If you’re reading this, it’s obvious you’ve never been to my house. On any given day, there are ALWAYS toys on the floor (any floor, every floor…take your pick), always dishes in the sink, and always crumbs under the highchair. I have two kids, I homeschool, I work from home, and I also have a life. I love a clean house, but it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. And inevitably, the kids undo what I clean immediately anyway. Moving on to why you’re here: How to get your kid to clean their room, and keep it that way.
Answer: I have no idea. If you figure it out please tell me. BUT I do have some ideas that have worked in the past, and that friends say have worked for them (you all know what friend I’m talking about, we all have that one friend who always has a clean house, and their kid’s room is perfect and organized…for the record I will never be that friend) that I will share with you!
Use Playdates as Motivators
This is a sure fire way to get my six year old to clean her room. I mean, I don’t lie and say there’s a play date, but I do tell her that if she doesn’t make a legitimate effort to clean her room, or the play room, before her company is coming, then I will tell them we need to reschedule the play date. Works every dang time. Rarely do I have to turn into a maniac who is yelling and screaming for this to get done when I use this method. The only problem with this method, is then you have another kid come over, and together they see how much of a mess that can turn the clean room and play room into for the hour they’re playing. It’s really kind of counter productive. Maybe you should remove this idea from your list.
Use a Chore Chart
I’m not sure if this actually works for any real humans, but it’s good in theory. We always forget, multiple days in a row, and then to avoid a meltdown at the end of the week, I have her clean it once, and I add a bunch of stickers. Yeah, I know. But the room was cleaned once without yelling, so there’s that. Don’t judge.
Help Them Clean
I could barely type that with a straight face. My daughter constantly wants “help” cleaning her room. Me helping, in her mind, is her sitting on her bed, while she watches me clean. I’ve tried standing in the room, giving her things to pick up, etc, but then I’m “being bossy” and she’s “too tired.” So, yeah, I can “help her clean” and do it myself, but that kind of defeats the point.
Get Rid of All Their Stuff
Let’s face it, this is really THE ONLY WAY to get the room clean and KEEP it clean. You would also be labeled, “Worst Parent of the Year” by just about everyone, but some days I think that may be worth it. I mean, often my kid tells me I’ve ruined her life, so why not take it one step further? I would never actually do this, but it is so tempting sometimes to just walk in with a black trash bag and be like, “Time’s up, kid.”
I know you all came here hoping for this big epiphany on how to get your kid to clean their room, and keep it that way, but I have no clue. I was kind of hoping one of you would have the legendary secret that must be lurking out there somewhere. If you read this, and related to it at all, then know that you’re not alone. No one has a perfect house (not even that one friend who seems like they do), no one has kids who have constantly clean rooms, and no one has some magic secret to get a ki’d room and keep it that way. Chin up, Mama. You may have to scream at your kids to clean their rooms every once in a while, but someday they will probably be moms who do the same thing. That’s the real circle of life.
Feel free to share this with a friend you think would be encouraged by it. The next time you feel overwhelmed, come back and read this and remember: no one’s perfect.
Need to get away? Go on vacation? Read this: