their room – something for them to reference when mom says, “Pickup your room!” It consisted of the following: hang up clean clothes, put dirty clothes down the laundry chute, pickup everything off the floor and put away, clear all desktops, make your bed.
- Make it a daily routine – If you do a little something everyday, then the cleaning goes quick, and it becomes part of your regular routine. It’s also setting them up for being responsible adults! Have certain times of the day for cleaning/organizing. Each day after school, I have my kids check their backpacks and empty their lunch boxes. Every day before bed, before they settle in and read, I have them pickup clothes and get things ready for the next day. It makes the start of the day so much better! And then every Sunday evening (my main cleaning day), we do a little extra organizing of papers and other stuff. It’s our reset day to get ready for the week!
- Light a small fire – Sometimes it’s good to know what might motivate your child to move just a bit quicker, not to be used carelessly, but in moments to achieve mommy-peace. In order to get my kids moving, I let them know that I’d like to vacuum the house, and that they need to pickup their room. I give them a head start, and then I tell them that I’m going to start vacuuming. When I get to their room, I will be vacuuming the floor, regardless of what toys or things that are in the way. This works especially well for my son, as he hates to get rid of anything. Now, I don’t use this in a mean or threatening way, just as a matter of fact. And I think it’s a fair and natural consequence of learning how to take care of your things. (i.e. if you leave your stuff laying out and on the floor, there’s a higher chance of it getting stepped on, broken, lost, or … vacuumed!)
- Clean Before Fun – If your child really resists cleaning, then it needs to be attached to the thing they really want to be doing – screen time, playing with friends, etc. You need to break their thinking pattern that cleaning isn’t a part of their life. It’s true that people may clean up after them at home (I’m guilty!), it won’t be true when they are off on their own. The sooner they learn this fact of life, the easier it will be for them later. And honestly, for all the resistance and complaining (and temper tantrums and crying) that my kids have done over having to clean, each time after they have completed the job, they are so proud of themselves and they recognize how much better it feels to have a clean room!
Other Tips on Chores
I’m no expert on getting my kids to do chores. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed with how little they do! And I’ve let them know they are lucky (if that’s even the right word) that I don’t force them to do more. They have had to hear a few lectures from me, though, for the times when I ask them to help and they resist! Here are the minimum things that I require of them:
- Always have your child clear their dishes after every meal – Starting at age 3 or 4, your child should be able to do this. If you work with them and have them do this each time, they’ll start doing it automatically before you know it! And you will beam with pride the first time you are at someone else’s house and your child automatically clears their own dishes!
- Have them put away their own laundry – Again, another chore that can be done at a young age. If you are on the Type-A personality side, you will need to let go how their clothes are put away. You can show them how to do it, but if it’s not perfect, let it go! It will improve over time. Just appreciate that they are putting away the clothes in the first place.
- Empty their own lunchboxes
- Pack their own lunch – I only did this for a short time when I was super organized with lunch stuff after getting ideas from Pinterest. I pre-made sandwiches for the week, and had easy grab and go type foods for them to choose what they wanted for lunch. It was pretty cool, but my kids aren’t big sandwich eaters so it sort of fizzled out.
- Get their own breakfast – My kids have been getting their own cereal since ages 7 and 10. I have a stool for my daughter so she can reach the bowls. I didn’t think this was a big deal until my friends say they still get their 5th grader breakfast. So, I’m just putting this out there for those that haven’t considered letting their kids help themselves.