How to Get Your Kid to Clean Their Room

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

If your kid’s room is a total disaster, storage could be a place to prevent any further damage to your home and nerves. Many parents see the lack of motivation and personal orderliness without looking at the room itself. No doubt, if you were cleaning the room, you could manage just fine with the existing storage space. Naturally, your kid isn’t nearly as efficient with his or her storage. Whatever the state of your kid’s room, here are some things to consider to improve your storage options.

Use Storage as Motivation

The first rule of thumb is to listen to your kids and what they want their room to look like. If they feel like the room is their own, they’re more likely to take care of it. This is true whether the kid is 6 or 16. Sit down with them in their room and go over different ideas to personalize their storage units. Do they want cabinets with the Cowboys logo (or ballerinas, horses, etc.) on it? Invest in closet organizers to handle most of the big items—clothes, shoes, bigger toys and so forth. Then, lay the kicker on them. You’re going to provide these items, but they need to start keeping the room clean. Will this work? Maybe, maybe not, but at least you’ll have an ironclad reason (better than “because you said so”) to ground them when they don’t keep their room clean.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Age-Appropriate Kid Storage

Smaller children may not be able to reach existing clothes rods, drawers, and shelves. Besides the obvious difficulty for a kid to be able to use this storage, it promotes the idea that you’ll be doing the cleaning and organizing in the room. In fact, you probably are taking care of these chores. The sooner you can enable your kid to clean and maintain his or her own room, the more independent he or she is likely to become, and the fewer problems you’ll have down the line.

Sure, the day will come when your kids can reach the clothing rod in the closet, but if you’ve been hanging the clothes for years, your kids probably aren’t going to start cleaning just because they’ve grown a few inches and you tell them it’s time. It doesn’t take that much time or money to lower the shelves and drawers in your kid’s room. Even if you have to hire a contractor to come in and remodel your kid’s room, it’s well worth it if you’re instilling good habits in your children that will last well into adulthood.

Kid Storage Aides: Create Labels and Color Codes

This idea usually only works for small children, but it’s a great way to synthesize cleaning and education. Buy multi-color storage bins and label toys and other clutter with the color of the bin where the items belong. When your kid outgrows this system, you can use more advanced labels on the bins and toys. A bin may be labeled “animals” and the items that belong there can be labeled with pictures of different animals on them. This may buy you a few years of convincing your kids that cleaning their rooms is actually a game.

Platform Beds and Kid Room Storage

Many kids think shoving all the toys and clutter on the floor under their bed counts as cleaning their room. There’s a special kind of disappointment that happens when you enter your kid’s room believing it to finally be clean only to discover there’s enough clutter under the bed to support the mattress without the box spring. If this is the case, take the hint and get rid of the box spring.

Modern beds are thick enough that they frequently don’t require box springs for added support. A specially-designed platform bed provides the equivalent comfort and support of a standard bed and, the best part is, these beds can convert the extra space into storage. Instead of a box spring and bed frame that allows some six inches of space—just enough to shove miscellaneous items under the bed—the bed frame extends all the way to the floor and has storage space built into it. Your kid will still be able to throw his or her clutter under the bed, but it can be easily organized. Plus, random, disgusting items that can hide for months at a time under a bed tend to get exposed.

More From Life Cheat Sheet: