Kinderland Malaysia
Kiddy123 Frame
British Montessori, Ampang
The children's house
Choo Choo Train Baby & Child Care Centre
Odyssey, The Global Preschool (Mont Kiara)
Small Wonder Malaysia

Getting Your Children To Clean Up Their Rooms

by on 19/06/2013 3788

If your kids were anything like mine, you will be going through the same frustration when you try to get them to clean their rooms. My kids’ rooms always look as if it has just survived a tornado.

Every time I send them off to clean up their rooms, they will go through the same routine. They whine and drag their feet to their rooms. Their rooms remained as messy as before, regardless of whether I asked them nicely, demanded them or even threatened them.

The good news, we have prepared a list of tips for you to get your children to clean up their rooms without having a hard time with them.

Have a Checklist

Younger children do not understand exactly what you mean by “clean up your room”. They need to be told specifically what to do rather than getting general instructions like “put your toys away”. They need to know which toy goes into which box. Are books and drawing materials considered toys or should they go into a different bin?

The best way is to have a checklist. List down the things you want them to do and have them tick off the chores that are completed. Your list can be a list like the following:

  • Put the Lego blocks into the blue box
  • Put all other toys into the black box
  • Return all pencils and colour pencils into the stationary basket
  • Hang up your clean clothes and put the dirty clothes into the laundry basket
  • Make your bed


No Exceptions to The Rule

Practice what you preach and don’t be a hypocrite. If your house is in a mess, you can’t expect your children to their room tidy. If you complain every time you need to wash the dishes, then you can’t expect your kids not to grumble when you ask them to clean their rooms. Parents should set good examples. Keeping the house clean and returning things to their respective places shows that we care about our home environment. Over time, our children will emulate our actions.

Storage Boxes

You don’t need to buy expensive boxes to store the toys. Even a broken luggage bag will do. The main idea is to let them know that everything has a place. You can choose to label the boxes if you like. Or you can make it more interesting by having the kids to draw up the labels.


Practice Teamwork

Instructing children to clean the rooms is not as effective as getting your hands dirty too. Join in the fun and show them what needs to be done and where the things should go to. I’m not implying that we should do this every single time. Perhaps you can help them for the first couple of clean-ups. As time goes by, they will begin to grasp the situation better and will not need supervision. They still need encouragement and persuasion, though.


Appreciate Their Effort

Everybody likes to be appreciated, especially kids. Even if they can’t do a perfect job, show them that you are glad that they did what you requested them to. Stop yourself from complaining about the little toy soldier that they forgot to put back or the missing red colour pencil. Concentrate on their efforts; chances are, they will be more than happy to clean up their rooms the next round. Once in a while, you can reward them with something they like.

Leave Them to Their Mess

There are times when you need to let the kids to experience the consequences. Instead of nagging about how they are going to lose their things in a messy room, just let it be. They will soon find out that you were right when they lose their favourite toy or that bedtime story book they loved so dearly. Occasionally we have to let go and let them to learn their lesson the hard way.


As with everything else involving children, you will need to have patience while trying to get your kids to clean their rooms. Give them some time and don’t stress yourself too much. If you are upset, they get upset too and things will go worse. Remember to take a deep breath and try again later.

What about you? What are your secret weapons to getting your kids to clean up their rooms?