3 Secrets for Raising Children Who Clean Up!

Juice stains in the carpet. Cheeto-prints on the sofa. Tiny trinkets and dirty socks at every turn. While the bright smiles and first steps are well worth the mess, there is almost no greater challenge than keeping a clean home with little ones running loose and wreaking havoc. Make things a little easier on yourself by raising kiddos who contribute to the housework – or at the very least, clean up after themselves.

A Word on Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is one’s confidence (or lack thereof) in his or her ability to complete a task or accomplish a goal. Understanding self-efficacy is imperative to raising confident children, but for now, just know that your little ones may not have an abundance of self-efficacy quite yet, which could make a simple chore seem like an impossible feat. This results in a very overwhelmed child and a frustrated parent.

As you begin enforcing tidy habits among your kids, remember to be patient and understanding while they develop the confidence and discipline they’ll need. And do your best to make cleaning up a pleasant experience.

First, Simplify the Struggle.

The most effective strategy you can use in the war on clutter is to own less of it! If you have to carve a path from the bedroom door to the bed by the end of a busy week, then your home could probably stand to be rid of a few toys. Use our decluttering guide to simplify both of your lives.

Once your kids’ rooms are free of unnecessary junk, organize their essentials! If you’re starting from scratch, this could take a while, but will be well worth the time. By making sure that everything has a place and that your child knows exactly where each toy belongs, you can make the process a lot less stressful and overwhelming.

Second, Develop Habit

If you’re going to raise tidy children, it’s best to start as early as possible, set clear expectations, and designate cleaning times. Form a routine and stick with it to build a lasting habit.

This particular mommy blogger instructs her little ones to make their bed before they come to the breakfast table. She also abides by an evening sweep. Every night, just before bedtime, set a timer for 5-15 minutes for a quick cleanup to help keep the clutter under control on a nightly basis. You can also use this method a few times throughout the day to prevent a mass buildup of junk to tackle later.

By implementing a quick, daily cleaning sesh, your children will develop the habit of keeping things clean and grow accustomed to tidy spaces.

Third, Make it Pleasant!

As mentioned before, do your best to make cleanup time a pleasant experience. If children grow up feeling that cleaning is a dreadful experience, they’ll be less likely to do it on their own and there will be many headaches along the way. We’ve included a few easy ideas on how you can make the process more enjoyable for your kiddos.

  • Have patience, offer encouragement, and help out.
  • Bump some fun, energetic music.
  • Clean while your children do, so they can understand that everyone contributes to a nice home.
  • Use a timer to set a more tangible measure as to how long they’ll be cleaning for.
  • Make the overall goal more attainable by working through small, realistic steps. If your children are still quite young, help them tackle a mess by separating the work into categories. Instruct them to put away all of their shoes, then all of their coloring books, then their crayons, and so on.
  • Whether it’s an allowance, a sticker, or a trip to the park, incentives are always a great way to get your kiddos through the process. Keep those busy little minds on track by giving them something they can work for and look forward to.

You deserve some help around the house. Make things easier on yourself by raising tidy children! And when it comes to those juice stains and Cheeto-prints, we’ve got the info you need to keep your carpet and upholstery looking good as new!

Do you have any tried and true methods for raising clean kiddos? Please share your tips with us in the comments!