Monday, February 22, 2010

How To Get a 5-Year Old To Clean Their Room

I admit 5-year old daughter's room is usually a complete mess! I'm not the type of person who likes to live with a messy room, but I just don't always have the time to make sure the kids are cleaning their rooms. Sometimes I don't have time to clean my own room. I'm not necessarily a neat freak but I do function better when things are put in their place and everything is nice and clean.

I recently discovered a great way to get my child to clean her room without a lot of tears and tantrums. And believe me, she has them! It's called "Baby Steps"!

See this room? It's a complete mess! Actually, this is not bad compared to what it was before I took the picture. I couldn't even see the floor!

You've heard the saying "you can't eat the elephant all at once"? You have to tackle any big chore in small steps and it's certainly no different for the kids. Seeing her room in complete chaos and being faced with the chore of cleaning it up is quite intimidating to her.

So, we start small.

First, I tell her to pick up all the little bitty toys and put them in the red bucket. She has to let me know when she's finished.

Next, I tell her to hang her purses on the hooks behind her door. Let me know when she's finished.

Next put the dress up clothes in the bucket in the closet.

Then, put the stuffed animals in the bucket in the closet.

Put the shoes in the shoe hanger.

Put dirty clothes in the hamper.

Last, put the rest of the toys on the floor in the bucket in the closet.

We try to make it fun, too. Sometimes we do it to music. Sometimes we time her and see how long it takes her. Sometimes we use bribery - ice cream usually works well for us.
And after a few minutes....a clean room! Wow! Wish I'd have thought of this when my other four were growing up. Better late than never, I guess!

I'd love to hear how you motivate your little ones to clean.

Happy Day!



  1. I do that to. When the kids clean a room I assign one to books, and other to clothes, another to trash and another to whatever category is out at them time.

  2. We actually started this methond a few months ago and it does work well. I am just still having issues with my 5 year old wanting to play with each toy before putting them back.