needing advice - FamilyEducation
needing advice
07/05/2007 at 00:43 AM

I have a six year old daughter and a seven year old  .their bedroom is a wreck i have helped them clean it up on several occasions and im sick of it  everything in their room has a home they just don"t put their things away  ive tried  incentives  and it will work for a while and then it"s back to a mess . when i go in their room to tuck them in i always step on shoes , dolls or both how do  you guys get your kids to keep their rooms clean?

Hey happy,


I have had this problem with my daughter over the years.  I have tried and also heard some great ways to teach them that they need to pick up after themselves.


One thing I did was tell my daughter that she had to clean up her toys and dolls or they would go into a time-out.  If she didn't pick them up then I would come along and put them all in a bag, basket, whatever and they would be in time-out for a week.  After the week, she could get them back but she would have to be without her favorite items for a week.  Then the next time everything was a mess, I would threaten it and she was much better about picking up.


I have a friend who has done something similar, she gives her daughter a cleaning deadline, when she doesn't meet the deadline she goes in and picks everything up that is on the floor and then her daughter has to buy the items back.  If her daughter doesn't have any money, she has to do extra things to earn the money to buy the items back---if her daughter has items that she has no desire to buy back, she takes those items to goodwill after a period of time.


Anyone else have any ideas?




you know ,

  those are great ideas . the one with buying them back is a good way to teach money and also get rid of the things that they don"t want

                    thanks marti


Hey happy,


Let us know what you try and how it works.  I don't know very many parents who don't go through the whole messy room thing.




First of all, Marti's suggestions are great! You could try them!  I have had the same messy room problem with  my daughter, but not my son.  So sometimes it's just that certain kids are messy and certain kids are not.  Your kids, however, are still a bit young, and even though young kids are capable of cleaning up their rooms on their own, sometimes they need help with the step-by-step.  You said everything in the room has a place, which is the first step.  I'm sure your kids already know where everything goes! While you're "training" them, you may need to literally stand there in the mess and say, "First, put all the clothes in your drawers or the hamper." After they do that, you could say, "Now, put all the trucks and cars in the basket (or whatever)." You may need to point out items one at a time because younger kids are overwhelmed by a messy room and don't see individual items. Once they see how easy it is do if they pick up just one type of item/toy at a time, then it might be easier for them to do.  This worked well for my daughter...and even when she has friends over as well.  Good luck!!  Messy rooms are frustrating for parents!


hi happy i've had this same problem with my 6yr old son.Telling him over and over cleaning his room over and over .Finally I said you know what the next time I have to tell you to keep it clean ,everything I come across thats out of place is getting taken away.And so I had to do just that and ,when that consisted of ps2 games etc he learned I wasn't playing anymore.It worked for me give it a try.I just took bags ,and put them up.Until he could show me he was gonna keep everything else picked up ,he didn't get it back.
I want to hear someones views on young kids watching horror films.I have a friend that lets her son watch very disturbing movies.And I don't know how to address it because she knows how I feel buts its gotten to the point where I dont know if my sons watc

First and foremost you have to make your children resposible, they are old enough to understand that those are their things and mommy is not their maid anymore. You cannot allow them to take all of their things out all at once without putting something back, yes I know some children tend to be stubborn but you have to put your foot down or else threating to get rid of it all, hide the toys, games, etc.. until they understand that when they ask for you to purchase something for them they must be responsible in taking care of it.

                                                    Be cool your in charge,



i shoild say that you have to tell them resons to keep their room clean or do a report about if they have ther room cleaned then ithey get a golden star about 10 and at the end buy or give them each a prize trust me ive been through it plenty of times and sometimes it iworks but give it a try. 


 you always have to be one with them or else there going to start somethind new that is bad !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                 now thats how your going to get in charge!


I had the same problem with my sons room, but I have to tell you I bought these srorage cubbies from target that you have to put together, they are great and inexpensive.  I then bought clear containers with covers from walmart for about 1.97 each.  I had to buy quite a few because I bought shoe box size and the next size up which I think are a 12 quart size.  Then you can cut pictures out of toy catalogs and also label what is in the container:  Example: picture of matchbox cars and spell it out also.  Depending on the age of your child this is great for early literacy skills and organization.  Older children I would just label by spelling it out.  children are much better at picking up if they know exactly where it goes.   You can usually put 2 of the 12 quart and 4 of the shoe box size.  Good luck.  Shelly


I am the mother of five grown children. I never expected them to tidy up or anything else till each child was seven. At seven they had to make their bed before going to school. (At first I often had to come and do again after they had gone  but at least they were learning.) At each birthday they were expected to do more. Four of my children are now very tidy adults. One really doesn't care. But that's not my problem.




This was an aggravating problem for us, but our solution has worked great.


Our girls, now 9 and 11, clean their rooms every single day.  It seems extreme, but works wonderfully.  The rule is: Rooms must be clean before you play for the day.  When they are cleaning their room everyday, there's not as much stuff to put away AND it hasn't been so long since they took it out that they can claim "I don't know where it goes".  The added incentive of them being able to play when their jobs are done makes it happen reasonably quickly most days.  This is something that can even be done during the school year, because most days it should take less than five to ten minutes to complete (since they've been away all day at school). 


This habit has made a HUGE turnaround for us.  It's critical though for mom or dad to check the bedroom before "releasing" the kid to playtime so that things are not just getting shoved under the bed (our solution - boxsprings are directly on the floor, not quite as attractive as a bedframe, but MUCH more simple to keep things clean.  Or place something under the bedframe for storage that "absorbs" that space (sleeping bags, toys in roll-out boxes, an extra mattress for a sleepover, etc.). 


We also moved my older daughter's dresser directly into her oversized closet so that it would limit the amount of junk she put into her closet.  Worked like a charm, plus she has more floor space in her bedroom now for playing!


My two cents,
~ Diane


I agree with Diane. Also, you are responsible for monitoring them while they are playing. To get them in shape, check on them every once in a while, have them put things away and they can resume playing when those things are handled. After a while, it becomes habit. You can't expect kids to be clean and tidy, you have to do the work to teach them (constantly, until they get the hang of it). Parenting, as you know, is a 24-hour a day job. You don't have to be a nag (and certainly not a maid!) to teach them and persistently guide them. But kids DO need monitoring. With your monitoring, it should not get out of hand.