I like to give my kids steps for cleaning the bedroom or they’re just in there playing with toys and randomly shoving things where they don’t belong. You can’t just tell your kid to go clean his room. Trust me. I know this. However, all is not lost. There’s no reason why you can’t expect your children to tidy their own rooms – you’re not their slave after all. However, it’s much easier for them to accomplish the task if you break it down into simple steps for cleaning the bedroom that they can follow.
1. Pick up Dirty Clothes
If your child’s room is anything like mine, there are dirty clothes in heaps all over the place, so one of the first steps for cleaning the bedroom has to be getting them taken care of. Have your child scout around the room looking for stray socks, pajama bottoms and other dirty clothes that didn’t make it to the hamper. Then have her put them all in one big pile and carry them to the laundry basket.
2. Gather the Trash
My son loves to construct robots and animal habitats from the stuff in the recycling bin. That inevitably means there is lots of trash in his room. Hang a large trash bag on your child’s doorknob, then instruct him to go through the room gathering all the garbage and stuffing it in the bag. You might want to follow behind because a child’s idea of trash likely differs dramatically from what you call trash.
3. Clear off the Furniture
Chances are your child’s dresser, nightstand and headboard are all cluttered with things that don’t belong there. Help your child remove those items and place them in piles on the floor based on where they belong. For example, put all the books in a pile, all the action figures in another and all the Legos in another. Create one pile for each item.
4. Tackle the Closet
There’s probably loads of things in the closet that shouldn’t be there. Have your child pull them all out and organize them into the appropriate piles. You might need to add new piles since your child is likely to find a stash of stuffed animals or her missing crayons in the corner somewhere. Make sure your piles aren’t getting mixed up or your child is likely to get pretty frustrated.
5. Pull Open All the Drawers
That includes those on the dresser, the bed and the nightstand. Remove anything that doesn’t belong and put it in the appropriate pile. Refold all the clothing and put it back in the correct drawer. Put anything else that actually does belong in the drawers back in them and close them all.
6. Put It All Away
Now, have your child go to each pile in the room, scoop it up and place it where it belongs. That means all the Legos back in their bucket, all the shoes in the shoe organizer and all the stuffed animals back in the net that you’ve hung in the corner of the room, but that has been largely ignored. Tell your child to grab any stray items she comes across and put them away too.
7. Dust and Clean the Floors
Now that you can get to everything, show your child how to use a damp cloth to dust all the surfaces in the room. Don’t forget the picture frames and tops of the books. Next, help him vacuum or sweep his floor. All done!
Don’t get excited thinking your child is set to do this on her own from now on. It’s a great guideline, but you’re going to have to help for some time still. How do you go about keeping your kids’ rooms clean?