How to Clean Up the Kids Bedroom - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Like bumblebees with pollen, children are busy creatures who spread clutter to every room and surface they breeze past. A great deal of the cleaning challenge that is children is about tidiness rather than dirt.

When you can’t fit it all in, prioritise. Go for good hygiene first (fresh towels and vacuumed floors) then safety (moving toys that could cause trip-ups). Everything else can wait.

From around age three, most children can take some responsibility for their room. That’s not to say that they can wield the vacuum or duster – although actually, usually the tiny ones are the most enthusiastic. But simple routines, such as tidying away toys each night, can drastically cut your work. From age five, you can also ask them to put each day’s clothes into a clothes hamper.

You may want to start a stars chart. Each day that the room is tidy give one star and when your children earn ten stars, give them a treat.

Ask your children simply to throw back the sheets as they get up. When you make your rounds later, the beds are already aired and ready to make up.

Having a place for everything – and not too much in one place – makes tidying up easier for both you and your children. Allocate a corner for shoes, school bag, and sports gear. Keep only the clothes your children are wearing right now in their room. Clothes from overly full wardrobes always hit the floor. So, during the holidays, store away their school uniforms and pack away cotton trousers in winter.

Provide two small rubbish bins in their room. Stand one by the desk for paper and put the second by the door so that they can use it as they are coming or going. Because its contents may be unpredictable, you may want to empty at least this bin regularly. Keep the place a bedroom. Don’t let them turn it into a dining-room by bringing in snacks and drinks.

Let them know in advance when you’re going to clean. They probably have treasures they don’t want you to touch. If they put these away before you get there, that’s less work for you.

Position the bed so that it is against a wall rather than in the middle of the room. Most children’s rooms are small, and it speeds up the vacuuming if you have to vacuum on only two sides of the bed. Also, sheets stay in place better. You don’t need to walk around a single bed to change it.