Frustrated by your children’s messy rooms? Helping teach your children how to clean a messy room with a monthly deep clean might ease your frustration.
I have some comforting news for moms of littles – your children are not the only ones with messy bedrooms.
In fact, if your young son or daughter is solely responsible for cleaning a bedroom and the room has toys and clothes, it will be a mess.
I live it every single day with my 5-year-old and 7-year-old. I know the pain of stepping on LEGO blocks and Lalaloopsy accessories in the middle of the night.
Yet as much as you may try to teach your young children to clean up after themselves, they’re naturally inclined to make messes. And that’s OK. That’s simply part of being a child. Developmentally, children are not inclined to be neat and tidy. They like to explore and dump things out instead of picking things up.
Helping your children learn
Over the past few years I’ve experimented with a lot of approaches to cleaning with my son and daughter:
- I’ve tried doing all the work myself.
- I’ve tried teaching my children to clean up when they’re done playing.
- I’ve tried to let my children do all the cleaning on their own.
- I’ve tried limiting toys – and mess – with a toy rotation system.
- I’ve tried working together when cleaning bedrooms.
This year, I’ve finally found a solution that works for my family – in this particular stage of our lives. If you have young, school-age kids, this just might work for your family, too.
Toy rotation system
I’ve divided my children’s toys into four different groups for a toy rotation system. One group of toys stays in their bedroom, the other three groups are stored in plastic totes in our basement.
Every few weeks to a month I switch the toys. The toys that are brought out seem like they’re new to my children and they enjoy playing with them – it’s like Christmas morning about once a month.
Clean rooms for screen time
To earn daily TV time, my children are expected to clean their rooms. Messy room? No screen time.
It’s been a good way to keep rooms tidier – and limit screen time. Sometimes they really want to watch TV and are eager to clean. Other days, they prefer to keep their messes.
I’ve learned to relax my expectations
My children’s cleaned rooms are not spic and span – and that’s OK! When I see that they are attempting to clean their rooms, I know that they’re giving some sort of an effort.
Of course their cleaning could use improvement. But I’d rather see that they’re trying and attempting to pick up after themselves. That’s all I’m trying to instill at this point.
Monthly deep clean
If I just let my children keep their rooms clean with daily pick-ups, they eventually get really messy. Maybe we’re not tripping over toys, clothes and books in the middle of the room, but the mess piles up on surfaces, at the edges of the room and in closets. (Honestly, it’s the same situation in the rooms I’m responsible for cleaning, too!)
My most recent solution is this – I help my children with a monthly deep clean.
If I set aside a morning or afternoon once a month, I can clean bedrooms with my son and daughter. We sort through the unorganized accumulation and clean up together. It’s not a terrible process – I’m able to teach my children how to clean and in the process I bring a little motherly order to the disorderly.
I like the time spent with my kids – in their rooms with their belongings – and we all like the finished product. My children do like clean rooms, but they don’t know how to clean all on their own. If I, as a mother, neglect to teach them how to clean, how will they learn on their own? By stepping up and teaching them, I’m able to fulfill my role as a mother and prepare them to care for their own homes someday.
If you’re a mom, how do you help your children learn how to clean a messy room?
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