What tells the world that you have chunky little feet pattering around in your home? You guessed right. It’s the mess that kids leave in their wake.
Although kids are experts at turning rooms upside down, cleaning up is not their cup of tea. Are you looking for ways of getting your kids to clean up without resorting to yelling and threats?
Are you eager to sneak in a little order in your home without setting your kids’ toys ablaze? This article will let you in on 7 smart ways to nip this problem in the bud.
Benefits of Getting Kids to Clean up After themselves
A study published by the University of Minnesota found that kids who got involved in household chores at an early age (3-4 years) were better adjusted in their 20’s.
Here are some exemplary traits that the children exuded:
- Strong work ethic
- Healthy self-image
- Team player
- Successful career
Most kids dip their feet into the world of chores through cleaning up. It is their first chore in life. As they clean up albeit clumsily, they are inadvertently laying a great foundation for their future years.
7 Ways of Getting Kids to Clean Up After Themselves
1. Get Organized
There’s nothing more endearing than a well-organized space. Cluttered messy places dampen even the merriest heart and fizzle out mental clarity.
One of the fastest ways to rein in on the mess is by making sure everything in your house has a ‘home’. From crayons to balls, playdough, toy cars, puzzles, blocks, board games, dolls, doll furniture, Legos, plush animals, books, crafts, keepsakes, and school gear.
Our storage station with eight baskets and three bins is the perfect home for all your kids’ toys and essentials. With 3 open bins and eight baskets, your kids will be enthused to clean up as they get caught up in the frenzy of placing each item in its place.
Your kids will also fancy the two-color baskets which can be reversed or removed entirely when the urge to perk things up strikes.
2. Have Some Rules
If you allow them, your kids can turn your entire home into a giant playroom. You need to tether them to some rules where play and cleaning up are concerned.
One brilliant way of ingraining the practice of cleaning up is by enforcing the ‘take one out –put one away’ rule.
If your child has for instance finished playing with their dollhouse playset, they should not abandon it in the living room and scoot off to a different toy. They should first put it away in its rightful ‘home’.
3. Break Down Big Tasks Into Smaller Chunks
There will be days when your kids will gloss over your rules and overturn your whole house. Maybe they were in a tizzy because they had too much candy. Or perhaps they didn’t catch enough z’s. When those days come, you need a plan.
Cleaning up an entire room is daunting for an adult let alone a child. However, when big tasks are broken down into bite-sized portions, they become a breeze.
If your kids have a mountain of cleaning up to do, ask them to take a step at a time. You can for instance ask them to start by putting away all the stuffed animals, after which they take a break.
They then move on to putting away all the legos followed by another break. At the end of the day, the monstrous task will be complete with minimal tears.
Our up and down toy and storage box will come in handy when your kids are cleaning up in phases. It is ideal for tidying up larger toys in the spacious top bin and small items like doll clothes and building bricks in the two baskets below.
While closed, it converts into a bench on which your kids can perch while reading, putting on socks or shoes, or when they are simply catching their breath after a rigorous cleaning-up session.
The lid is held open by a safety support hinge which keeps it from slamming shut thereby protecting your baby’s explorative hands.
The cherry on top? This snazzy toy storage box is versatile and nestles perfectly in kid’s rooms, playrooms, family rooms, or dens. You can also use it to store linens and supplies in a guestroom.
4. Jazz up Cleaning up Time
It takes such little effort to send a whining grouchy child into fits of laughter. A mere tickle or a goofy face often does the job.
When your kids seem to be dragging their feet while cleaning up, put on some music and let them break into a jolly jig as they clean up.
You can also put a timer and urge them to clean up before the timer goes off. The adrenaline rush will come in handy.
5. Enthuse Your Kids With a Thoughtfully Organized Playroom
There’s a reason why kids light up when they walk into a children’s museum or park. There’s so much to explore, each item or activity placed meticulously in its place.
A playroom will offer your kids their own little paradise peppered with their favorite toys and games. We are however not talking about dumping all their toys in a room and leaving them to their own devices.
Far from it! The playroom should be neat, clutter-free, and well organized. It should have lots of storage space to ensure that it doesn’t morph into a dumpsite. Your kids should know that it is their responsibility to keep it ship-shape.
Our Corner Cubby Storage Unit is a great addition to any playroom. It fits well into unused corners thereby maximizing space.
It is perfect for storing books, stuffed animals, arts & craft supplies, and more. It has 9 cubby shelves and 4 reversible baskets that can flip from white to gray.
What’s more, each of the cubbies is open in the back allowing full access from either side of the unit.
6. Weed Out Old Toys
Do you feel like toys have besieged your home? Here is a smart trick. Go over your kids’ toys with a fine-tooth comb and stash them into 3 categories.
- Broken toys– Dispose of these
- Functional toys which your kids don’t need – Donate them
- Toys that your kids use and love– Keep them
Do this twice a year and enjoy more space in your home.
7. Lower Your Expectations
Let’s be honest, a spick and span house is a mirage when you have young children. There will always be a few errant toys and household items lurking in the wrong places. We suggest that you make peace with that and roll with the punches.
Although you are diligently teaching your kids to clean up, do not expect your house to be unscathed.
Getting kids to clean up after themselves is not merely aimed at keeping a home neat as a pin. It’s an essential way of setting them up for success later in life. By all means, let the kids clean up.