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Get kids to keep their room tidy - how?(29 Posts)
I'm tired of moaning. How do I get DS to keep his room tidy?
Just make it non-negotiable. How old is he?
I copied what Super Nanny suggested. Tell them how happy it makes you when they do X. Then stick on some music and say at the end of two songs, let's see how much you can do...leave the room...worked with my 3.5yr old...that woman is a genius!
Usually they don't do it because they don't know how. They get overwhelmed. Best way is to use a timer for each task and turn it into a fun game. Put on a favourite piece of his music, then set a timer for 5 minutes and say:the challenge is to find all clothes - put the dirty ones in the wash basket and the clean ones away in 5 minutes. Teach him how to quickly check the front of tee shirts etc to see if they are grubby, and to check the soles of socks to see if they've been worn. If he needs more than 5 minutes, add another minute to the timer.
Then do the same with books, the same with different kinds of toys. E.g. Put all Lego in the Lego bucket/tub. Give him a clean dustpan and brush to make it easier if you need to.
Just break it down into individual jobs with a short timer for each one, Any he fails to finish in time, just quickly finish with him. If he finishes early, give lots of praise and say, 'Wow, see how easily you got that done.'
At the end of the tidying session do two things - one is add something extra nice to his room - frame a favourite poster or add a cactus plant or if you don't want to add stuff, just arrange some favourite toys into a really nice focal-point display. The second one is a reward for hard work - a biscuit and milk or a 20 minute gaming session or you agree to play football in the garden with him for half an hour etc. This teaches that the effort pays off with something pleasurable.
I did this technique with my autistic son and now he's the tidiest person out of all of us.
Ritual every night. Put a fast song on (Benny hill the springs to mind ) and they have to put all toys back in the box and clothes in linen basket by the end of the song.
A parenting hack I read is to take a photo of his room in a tidy state so you can both refer to it. That is his benchmark.
It avoids the bewilderment of being told “Go and tidy your room!” and all the half measures in between.
Evening tidy up sessions, enough shelving, regular clearouts and a bit of ungrudging help are all good ideas.
Teenagers are responsible for their own rooms and get a 20-minute warning to clear their floors if I’m coming in to do the vacuuming. Anything still on the floor goes on their beds because that’s the one place they WILL clear off every day!
And in these days standards have to be lower.
I have boys who have their own rooms who are 6 and 8. We made sure they have very practical and functional storage spaces. We've been through with them where their clothes go, how to fold etc.
The 6 year old loves clutter and collecting so we go him a 'chest' which I've had to accept he will just fill with junk but that's the one place in our house that I have to have the 'out of sight out of mind' attitude.
Each morning when they get dressed they have a pile of thei clean washing that they fold and put away, the put their blinds up, make their beds and generally tidy. At night before their shower they do a quick tidy and make sure everything is in 'relax' mode.
I think it's just a case of perseverance and making it not seem like a chore.
They have TVs in their rooms do at night the quicker they are ready for bed the more tv time they have left.
Honestly? Just close the door.
Here, sheets are stripped and put in the washing machine when they get up on Mondays (inspired decision made when they were very young, which means I've never had to deal with teenage sheets!). They remake their own bed or sleep on a bare mattress.
I don't help find anything that's lost because of the mess and if clothes aren't clean because they're still on the bedroom floor, that's their problem too.
They soon learn to keep things to a standard that is acceptable to them and doesn't inconvenience them too much. I never go in there so I don't care.
I just make sure it is tidy once a week so it never gets too awful. Other than that- leave them to it!
I don’t bother/care really. They put away clothes that I leave in a clean pile on the bed and everything has to be away once every 2 weeks for the cleaner but apart from that, it’s their space, they can do what they like.
My parents were controlling about what I put on the walls and what I did with my room with the idea of keeping it “nice” and I always vowed that when I had children that they could do what they liked with their own rooms.
We just tell them to do it and its not a choice. Xbox, tv, tablets or whatever don't happen if their rooms are disgusting or their laundry isn't put away. Job done.
I made it a habit before bed from 2yo onwards - I'd tell them we can't read stories until the room was tidy and it was incentive enough as they loved stories. They'd "help" me at first but now do it themselves and are very proud of themselves and love showing me how clean their rooms are.
Obviously it will be different at 9! But I would still create the habit the same way. Start by doing it with him every night and keep at it until it becomes second nature to him. Some nights I really didn't want to and was tempted to just leave it but I forced myself and it payed off. Consistency is key.
My 9 year old just does it or he knows there will be consequences.
Just couldn't be arsed with it all so I employed a cleaner. She is lovely and has become part of the family. How I coped before I simply don't know.
What consequences would people us?
The your not switching on the Xbox works to an extent. Then suddenly he has a bit of clear floor and pulls out something else. Before I've had a chance to get the Hoover near it.
does he have plenty of storage and a clear place for everything?
The biggest issue is Lego. Its everywhere. I don't mind sets that are built it's the million other bits that bug me.
Tell DS that he has 1 hour to put all the Lego away in this box. Any Lego not in the box after the hour will be thrown away.
And DO IT.
Telling kids to tidy their rooms here is like banging my head off the wall. It's driving me insaaaaane!
Playmat which doubles as a drawstring bag. Look on Amazon or similar. Best invention ever for Lego... Use just pull the string!
Please don't do what @BMW6 suggests. That is bullying, unnecessarily aggressive behaviour that turns parenting into a battle of wills in which you are the tyrant. It will definitely escalate battles as he grows up.
Just teach him gently how to tidy and take care of his stuff until he gets the hang of it. Parent with love not aggression.
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