Ahh, perhaps one of the greatest battles, or should I say challenges in any home is getting the kids to clean their rooms and play areas. If you build in success, by providing them the tools, it’ll make it easier on everyone. Here are a few ideas.
When selecting the storage for your child’s room, be sure that it’s something that the child can use. There are tons of options, from plastic storage bins, the fold up cardboard under-bed boxes and drawers and build-it-yourself furniture, and don’t forget garage sales. Take your child with you when getting new storage, to make sure it will be user friendly.
Younger children have trouble opening heavy dresser drawers, so consider using cardboard box storage, or open stacking baskets. Use the dressers for out of season clothes until they are older. Put stickers on the drawers to show what goes in each one, so they can start learning to put away their own clothes. You can find a wide variety of stickers in scrap booking supplies.
Clear plastic bins are great for toys. The lids are usually easy to work and the children can see what’s in the box. It’s also fun to label the storage with bright pictures of what goes in each box. Stuffed animals can multiply like rabbits, but storing them on a Velcro covered pole is fun and helps decorate the room. A large decorative laundry basket can make good storage for the stuffed animals as well.
By sorting the toys into groups, and storing some in either the basement or garage, you can limit the amount of toys in their rooms at one time. Rotate which toys they have once a month or so, helping limit boredom with the toys. This is also a good time to sort out the things the kids no longer play with or have gotten too old for, and either pass things on or have a garage sale.
Finally, make cleaning and picking up fun!! Create a game out of it and assign different tasks. I often say to my son, 'lets see who can clean or pick up toys faster!". He just loves it when he beats his old 'dad'. I hope these ideas might help and would be interested in hearning what others do to encourage their children to clean up. Just go to the end of this post to share your ideas.