INSIDE: Ten easy ways to keep your child’s bedroom tidy. If you struggle with getting them to put things away and make less of a mess – or you want them to clean their room WITHOUT there being a fight, the tips I’m sharing in this post are guaranteed to help!
I like to consider myself a fairly house-proud person…
I’m SO much happier when my house is clean and tidy! I’m a minimalist too so I can’t bear clutter. I like to have a place for everything and for everything to be in its place. I’ve managed to accomplish this for most of the rooms in my house, but there’s one room that requires a little more work.
Can you guess which room it is?!
That’s right, it’s my son’s bedroom! Getting him to keep his room clean and tidy and put things away is no easy task. If you have kids, I’m sure you can relate. You pick up their dirty washing, put their toys away and make their bed. But then, as soon as your back is turned, it’s a complete mess again! I can literally spend hours in there only to have Harrison come in from school and undo all of my hard work in less than five minutes flat. It’s incredibly frustrating!! Keeping your child’s bedroom tidy is definitely an uphill struggle!
A tidy-ish bedroom…
Harrison is now 8 and although there are times where it’s still a challenge, keeping your child’s bedroom tidy does get easier as they get older. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there has been a LOT of trial and error trying to find a way that works, but over the years I have discovered a few strategies that help keep the mess to a minimum. And in this post, I’m sharing with you what I’ve learned!
If like me you struggle with keeping your child’s bedroom tidy and getting them to clean up after themselves, why not give some of these a go?! They’ve worked for us, so I pretty sure they’ll help you keep your child’s bedroom tidy too!
How to keep your child’s bedroom tidy…
#1. | Explain why they need to tidy.
Unfortunately, the ‘because I said so’ doesn’t quite cut it – especially when they’re 8-years-old! Asking your child to tidy their bedroom and expecting them to do it just isn’t enough. If they don’t understand why they need to, or the importance of doing it, they’re not going to see why they should make the effort to tidy up.
When we understand the reason behind doing something, that there’s a purpose to it, we’re more likely to do it. And it’s the same for our kids too. Explain that it’s nice to look after their toys. That putting away their things gives them more room to play. That if their toys are tidy, they’ll know where to find them next time they want them. And, if they put their dirty clothes in the wash bin, Mummy will know they need washing!
#2. | Show them how to tidy.
Getting Harrison to tidy his room used to be such a drama. There would be tears and LOTS of stamping of feet – on his part as well as mine! But then I realised that I’d never actually shown him HOW to do it! You can’t just tell a then 5-year-old to tidy their room and expect them to automatically know how to do it. You need to show them too.
After I spent some time with Harrison showing him what to do, showing him where things went, how to make his bed and how to fold and put away his clothes, there was a LOT less drama. I realised that the majority of his fuss and resistance was due to him being overwhelmed by the task. He had absolutely no idea how to get started and once that barrier had been removed, he was a lot happier to give it a go.
#3. | Give them an incentive.
Incentive, bribery, whatever you like to call it – it works! When they have something to gain from tidying their room, they’re more likely to do it. Whether it’s earning a sticker for their reward chart or points towards some kind of prize, it doesn’t matter. Do whatever works. Harrison’s most recent incentive is having the dog sleep in his room with him. For it to happen he needs to show that he can keep his room tidy for at least two weeks. To put his toys away so that Arthur can’t chew his Lego! With only a few days to go, I think he might actually do it!
#4. | Have a good clear out.
The number one way to have less mess? Have less stuff! It’s easy to think that lack of storage is the problem when it comes to mess, but sometimes it’s just that we have far too much ‘stuff’. If you really want to accomplish keeping your child’s bedroom tidy, start by having a really good clear out. Throw away the broken toys, get rid of duplicates and donate the toys they no longer play with.
Be ruthless and tell yourself that less is more. Our kids don’t need as many toys as we think they do. So, don’t hang onto toys for the sake of it and don’t be afraid to get rid of something even if it’s still in good condition. You can always sell it, donate it to a friend or give it to your local charity shop. And if you’re not keen on throwing toys away, consider storing some in the shed or garage and rotating them every couple of months.
Related: How to Declutter When You Have Kids.
#5. | Sort your storage.
When toys have a proper home it’s a lot easier to keep things tidy. Now you’ve had a good clear out ask yourself what storage you need for everything you’ve decided to keep. Make sure your child has somewhere specific to put their toys when they tidy up. It can be a box, a shelf, their wardrobe or a drawer, but make sure it’s big enough for what you need – and that your child knows that’s where that particular toy is kept.
Make it easy to put things away and they’re more likely to do it. I used to get annoyed because Harrison’s books were always all over his floor. But he didn’t have a bookcase, so it was hardly surprising. We got rid of the drawer unit that was just hoarding junk and replaced it with a proper bookcase. Now, not only do his books stay nice and tidy on the shelves, his floor is clearer too!
