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How to help children keep their rooms tidy

Updated on April 24, 2016

Baby playing in a tidy room

Tidy rooms when babies are young trains them to keep their room tidy. Photo Credit -
Tidy rooms when babies are young trains them to keep their room tidy. Photo Credit -

Help children to have tidy rooms

Getting children to get their bedrooms clean can be the cause of much stress in a household.

Oh, what a mess it is a wonder that they can even find their beds, as a grandmother of teenagers and older it is unbelievable, I have never come across such an unsightly mess, clothes in every direction.

What I cannot understand is why, it is not the way I brought up my own children.

Dear me how times have changed.

Children these days have far too many clothes and toys, they do not know what to do with them.

How many times a day does a child change their clothes?

Not only changing their clothes every two hours, they are left laying on the floor, as a result they are not wearable again until they have been washed, in the meanwhile if they are needed, especially school clothes there's a mad cleanup job to be done in a couple of hours, with many tears and tantrums because they are dirty and who's fault is it they are dirty?

Mom is to blame of course.

Well, I have had my rant, now time to help them get this mess cleaned up.

Helping kids organize their room by cutting down on personal belongs

Maybe we could teach a dog to tidy up. Photo of my dog - trout, author Elsie Hagley.
Maybe we could teach a dog to tidy up. Photo of my dog - trout, author Elsie Hagley.

Tips for teaching kids to keep their rooms tidy

Maybe some child reading this will put in some time to get their rooms uncluttered and organised.

Here are some tips for creating tidy children, hopefully, they may get some valuable skills for running their own homes later in life.

Start early, even a toddler can pick up some toys and put them in a box.

Establish an everyday routine for picking up their toys and putting them away.

(My children put all their toys away every evening before going to bed, and I never heard any complaints, as they knew from a very young age, that that was what was required of them to do before going to bed).

Have clear places for the toys to go, otherwise your child will just become overwhelmed and confused about how to tidy them up.

Have a box for Lego, a box for soft toys, a box or shelf for their books etc.

If you just have one big toy box, that is where things go wrong because when they are searching for something that is missing, they can't find it, everything gets thrown onto the floor and makes twice as much work to pick them up.

That way is the way to create a mess, when asked to clear it up, they are already annoyed because they could not find what they wanted, that is where the stress builds up, they refuse to pick up the toys, then tears and tantrums build up and everything becomes unmanageable, which could have been avoided in the first place.

Establish clear areas for your child's various belongings.

My children knew they were never to bring their toys in the kitchen area where I was cooking as it was dangerous, someone may trip up, and have boiling water or very hot food land on them. Play in the lounge, not in the kitchen.

Don't worry too much about clothes being shoved in their drawers, as long as they are clean, in the right drawer and off the floor, that will be good enough for now as they grow older they will learn to fold them better, if they want their clothes to look nice when they get dressed.

Happy girl in her tidy bedroom

Image Credit -
Image Credit -

How to get your child involved in tidying up their room.

If it is a mess all the time maybe they need more containers, take them shopping for some plastic storage box and let them choose their favorite colour.

The more you include them in how their room is organized, the more likely they are to keep it tidy.

Encourage them to pick some nice kids posters and put them on their bedroom wall, make them feel that, that's their room, to do what they want to do, by helping them to make it nice and tidy, you will find they will have more respect for their room and keep it tidy, without having, to be nagged at all the time to tidy it up.

Don't forget to reward them, if you have set up the room properly, with designated areas and sensible storage systems, then challenge your child to keep it tidy.

If they succeed, reward them with cash or buy them something they want for their bedroom.

They will learn the habits and skills they need to be tidy for life.

Hopefully, they may get some valuable skills for running their own homes later in life.

Help children to tidy their room

helping to tidy the room. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley
helping to tidy the room. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Children's Storage Bins - These Will Help Your Children To Keep Their Rooms Tidy.

Most children are not untidy, it is easy if you teach them very young, they love to help you tidy up.

Make it a habit every day.

By having removable containers, it makes it easy for quick clean up.

Rounded safety corners in nice pastel colors for storing different types of blocks, doll clothes, crayons, costumes, makes a tidy and safe room because they will not pull all the toys out on the floor looking for one special toy as they can clearly see that toys are in each container, less likely to fall over on toys laying on the floor and injure themselves.

They are very easy to keep clean, just a clean cloth and wipe out all the nasties that seem to creep into the corners.

Helps develop organization skills, by group the same toys together and in no time at all they will be having that tidy room that every mom strides for.

Tidy Children's Rooms

Which sex do you think keep their bedrooms the tidiest?

See results

Do your Children keep their rooms tidy?

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    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      @Andromachi: That's sad. I have grandchildren that are grown teens and you can't get into their bedroom for all the clothes and junk in their rooms. Hope you find time to get it sorted out before they leave home as it doesn't help a relationship a untidy lady in the house usually ends in disaster for them. This is very true I have seen it happen in my family.

