5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Clean Up After Themselves


messKids and household messes really seem to go hand in hand, and while they seem to love making those messes, getting little ones to clean up after themselves can be a bit of a challenge.

Of course, when the kiddos don't clean up, that usually means more work for mom. On top of all the other stuff we have to do on a daily basis, we really don't need any added chores piling up, right?

The day always goes much smoother when you can convince your children to chip in and help around the house -- and here are a few tips on how to get your kids interested in cleaning up after themselves.

Turn the music up -- Show your kids that cleaning can be fun by putting on a CD and turning the music up nice and loud. Tell them to sing and dance their hearts out while they help you dust the furniture or sweep the floors.

Treat cleaning tools as toys -- Most kids get more entertainment out of household items versus the toys in their playroom. Give them a lightweight mop and agree to let them "play" with it. Your floors will shine, and your children will have a blast in the process.

Make cleaning a game - For whatever reason, kids love to try and beat the clock. Get an egg timer out and start a race to see who can clean up their mess the fastest before the bell rings.

Use a reward system -- There's nothing kids love more than being praised and rewarded when they do something good. Whether you use a sticker chart, give them a quarter for their piggy bank, or agree to let them stay up an extra half-hour, giving them a nice incentive to clean up their messes usually works like a charm.

Play the "big help" card - Kids love hearing that you need them, or thinking that you can't get a task accomplished without their help. Show them just how important they are as far as keeping things neat and tidy around the house, and they will get a lot more satisfaction out of doing their share.

What other tricks have you used to convince your kids to clean up?


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dreab... dreabug23

At one time, my kids refused to clean up. I told them that they had 20won minutes to clean up all of their toys. I told them that if they didn't, I would put every last toy that they left out in a bag and that they would be donated to children who needed toys. They didn't clean up, so I proceeded to pack them up, drove the children to the local community center and handed the bags over. In the 5 years since, they ALWAYS clean up after themselves.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

No tricks I just tell them get up and clean. Your the parent why are you bargaining with a child. Set the rules and stick to them.

the4m... the4mutts

I agree with Mrscjones. I don't bargain or negotiate when it comes to cleaning their own messes, or other standard rules.

Any deviation from the standard is up for negotiation, but the final say is mine

ashle... ashleyliza

Does this work with husbands too?

GlowW... GlowWorm889

We have a rule that you have to clean up one activity before moving on to another. And you stay there until it's cleaned up. Works quite well, especially if you start it early.

the4m... the4mutts

I think I should be more clear with my reply. It sounded very militant to me.

My kids have specific chores, for specific days. If I want them to do more, I might bribe, negotiate, or just tell them to do it, depending on what the chore is.

I think having a reward for going above and beyond the regular chores works best

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

All my girls have to do is rinse off their dishes and put them in the dishwasher after they eat, make sure their rooms are clean, and do their laundry every weekend.  My 3 year old son has to help Mommy or Daddy with his stuff, the same stuff his sisters do.  Other than that they don't have to do anything, and a couple of them feel like we make them do way too much. :/

mamivon2 mamivon2


LOswa... LOswald0314

Music and making it a game helps here.

coppe... copperswifey

We always make it a ritual to clean up their toys at night before they go to bed. Sometimes I will give them some change to put into their piggy banks once all their toys are cleaned up. :)

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