Helping Children Keep Their Rooms Clean

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 1, 20090 found this helpful

Rewards and charts! For every day the room stays clean she gets points after so many points are earned she gets a reward that you have both agreed on.

Remind her that her things cost money, and leaving them around where they can be ruined shows a lack of responsiablity and respect.

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October 2, 20090 found this helpful

Even though the point system is a bit childish and I'm sure she may not want to be treated like a "baby", you can make it work! Reward with good things. For example, when she gets 50 points earned, she can get a new lamp, bedding, etc. And if you own the house, 50 pts can buy her paint to paint the walls.

That way she works her way to a new bedroom design that she creates and will keep the room clean so she can buy a matching bean bag chair or that vanity from the thrift store or whatever. I think that would be a fun thing. And as she gets older she will want to change decor and have to keep working at it. 50 pts, wouldn't take too long. 1 point a day for cleaning room and 1 point or so a day for household chores like dishes, etc.

You can keep a jar of pennies to keep track of her points. Just put it far away so she cant sneak some in there. 50 points would come out to about $25-40. It would take a month or so to get 50 pts to buy something, therefore its not TOO bad of a cost.

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October 2, 20090 found this helpful

Are you talking unsanitary or just messy. For unsanitary: I would insist on no food or drink allowed in her room at any time. All dirty laundry immediatly taken to the laundry room or any clean clothes that had been taken to her room that day be put away by her. Bed made each day & sheets changed at a minimum of 1 time a week on a set day. For messy after a real good cleaning to the bedroom start this: My daughter has built in a time right before bedtime that my grandchildren pick up their rooms right before climbing into bed. She goes to their rooms to do night prayers and will look around and point out something if it is missed otherwise they proceed with prayers. This seems to work for her pretty good.

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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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January 9, 20110 found this helpful

Getting kids to clean their rooms is a challenge. Encouraging them to take ownership of their rooms is the first step. I know, easy said than done, when they really have no interest in keeping their rooms clean. Personally, however I've always found cool kids organizers are a get way to motivate my kids to keep their rooms better organized and much neater.

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