    • Andromachi profile image

      Andromachi Polychroniou 

      5 years ago from Maurothalassa, Serres, Greece

      I have a problem with my daughter keeping her room tidy.

      She is bored very easily and now with the baby I can't find the time to work with her. So these days her room is rather chaotic.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I let things get out of hand when the grandkids are over. I am working now to get their toys back in to an organized state. My daughter has had some of the organizational things you highlight in your lens.

    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      @RoadMonkey: Yes I like you have tried many ideas for my grandchildren to keep their rooms tidy but nothing work, they seem to love their rooms full of clutter so they have to walk on everything to move in the room, then wonder why something they love is broken and this is hard to believe but true, the parents with buy them another one even if it is the child fault it is broken. You can't win, "what ever happened to make humans like this"? Is it too much money? It sure makes me think, where did we go wrong? When I was a child, my parents would never have allowed this and certainly I would never have done it, I hate messes.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      5 years ago

      NO! And the one living at home is the untidiest of all, so it's no wonder his daughter (my granddaughter) is also untidy. I have tried helping with zone clearance, a few things at a time but it's what you say - kids today have too much STUFF! You can't organise clutter.

    • Elsie Hagley profile imageAUTHOR

      Elsie Hagley 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      @Mellithorpe: Yes I agree with you about these great organizers bins. I don't know if this is true but in my family, girls are the hardest to get to tidy up their rooms. I had 2 girls ,3 boys. The boys were easy to work with when it came to tidy rooms. I have also noticed with my grandchildren it's the girls that are really bad about tidy rooms, in fact it is practically impossible to get through the door, clothes in every direction. To be quite honest they have far too many, oh so much unnessersary washing.

    • Mellithorpe profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens and I wish they had these types of organizers when my daughter was growing up. It was a constant battle with her to get her to clean her room. I finally gave up and kept the door shut. She has kids now; they are not as bad at keeping their rooms cleans as she was.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You have given us great tips. It is always a challenge.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image

      Lou Martin 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      No! My daughter's share the same room and it always looks like a bomb was thrown in it!!!!! I really need to buy them a kid's organizer for their room. Thanks for the tips!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great tips! My daughter is three and we try to routinely tidy up the toys in the lounge every evening before bed so that she gets used to doing it. Having lots of different boxes for different things definitely helps!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

      While I was a single parent and working and going to college and university, my elder daughters' rooms were absolutely atrocious (I can happily report that my oldest, now married, has a very tidy bedroom now though!). My youngest does not get to play her favorite video games or have friends over until her room is tidied. She's not allowed to go from one activity to the next until the first is cleaned up. And she's also not allowed to eat in her bedroom.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      6 years ago

      I have one daughter that used to have her room spotless until her little sister (who is a tornado lol) moved into the bedroom with her. My son isn't too bad, I just need to go through and get rid of some "clutter" lol.

    • dave-sutton profile image


      7 years ago

      My son is 34 and still at home. Even at that age his bedroom would be a tip if Dot did not keep nagging him.

      Anyone want a lodger, with very healthy appetite, you need to keep the food cupboard well stocked.

    • ChinaGal profile image


      7 years ago

      I wish I could get my husband to keep his room tidy:)

    • Camden1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Mine did when they were young. When my oldest daughter turned 12, it started becoming a huge source of fights in our house. I finally just decided that God gave us doors for a reason, and just shut the door on her room. So it's messy, but I don't have to see it.

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland

      Great tips! My boys are pretty good about keeping their rooms clean, but my daughter is very messy...I am constantly on her about her room. The drawers have been a major issue, but maybe I should take your advice and relax a little on that. :)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      7 years ago from USA

      If anyone has information on this, you certainly do. More people should read these tips. My mother must have been a lot like you. She made us pick up our toys, wash and prepare for dinner by 6 pm. We had to be ready for when my Dad got home from work, and you better believe that we were. Keep giving good advice. You don't know who will pop by and benefit from your experience.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 

      7 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      No, my kids rooms were all a disaster. So was mine. thanks for the tips to help kids clean up :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Are you kidding? LOL! The only time they're good with this is when friends are coming over.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      My son always did, and one day some friends came round with their kids who proceeded to get all of his toys out and as more and more came out nothing went back. They were running across the floor stepping on them, and he just sat there dumb-struck! It really is necessary to start when they are very young, and the rest should fall into place. Good information and some neat storage ideas. My daughters have the storage bins, they worked out well.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't have any, so I can't answer that questions, but love the ideas given here. I think teaching children to be tidy from the start, and showing by example is so important. The storage boxes are great. If kids do frequent clearing out of toys they no longer use and donate them to a good cause, it helps clutter build up. Anything they might be likely to go again after a while can be packed away, so there is not too much stuff around at one time should help. Kids need to be taught how to look after their clothes too, and I agree too many clothes, is not helpful either. Mom used to make some of our dresses years ago.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sometimes. It has improved since I built a custom storage area for all her toys.


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