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Cleaning a Bedroom for a child aged 6 to 12

Updated on January 31, 2013

For the child ages 6 to 12 they should start to understand responsibility and that their own bedroom is their own responsibility. However, they still need a lot of help..

Don’t say, “Go tidy your room” and expect anything to get done. They will literally not know where to start, you have to give them the tools to start.

Tidy the room with your child, seeing the activity as a way of teaching them for the future rather than getting them to do it now.

Take a trash bag and pick up anything that’s trash that can go straight out the door and into the garbage bin. Keep a box by the door and anything that’s not wanted any more can go in the box and be donated to a thrift store.

If the child is grumpy and doesn’t want to join in, then insist that the child stays in the room while you tidy. But involve them in the task by saying things like, “Do you really want this?” Or, “Can I throw this out?” And “Where do you want me to put this?”

Make sure there is enough storage space for all the items in the child’s room.

Make it fun and you will get cooperation.

Start with the floor. Even if you don’t manage to tidy the whole room, if the floor is done it will appear greatly improved.

Pick the item there are most of on the floor, e.g. Clothes, toys, books. Tell the child that’s what you’re doing first. You and the child collect all of those items and put them in the right place. Then you will have a new item you see most of, move to that item.

As the items on the floor reduce, push them into a smaller and smaller pile. It’s easier to put away items that are all in one place rather than items that are scattered.

Make sure that there is a laundry basket in the child’s room. Train the child to put laundry into this basket so there won’t be clothes on the floor. Teach the child the difference between clean clothes and dirty clothes. Teach them to put clean clothes away.

The room doesn’t have to be perfect, just greatly improved. Don’t get disheartened if it’s messy again soon afterward.

Tidy frequently then it won’t be a big job each time you do it. Daily is ideal if you can manage it. Teach your child to tidy their own room for 5 minutes each day, then it won’t get really bad.

If you have one, keep a lightweight vacuum cleaner in or near the child’s room. When the floor is clear encourage the child to vacuum their own room.

One more thing...

Remember the goal isn’t just to get the child’s room tidy today, but to train the child to tidy their own room in the future.

And another thing...

Make a big fuss by saying, “Wow! It looks much better now!”

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