Yes, it’s possible to get your little ones to clean their rooms. And not just chuck everything in the closet and hope you don’t open it.
How to get kids to clean their rooms? This is something I’ve struggled with for years and years, especially with my daughter who just can’t seem to grasp the concept of actually hanging clothes on hangers and putting things back where they belong.
I do understand how they feel though. Looking around a messy room can be incredibly overwhelming, especially for younger children. I feel the same way looking at a messy kitchen. There are a lot of things out of order. Where do you even begin?
How to get kids to clean their rooms
TikTok parenting account @mightyandbrightco explains that having a simple and easy-to-follow checklist can make all the difference when encouraging kids to clean their rooms. And it makes perfect sense!
Breaking the big task down into smaller tasks is a common way for adults to conquer our jobs. So why not kids?
The truth is — keeping a room clean, let alone a whole house, is a skill that involves lots of little tasks,” they explain in the now-viral video. “If you know how to tidy a room, you might take those little tasks for granted, but for kids, being faced with a messy room is totally overwhelming. They have no idea where to start.
When we teach kids how to break down a big task, like cleaning a room into manageable chunks, we make this big chore easier to execute and kind of fun.”
How to teach kids to clean their room
Below is the recommendation from @mightyandbrightco plus a few steps we’ve added based on our own room cleaning checklist experience. It’s a good idea to write down the list and let your little one check off each task as they go. After all, who doesn’t like checking things off of a to-do list?”
Children’s room cleaning checklist
- Get a trash bag (easy, right).
- Go through the room and put all the trash in the bag. Food wrappers, broken toys, bits of paper, crafts that didn’t make the fridge, etc.
- Put the trash bag into the bin.
- Gather all the dirty dishes in the room.
- Put them in the sink.
- Grab a laundry basket.
- Gather all towels and place them in the bathroom.
- Gather all dirty clothes and put them into the laundry basket.
- Gather all clean clothes and place them on the bed.
- Now, some children can easily fold their clean clothes themselves or place them on hangers. Others cannot. If your child isn’t able to do this by themselves yet, ask them to drape all clothes that go on hangers on their bed (neatly) so you can put them on the hangers for them.
- For the clothes that go in drawers, ask them to fold them neatly before putting them in the drawers or leave them on the bed for you to help them if they are til a bit too young for this task.
- Double-check their closet. My daughter will simply chuck all her clothes on the floor in her closet and tell me she “put them away”. Nice try.
- At this stage, your child’s room should be free of junk and clothes but there will most likely still be toys, books, games, craft stuff and all sorts of other items still lingering on the floor, on the bed and in every corner.
- Go through the rainbow and ask them to put these items away based on colour, starting with RED and moving to PURPLE.
- Don’t forget to include White and Black items too.
- Grab a box or another laundry basket – this will be the No Home Box, where all items that don’t have a space go.
- This may include items that are usually stored in other areas of the house, like the playroom or items that have been missed in the steps above.
- Ask your child to find a home for these items.
- If your child can, ask them to tidy up their bedding and make sure their stuffed animals, pillows and doona are nice and neat. This is the final task to be done.
7. ONE FINAL SWEEP
- Ask your child to double-check their room to check nothing has been missed (don’t forget to check under the bed!).
- Then, have a dance party in their clean room.
What do you think? Would your child be able to follow this checklist and get the task done? Remember, little kids under the age of five will need a bit of help going through each task. But if you break it down, make it a bit fun and keep them focused on the task, they will be more likely to succeed.
Another fun fact is that this room cleaning checklist can be used for children of all ages, including teens – and husbands too!
@mightyandbrightco sometimes we forget that we have to teach kids how to do things because they do not come naturally. Room reset board from mighty and bright ##chores##parenting##kidsmentalhealth##mightyandbright ♬ original sound – Mighty and Bright
What to read next
If you’re after some clever tips for storing your children’s things, such as toys and stuffed animals, check out these cool ideas:
- How to Organise Kids’ Toys: 7 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home
- Plush Toy Storage: 12 Cute Ways to Store and Display Soft Toys
- 7 Small Toy Collections Your Kids Have (And How to Store Them)
- 13 Clever Ways to Store Your Kids’ 8 Million Nerf Guns AND 900 Gazillion Darts!