Today, May 10th, is National Clean Up Your Room Day. It’s a day for the kids, with your help if they’re young, to do a deep clean of their rooms.
I have a 4 year old and this “tidy your room” thing has not been going well! “Please go tidy your room” was met with… well, she went to her room and started playing!
Then I realised we were doing it wrong!
How can a 3 or 4 year old just know how to tidy? She hasn’t been in daycare for more than a few months at a time, over the last 2 years so, she hasn’t learned the “Tidy Up routine”. That means we have to show her- we have to teach her how to tidy!
Here are 5 tips for tidying
- Have a place for everything and make sure your child knows where that place is.
- Clean up with your young children so they learn how to tidy. And break it down into steps. My husband recently wrote a list with pictures to show our daughter: Clean clothes back in your draws, dirty clothes in the hamper, toys in their spot.
- Try to tidy up between activities so the messes are smaller
- Purge– Getting rid of the toys they no longer play with, or have never really played with, and sorting out clothes that are too small will give you more space to give everything a place. If your child is like mine, she will suddenly LOVE something she’s never played with so you may have to do some sneaky purges to make space!
- Start earlier so that you’re not trying to tidy and get ready for bed at the same time.
What about older kids? First, teach them how to tidy but then, as PsychCentral says,
Once the kids are preteens and you’re sure they know how to clean a room, it’s time to back off.
It’s normal for preteens and teens to begin pushing their parents away. They need privacy. They want a corner of the world they can claim as their own.
(Click the PsychCentral link for even more tidying advice!)
What tips do you have to keep things tidy?