Tips For Getting Your Kids to Tidy


When it comes to keeping a neat and tidy home, all hands - both big and small - need to be on deck. “But my child is endlessly messy,” you lament with tears practically running down your face. Well, guess what. Tidiness can be taught, learned, drilled and trained. And kids are wonderful sponges that can soak up good habits that will last a lifetime. That’s not to say that it’ll be easy work turning your kid into a Tidy one. But it’s possible!

If you’re sick of cleaning up their mess, hoping one day they’ll eat a crumb-less dinner, or endlessly praying that the toy room will stop looking so gosh darn messy, then this one is for you.

1) Lead. By. Example. This is secretly my way to trick you into being tidy too but honestly, showing your kids the right way to treat a home is the best teaching method. Explain to them that no clothing should end up on the floor, dishes go in the sink after a meal, and toys get put away after using them. And then practice what you preach on the daily!

2) Let them go on mini cleaning spurts. Load up a spritz bottle with some water and hand your tot an old t-shirt. While you’re cleaning with actual aids, allow them to “clean” too. Granted, you’ll probably have to re-clean any areas they tackle but empowering them with a bottle of cleaning solution will go a long way in the future. Get spritzing!

3) Make cleaning charts. Charts are the solution to everything! List out a few tasks, slap some colorful graphics on the page, and start worshipping those check marks or stars. If there’s a reward at the end, your kid will want nothing more than to be cleaning up. Am I right??

4) Use a stopwatch. A ticking timer can add lots of fun and thrill to any cleanup session and kids respond wonderfully to them. Download the Lickety Split app or get an old school stopwatch and start it up when it’s time to put all of the toys away.

5) Create a one-in, one-out rule. Encourage your kids to put a game away before they take out their next one. This obviously won’t work until your child is old enough to understand it, but it’s a thoughtfully systematic way for them to learn how to interact with their belongings and toys.

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