Getting Kids to Keep Their Rooms Clean

The perennial issue of getting children to keep their room clean is a challenge for every parent. This is a guide to getting kids to keep their rooms clean.
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Solutions

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6 found this helpful
July 22, 2011 Flag

During their high school years, our now 40+ year old sons seemed to have a problem keeping their room clean and neat. My wife threatened to clean the room and throw out everything that wasn't put away properly - clothing, books, etc. She carried out the threat one day. and the kids came home to a sparkling clean rooms.

They thought this was pretty cool until they started searching for such things such as homework (left on the floor), school books piled on the beds, etc.

"Mom, where's my English homework? I have to turn it in tomorrow, and my trig book?" She said, "Oh, that? It's in the trash. I thought you didn't want it, so I threw it out." Of course, she didn't really throw it out, but there were a couple of scared teenagers in the house.

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Another time, she told our youngest that he had to change the sheets on his bed. He kept putting it off, so my wife finally did it.

When he came home and saw that the sheets had been changed, he asked in a trembling voice, "Did you find anything in my room?" She replied, "You mean the Playboy magazines under your mattress?" No more problems with a messy room! To this day, both are neat freaks.

By Grey Knight from Columbus, OH

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July 22, 20110 found this helpful

Well said Pookarina. sounds like you not only learned the value of a dollar but also many worthwhile things to get you through life. When I said I wouldn't like the way Mom cleaned my room I only meant that the things i didn't have put away I didn't get to have for awhile, never longer than a fews days as I remember. I was one of the lucky ones, Mom believed in letting the punishment fit the crime if you will, and hitting was never her way, she always talked to us about what we had or hadn't done wrong. I am a lucky child, 55, and still have the best parents. I am still in shock about the $1000 month allowance though.

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3 found this helpful
July 24, 2011 Flag

When my oldest daughter was in grade school I couldn't get her to keep her room cleaned. One day when she was in school I taped a notice on her bedroom door that said "Condemned by the Health Department". When she got home from school that day, she had her best friend with her. You should have heard them laughing, but they both got busy and got the room cleaned. She did much better after that.

By Shirley from Arkansas City, KS

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July 31, 20110 found this helpful

ROTF! My mom posted photos of the room I shared with two older sisters, on the outside of the bedroom window. Your method works better. I hope your daughter is still close to that friend - she sounds like a real keeper!

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4 found this helpful
July 21, 2011 Flag

When my boys were teenagers, I would give them a date when the room had to be cleaned up by. That gave them the option to do it within their own time frame. But then I would smile widely and say if it was not done by then, I would have the freedom to go into their rooms and find and read all the love notes from the gals at school or church. Of, course this was pre-computers. Boy, that always did it!

By Pat from Traverse City, MI

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July 21, 20110 found this helpful

I used to tell mine if they didn't clean it I would and I would fill a garbage bag if I did. They cleaned it.

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Questions

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0 found this helpful
October 1, 2009 Flag

My 11 year old daughter cleans her room once a month and it keeps getting messy again. What should she do to keep her room clean?

By pianahannah from Sapulpa, OK

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October 2, 20090 found this helpful

I think the problem is your frequency; once a month isn't often enough to keep any area clean, much less a bedroom. I've instituted a Friday after school pick up time this year (no homework, right? What are you complaining about?).

It seems to be working. The problem with infrequent cleaning, in my life as well, is that it gets overwhelming. I'm overwhelmed by my daughter's room, and I'm pushing 40 now, so how must she feel?

So after the big clean on the month, do a Friday pick up. Mostly for us that means: nothing on the floor, clean off the desk, and do your laundry. Usually that's only one or two loads. Then you can do what you want for the weekend. Within reason. :-) Good luck!

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October 3, 20090 found this helpful

Get her a couple of large wicker baskets with lids to toss clothes into as she takes them off; one is for laundry (dirty clothes) and the other is for "I took it out of the closet to try it on and decided not to wear it, but didn't feel like hanging it back up" clothes that are still clean. Then she can hang these up when she "can't find anything to wear" because all her clothes will be in the basket. This will keep the clothes out of sight and in one place instead of scattered all over the room. If she has a desk, put baskets on and or under the desk to toss magazines, papers, books, etc. in until she sorts them.

You can also put baskets under the bed for shoes, etc. Best thing is to label all the baskets so the stuff gets sorted as it is tossed into the right basket.It keeps the room tidy, because it is easy for her to toss things into baskets instead of all over the room. This works for my kids! Each weekend, they go through one basket and sort and put away whatever is in the basket. Takes about 20 minutes and their rooms always look tidy.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with melharvey. Once a month is not nearly often enough. There is no reason why clothes can't be put in the clothes hamper every night and towels hung up in the bathroom. If she eats in her room, the food container should be taken back into the kitchen every night or at least in the mornings when she makes her bed. This is very little work that takes up very little time every day. If the small things are done every day, there are no "big" things to do later. The room could be swept or vacuumed and dusted once a week or more often, depending on how much is accumulated how often. Generally, just picking up after oneself is a huge contributor to a clean and orderly room.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

Once a month, how about once a week, and little things daily. If she keeps this up, I would hate to see her college dorm room.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

She's definitely old enough to pick up after herself daily and clean once a week.

