So I have never forced my children to clean their room. I have suggested and helped, I have explained my expectations, but I have never put out an ultimatum for fought over it. I did set them up for success to have somewhat tidy rooms. Do you dread cleaning kid rooms? Read how I keep it under control.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
When my kids were born, their rooms were pretty sparse as far as toys and such went. They had some books and decor, and some stuffed animals, but no real toys. This remained the same throughout their young childhood.
I know I had the luxury of having room in our living room for their toys (and a ”formal living room” that become the toy/play room for the first 12 years of their lives), but it is possible to limit what kids have in their rooms. This will go a long way to helping them keep their rooms from becoming overwhelming and messy.
I have always had some hard rules about no food in the bedrooms! (this rule went out the window when my oldest was avoiding COVID-19 that the rest of us had it!) But they are teens now and perfectly capable of returning any food plates or trash to the appropriate places and for the most part only have crackers and drinks or some candy in their rooms. This makes it easier when cleaning kids rooms.
I also worked on teaching them how to pick up big messes without feeling like you are drowning in chaos. When they were little and had too many toys out, we cleaned up in categories. For example, find all the books first. After those were put up we would pick the next category maybe it was all the blocks or all the cars etc. this made it much more simple and less stressful.
You can use this same principle with big kids and big messes. Maybe it’s pick up all the dirty clothes off the floor and put them into a hamper or basket, or just a pile in the corner. Then gather any water bottles, empty food boxes etc. It’s very important that if you are ”supervising” you are NOT CRITICIZING!!!!! No one likes to be watched and monitored while doing a task they dislike or feel like they are not good at. So if you are standing there, pitch in! (Isn’t that what we want our kids to do? If you model helping them, they are much more likely to want to help you!)
Please also remember that for most kids having a messy or cluttered looking rom is not a problem for them. They do not care. Having a messy rom as a kid does not mean you will have a messy house as an adult!!! I can testify to 4 current adults that had messy room as kids, in some cases you could barely walk in the room, and they all have very neat and clean houses as adults!
It is also important to remember that you child might need to do things differently than you! Especially if one of you had ADHD. Lots of people with ADHD need to have things out in front of them. You know the saying ”out of sight, out of mind”?, this is very true for many people with ADHD, so if they leave it in sight, they will remember it. If it gets ”put away” it basically disappears from their mind.
If your child’s room is not a health hazard, simple shut the door! If it is a health hazard, help clean it up. I know it gets old, and most of us are thinking ”but they are old enough to do it themselves”. Age doesn’t matter, sometimes we do not have the emotional stamina to do it, regardless of age.