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Help me to get my kids to clean up after themselves, please :)

  Hello all, I am a mom to 3 kids ages 10, 9, and 5. Their rooms are always messy. I will finally have enough and go do it all, making them help, but within a few days the rooms are a mess again! I really don't think at this stage in their lives that I should have to hold their hands and help every step of the way, when I am done writing this I am going to go make space in the back porch/ laundry room for all the toys. I have taken the laundry basket out of their bathroom in an attempt to make them take dirty things directly to the laundry area, now it ends up in piles all over their floors. I really don't know what else to do to get them to want to clean up. We have tried taking things away, sticker reward charts, fun incentives for keeping a clean room. I am at a loss as to what to try next!!!

  UPDATE in comments :)

by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

I made my girls "chore" charts.  And if they do their stuff they get a card to put in their envelope.  They have things like brushing teeth, putting clothes in the laundry, picking up toys and then a house chore like dishes or vacuuming (depending on the kid).  Then on the weekends each kid is incharge of a room in the house to tidy up while I am cleaning up at the same time on this day. 

The day I set it up they loved it.  They get excited to get their cards.  I am not one for "rewarding" to do things that should be done anyway... so I they dont get anything for doing these things.  The chart is more of an organization thing to help them remember what to do.  I give them verbal praise when they get to get a card for completing their tasks and thats it.  They are very proud when they have all the cards at the end of the week.  

My oldest is bad for bringing her uniforms and putting them in the dirty clothes ...even when I tell her.  She forgot her pants last week and I already washed their uniforms.. I refused to wash them so she was stuck wearing skirts which she hates so this week she made sure her pants were in there.

by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 5:04 PM
Skids have to have rooms cleaned and chores done daily before they can watch TV, play games, or use the computer. If its not done, they get to do nothing. I used to sit in their rooms with a book and read while they picked up their rooms. After the embarrassment of having to be babysat to clean their rooms, they decided they could do it without my "help." It may also help to put up a list of what you expect them to do for their room to be clean. Then show them anything they can't figure out on their own.
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by Ruby Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

 I'm rather lax in how I expect the kids to keep their rooms. I insist on a clear path from the door to their bed, and a clear path to the window so they can get to it easily in case of fire. We do make them do a good clean up every few months, though. Ds1 (almost 14) and ds2 (9) do it on their own, but I still help dd (7) a little, usually by sitting in w/ her and help break it into smaller bits (stuffed animals, good, now Littlest Pet Shop, good, etc.).

They are pretty good about getting dirty clothes into the dirty laundry- they know that if it's not in my dirty laundry pile in my room, it does not get washed. I will occasionally have to say, "Why am I seeing dirty clothes in your room?" and they then pick it up and put it where it belongs.











by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM

 I once got so sick of my kids not cleaning their rooms that I went in with trash bags and everything...I mean EVERYTHING got thrown in the garbage! I know it seems a little harsh, but let me assure you it didn't take too long for grandparents to start filling the room up with toys again. Also didn't take me ever going in their rooms to "clean" again.

by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Give a direction..set a consequence... follow through if they don't.

Pretty simple really.
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by Lorelai on Mar. 3, 2013 at 1:13 AM

I agree with them being overwhelmed by the room as a whole, because I am the same way! So is my 8yo, so I make her a list. For example:

1) Put clothes in hamper
2) Put books on bookcase
3) Put shoes in closet

Etc, etc. She checks off each thing as she does it, and it makes it much more manageable for her.

I also wanted to say, you're right that you shouldn't have to help every step anymore. The problem is that they know if they hold off long enough, you will get fed up and do it for them. Don't give in! If they don't have any clean clothes, that's their problem. 

Alexis Emma 10-13-1999 - 13 years old
Kirsten Leslie 03-14-2004 - 8 years old
Sarah Mackenzie 08-14-2007 - 5 years old
Charlotte Amelia & Harmon David 04-12-2012 - 9 months old

by New Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 5:36 AM

So update, the boys' room is clean now, my daughter's room is almost done, we live in central Florida and the Strawberry festival is happening right now, my father in law wants to take them tomorrow, I told them they were not going if their rooms were not clean by the time we leave for church this morning, the only reason my daughter's is not quite finished yet is because she has other chores she had to do last night (make tea and put away the dishes) also her youngest brother fell asleep on her floor, so she couldn't vacuum. She will get it finished this morning, we have many rules about not getting priviledges if things we ask are not done, I know how excited they are to go tomorrow, I think that was the main reason they did so much yesterday, in addition to their rooms, they had some things to clean up in the diningroom, livingroom and kitchen, they did these things while I did other cleaning things, they play race the clock with the timer set for a bit longer than I think it will actually take them to pick up a room, they usually divide the stuff to pick up into 3 categories one for each of them, one picks up toys, the other trash, and the third is stuff that doesn't live in that room. so they are not too bad, it is mostly they forget to put stuff away, I am home all day, and see it, and I like my home to be clean and inviting for my husband when he gets home. I am hoping with the help of your many helpful suggestions that they will get better about keeping things clean!!

by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Make them do it before they can do something they WANT to do such as play with friends, play electronic games, go to sleepovers etc. Their room has to have certain things don't first such as all clothes/ toys picked up and garbage emptied etc.
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by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM
It can be very overwhelming, I use to end up in there with the every I eliminated everything, its been easier. Before they leave for school they make there beds. They have 10min tiddy everyday after school. Keep only what they real play with & put in bins & in closets. Have them ask for it & have them out away when done.your gonna need those laundry bins back,or like u said it ends up in piles everywhere
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 12, 2013 at 2:53 AM

I have detailed lists of chores for them to do nightly and then on saturdays they do weekly chores as well. I sit an alarm and they know to do their chores. If they don't do them to my standard they get redone. If they take to long they get timed and swatted for dawdling. Mine are 11,9,3. They clean out the cars, organize the kitchen cabinets, put groceries away, put clean silverware up every morning, put dishes in the dishwasher every night, wipe down the table after meals, they wipe down the bathroom sink after they use it, their clothes get put in their room hampers if I find them on the floor it's a swat. They have assigned days when they do their laundry. They dust, sweep, and mop the living room. The vaccuum the entire house. 

so basically I clean the bathroom and wipe down the counters and stove in the kitchen. I do dh and I's laundry. and help the baby with her laundry.They do everything else. They get a new chore every xmas break. I spend two weeks perfecting it. They started at age 2. 

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