Here's what my daddy did after constant battles with me to keep my room clean and he made it with a humorous and embarrassing point for me ;-) I know it might sound mean and/or silly but it worked. He placed a sign in/sign out sheet of paper on my bedroom door, along with a pencil on a string, that said something like "Attention, please sign in and out so that we know you actually made it out of this room safely" and he placed a second sign saying something like, "And please take the bat sitting next to the doorway in with you to beat off the rodents residing with your friend." LOL!

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

I had to laugh when I read about your child's messy room. I used to clean the house for my Mom as she worked full time. However I always felt my room was off limits. Still I was never out of control with huge messes. I think starting when kids are little and setting a good example by being neat yourself also can help. But heaven help those teen years when all goes down hill. Many times with my son it was not worth the arguments, so I closed the door. Today he is happily married to a "neat freak", and he goes right along with the program! Remember this too shall pass!

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

I have 5 children; one boy and four girls ages 20, 17, 15, 12 and 8. The best way I have had to deal with this problem is to just lay off and stop hounding. But when they do clean it and have it clean remind them of how good it looks and how proud you are. All my kids except my 8 year old keep their rooms clean every day without my telling them. But I see how proud my 8 year old is when I tell her how she is keeping her room clean when it is clean. For me it was just time, give them time. They may not ever keep their room clean but spending a lot of time hounding is a waste of time that you could use for more positive things with your children. If you can't stand it shut their door.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

Side note to my post. If they want to have someone over or they want to go somewhere to stay they aren't allowed to until their room is clean. My 8 year old wanted to go stay at a friends house and I told her not until her room is clean. She gave me no arguments whatsoever and went straight to her room and cleaned it. Another thing to remember is not to nit-pick your kids cleaning skills and how they clean. That will come with time too. If kids are nit-picked to death about everything they do it turns them off completely.

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November 8, 2003 Flag

How do I clean my own room up? I want it to look nice.

Troy

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December 9, 20040 found this helpful

1.) take everything out. 2.) sort into piles(a keep pile, a toss pile, and a pile that you can give away to goodwill or something 3.) get everything that you arent keeping out of the room(garbage in the trash, donations in a box or on a shelf) 4.) organize into piles(games, clothes, toys, etc.) 5.)find things that you can store your stuff in(old boxes, crates, etc.)6.) put in hooks or nails( for belts and other things like that) 7.) hang up clothes or put them on shelves! 8.) put any other thing in a storage unit or on a shelf 8.) pick up anything that is on the floor and put it in the place that it's supposed to go.(if it doesnt have a place get it out of there!) 9.) enjoy a clean closet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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December 23, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks sooo much! i now have a clean room woot! thanks again

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January 15, 20050 found this helpful

These are really good tips. Thanks a lot!!!

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January 17, 20050 found this helpful

Every day think to clean but I do something else.

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February 13, 20050 found this helpful

That was awsome it really helped thanks!

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September 4, 20050 found this helpful

Dear evreyone ummm i NEED HELP!i try and i try but the clutter keeps pyling up.....and i need tips for a kid since im 12 years old and im new to this site...

please help me!! ive had a messy room for years and im tired of it.

thx

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September 2, 20060 found this helpful

I am almost forty years old and I have had messy rooms for at least seven years. I am going to try the plastic boxes idea I think "wheelbarrow" recommended in another thread. For me, it's obviously in a chronic state. I have two rooms full of stuff. I have tons of papers that I can't get rid of. Such as financial documents, or health insurance documents, or automobile insurance records, a lot of business contacts, etc.... important stuff! Yet I find it incredibly difficult to organize them. Plus, I have tons of other important info. And all of my forty years of stuff, I only have about 25 square feet of free space in which to put them. So it's really going to be a toughie. The bookshelves and cupboards are 100% filled. My landlord won't let me put any more file cabinets in my room. The closets are 99.9% filled, so I am also thinking of giving a lot of my clothes to the poor. I hope to post back with my (positive!!) results.

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October 20, 20080 found this helpful

CLEAN YOUR ROOM IN 10 EASY STEPS!

Step 1: Pick up all clothes and put them in you laundry basket.

Step 2: Pick up all books and magazines.

Step 3: Pick up all papers you are going to keep.

Step 4: Pick up all toys and games.

Step 5: Pick up all arts and crafts.

Step 6: Pick up all shoes.

Step 7: Pick up all purses.

Step 8: Pick up all trash.

Step 9: Make your bed.

Step 10: Mop or vacuum.

CONGRATULATIONS YOUR BEDROOM IS NOW CLEAN!

HOPE IT HELPS. MEGAN, 11 YRS OLD IN TEXAS

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