#6. | Have a capsule wardrobe.
If their wardrobes are bursting at the seams and you find it hard to shut the door, why not try having a capsule wardrobe instead. I created one for Harrison earlier this year and it’s made a HUGE difference. Not only is there less washing, but everything matches and coordinates too – it makes life SO much easier! It prompted me to do the same with my own wardrobe too!
Having less clothes and clothes that go together makes it easier for them to get dressed and it helps keep their wardrobe – and room – tidier too. If a capsule wardrobe is something you’ve considered doing but don’t know where to start, check out this guest post on how to create a capsule wardrobe for your kids by Tara from I Dream of Simple.
#7. | Adopt the ‘play with one toy at a time’ rule.
Growing up this was a rule my sister and I had to follow. If we were finished playing with something, it had to be put away before we got anything else out. And it made total sense. I now use the same rule with Harrison and it works incredibly well. Yes, he gets a little frustrated sometimes that he has to tidy up before starting something else, but it does help to keep the mess to a minimum! It’s a rule he’s used to as they ask the same at school – so it makes sense to adopt the rule at home too.
#8. | Tidy before bed.
Make tidying up part of your bedtime routine and their rooms are nice and tidy come morning. Harrison knows that Mummy and Daddy won’t come up to read to him and say goodnight until his floor is clear and everything is put away. Try adding tidying up to your child’s bedtime routine too. Whether they do it before or after putting on their PJ’s and cleaning their teeth doesn’t matter. Just be consistent. Stick with it and they’ll soon get used to it being part of their routine and will do it without thinking about it.
Spending the last few minutes before school putting things away helps to keep your child’s bedroom tidy too. Harrison’s room might be tidy when he goes to bed but he likes to get a few things out and play with them before breakfast. He usually has a few minutes of TV time before we leave for school so clearing up his toys is part of his school morning routine. Once they’re put away and he’s dressed and done his teeth, he gets to watch TV. But, there’s no TV until it’s done – it’s a great incentive!
#9. | Declutter before birthdays and Christmas.
Getting new toys for birthday and Christmas is all very well, but new toys need new homes! Make room for them by decluttering what they no longer need BEFORE they get given more. Give them to friends who have younger children or donate or sell them. Who knows, you may even make some money to buy their birthday presents with!
When decluttering in the run-up to birthdays and Christmas make a point of decluttering their wardrobe too. Remove all the clothes that no longer fit and all the single socks – Harrison always has a few of those, I have no idea what he does with them!
Decluttering twice a year like this can really help to keep things fresh, it’s great inspiration for gift ideas too. I’ve come up with lots of ideas for birthday presents in the past just by clearing out what’s broken or no longer fits!
#10. | Be intentional about what gifts you ask for.
If you don’t want your house cluttered with toys and their rooms full of plastic, don’t ask for them as gifts. Get creative about what you can give them for birthdays and Christmas so that they end up with less ‘stuff’. Remember, they never need as many toys as we think they do, so ask yourself what you – and friends and family – could gift them instead.
Don’t be afraid of asking for money or vouchers and where possible spend money on experiences instead of things. Give them a subscription to their favourite magazine or a gift card for their favourite restaurant so that you can have dinner together one day after school.
They might love unwrapping tons of presents but try to balance it out. My favourite way of buying gifts at Christmas is to use the ‘four things’ rule of ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’. It works great for Christmas, so next year I’ll be using it for birthdays too!
Ten foolproof ways to keep your child’s bedroom tidy…
There you have it, 10 ways to keep your kids’ bedroom tidy. Here they are again:
- Explain why they need to tidy.
- Show them HOW to tidy.
- Give them an incentive.
- Have a good clear out.
- Sort your storage.
- Have a capsule wardrobe.
- Play with one thing at a time.
- Make tidying their bedroom part of their bedtime routine.
- Declutter before birthdays and Christmas.
- Think about what gifts you ask for.
Depending on how old your child is, there might be some of these that won’t work for you just yet. If they’re fairly young they won’t understand the concept of incentives and it might not be so easy to make tidying up part of their bedtime routine. But keep these strategies at the back of your mind because as they get older, you will be able to use them.
I’ve tried every one of these and they really do help, but the one thing that helps to keep your child’s bedroom tidy more than anything else is consistency. Whichever method you choose to try first, try to stick with it. It can be tempting to give up but don’t. Be consistent and you will start to reap the benefit. It takes a few weeks for a new activity to become a habit, so give it time to bed in. And remember, the more they clear up after themselves, the more often they tidy, the less there is to tidy!
That’s it for this post! What’s your top tip for keeping your child’s bedroom tidy? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…
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