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How to Help Your Child Keep His Room Clean

How to Help Your Child Keep His Room Clean

Four tips for teaching young ones how to keep their space tidy.

Does your child's room look like it's going to be condemned by the Board of Health any second? Are you sick of the mess, clutter, and general dirtiness? Trust me you are not alone on this one. Leslie Josel, owner of Order Out of Chaos, shares her favorite tips to get you started down a path toward consistent bedroom cleanliness. 


Recognize Your Kid’s Organizing Style.

We each have our own unique organizing style. Start by asking your child, “What system is going to work for you?” If she needs to see her stuff to know it exists, then remove her closet door! If folding clothes isn’t his thing, replace the dresser with bins where he can toss T-shirts, jeans, socks, and underwear. If she detests hanging up clothes on hangers, ditch the rod in the closet and put up hooks. 
 

Eliminate Road Blocks.

If it takes a child more than three steps to do something, they aren’t going to do it. Take a tour of your child’s room using her height as your guide. Can she open the closet door easily? Can she reach the rod and shelves? Are the dresser drawers hard to open? Is the dresser crammed full? And don’t forget about shelving! Is there enough shelf space for books, memorabilia, etc.? Does she have big enough trash and laundry baskets? Eliminating roadblocks is the first step!
 

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Cede Full Control.

Teens crave independence. So empower your child by giving her choices while still setting boundaries. Tell your teen that a few electronics can live on the floor, but laundry and food is off-limits. That one-to-one ratio— one rule for every freedom— makes teens much more likely to comply with your clutter edicts.
 

Create Custom Clutter Zones.

Differentiate between kids’ space and shared space. For example, let your teen keep his closet however he wants. But communal spaces, like the living room, must be clutter free. Also allow “clutter days.” Your child can have free rein over her room Monday through Friday, but Sunday is family cleanup day. Post the “house rules” where all can see and make sure that natural consequences are discussed and enacted consistently.

 

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