7 Ways to Get your kids clean up and keep their belongings in place

how kids can be encouraged positively to keep the house clean- Easy Tips by ZenParent

This is a perennial battle in most of our homes. Kids not picking up after themselves and leaving a mess everywhere. Yes, we have maids but unless you have a full time, live in maid,  no one can keep pace with the rate at which kids can mess up. The wet towel on the floor, the crayons strewn around, the discarded uniform on the floor.. It is endless… How can we get our kids to pick up after themselves?

1. Make a List : instead of nagging them through the day , write down a list of things you expect from them : For e.g.: Your room needs to be clean before your leave for school- extra books put away, work table clean, bed made , dirty clothes put for wash- etc. Whatever is your expectation put it down in writing. In fact if you can stick it on their bedroom door or any spot in their room, even better!

2. Consequences: Think of what will motivate your child to get them moving and cleaning. “If your List is followed through, you get to watch TV, else … “. “Unless your room is cleaned, you cannot go out with your friends” etc.

3. Make surfaces unavailable: If your kids have the habit of walking into the house and dumping their stuff on a table, either remove that table, or put a beautiful pot on it so that there is no space to dump. Make them put away their stuff right away.

help children clean up- Easy Tips by ZenParent

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4. Fix a time: Fix a time of day everyday when they need to straighten up- For example, straighten up the room 5 minutes before heading out to play, 5 minutes before bed time etc – This is easy to monitor and remind them before they head out.

5. Make it a family thing: If your whole house tends to get messed up once everybody gets home, and then set a time in the evening for 10 minutes when everybody goes around and puts things back where they belong to. You can even switch on some fun music and make the mood happy. This will keep the resistance levels low.

6. Break it down: Instead of giving them a broad task like “Go and clean up”, instead, say 1. Pick all things off the floor 2. Make your bed 3. Clean your desk. This is especially critical for younger children who make the most mess and who find it hardest to clean.

how kids will clean up the mess created by them- Easy Tips by ZenParent

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7. Praise them: As an adult, I feel grumpy when my husband walks into a sparkling clean house and takes it for granted whereas the minute he walks into a messy house, he is quick to complain. Don’t take your kids efforts for granted. Constantly positively reinforce and tell them what a great job they are doing in keeping their things nicely.

Keeping things neat is a habit a lot of us struggle with. It is a trait that has to be built over a period of time for those who are not born with the instinct to keep things tidy. However by making it fun or a family activity, we can reduce our grumpiness that it is all just the responsibility of one person.

Click here to know how to positively encourage kids to do house chores responsibly. 

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