This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Teaching a child to keep their room clean can be a challenge, but this is working great, so I had to share it with you! I love to have a clean house and I love to know where everything is, so I want my kid’s rooms to be organized, too. Otherwise, they are complaining of being “bored,” but it’s really because they are overwhelmed. An organized room solves that.
Do you ever feel like your kid’s bedroom is always a mess? I admit that my biggest “time-drainer” is picking up our kid’s clothes. As my Mom has put it, they just “walk out of them”. Its so true!
Our kids have this terrible habit of taking their clothes off & just leaving them wherever they were standing. I had to come up with something to teach our kids to pick up their clothes and here is what is working for us. (Leave a comment of what works for you!)
Why are their clothes always on the floor, you ask?
They dress up like superheros… a lot!
They dress up in their Dad’s old football jerseys…
They dress up in each others clothes & play “family”…
They dress up in their pajamas and play “camping out”…
Yes, our kids are constantly changing & changing again. (Please tell me I’m not the only mom dealing with this!)
I had to make a new rule because they were “forgetting” where they left their clothes and getting out new ones. I was washing up to four outfits a day sometimes (per child!) To help with keeping kids bedroom clean, we have implemented a new rule & consequence because I DID NOT want to nag them about it constantly…
Here is the rule:
For each article of clothing that I have to pick up off of the ground, they go to bed five minutes earlier.
Trust me, this is enough incentive for the kids to pick up their clothing. They really don’t like going to bed before 7:00 (their bedtime). (see my post on teaching your kids to sleep in later here)
Here is how I taught them to clean their rooms:
Sunday- told them about the new rule and explained it IN DETAIL! “Every article of clothing that you leave on the floor gets you five minutes of earlier bedtime. A sock? 5 minutes. Two socks? Ten minutes.” I went through a lot of examples and they gave me some, too.
I told them that if they were just changing into a costume/dress-up outfit, they could just put their clothes on their bed or dresser for later. They needed to do this because when they leave them in a ball on the floor, they end up getting out a new one ten minutes later. I told them that they would get a day to practice it before it started. So they had all day Sunday to work on this before the consequence would start on Monday.
Monday- they both got ten minutes for leaving clothes out & I stuck to it, even though they both kept asking for “Just one more chance.”
(Even if you don’t have a set bedtime, you can just say “Its time for bed. You were going to get to stay up for ten more minutes, but you have to go to sleep ten minutes early tonight for leaving your pajamas (or whatever) on the floor today.” Our kids know that 7:00 is bedtime (well, the 7 hour, but the minutes vary), so when they saw the clock still saying 6, they were upset. (even if it said 6:59, that is early to them!) Reminder: our kids get up at 7:00, so an early bedtime is important. See my post here on: My kids get up too early- How to keep your kids in bed later).
Tuesday- no clothes on the floor
Wednesday- Pajamas WERE on the floor when I walked by the room to see how they were doing getting ready for school and by the time that they were dressed & ready for school… guess what? Pajamas were put away. Woo-hoo!!
This consequence will not last forever– probably about one month, but it is in place right now as a teaching-rule. (As with many of our rules & consequences. We make them to teach our children and after they have made it a habit, we can get rid of the consequence & just remind them, when needed.)
Update: This is an easy system, too.
If you want to start chores with your kids, but not have to deal with a chore chart, try these. We have them & they are easy and they are “normal” chores, like sweep the floors, dust, clean up the living room, etc… It makes it easy to say “Ok everyone – go grab 2 chore sticks and then you are done and you can go play.”
You can find them on Amazon. Here’s the affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2qcNEei
Or I encourage you to join our declutter course.