Here’s a quick method of getting your child to clean their room in just 10 minutes. (Trust me… if we could clean this room, you can clean any room!)
In my previous blog, I mentioned how you can help your child develop the habit of cleaning. In this post, I’ve listed 5 practical steps of how to actually make the room clean – in just 10 minutes! You can even set a timer and make it a game. Your kids will really enjoy it. Maybe do a before and after picture for extra motivation! You can adapt these principles to clean any room in your house too.
1. Make the bed (2 mins)
Throw everything off the bed onto the floor and just make the bed. You’ll be surprised to see what a big difference a clean bed makes to the room. At this stage, don’t try and sort the things on the bed. Just put it on the floor and deal with it in the next steps.
2. Sort the clothes (2 mins)
Collect all the clothes from around the room. Sort it into two piles – clean clothes and dirty clothes. Put the clean clothes into the cupboard and the dirty clothes in the laundry basket (Having a laundry basket in the room, really makes a difference to keeping dirty clothes from being strewn around).
3. Throw away the garbage (1 min)
Walk around the room and find all the possible garbage you can see – pencil shavings, food bits, biscuit packets, paper… and throw them all into the dustbin. Like a laundry basket, keeping an accessible dustbin (ideally just an open bin) in your child’s room, will help the room stay cleaner.
4. Remove the non – room items (1 min)
Take another walk around and collect all the items in the room that don’t belong in the room (plates, cushions from the living room, shoes, etc.) and keep it in a neat pile outside the room. At this stage you may be tempted to go and put it in the right place. But don’t make that mistake, it will only distract you and make you lose focus. Remember our goal for now is to clean this room.
5. Put things away (4 mins)
Now you are left with only the real sortable mess. Having got rid of the clothes, garbage, and non room items, this last bit will not seem as insurmountable as it would have been before. I like to break up this step into three parts for my kids, since most of the things in their room fall into these three categories:
We’ve nicknamed it: BoStaTo! Working in categories like this, really helps them focus, and accomplishing smaller tasks helps keep them stay motivated. We start with the books, collect it all in one pile and put it into the bookshelf. We then move on to the stationary, collecting it into a pile and then putting it into the right containers in the stationary box (Our stationary box is something we’ve made, which really helps the kids be creative, but yet contains the mess – another blog post coming soon on this!). Finally we tackle the toys. Every toy has a place in their room, and when its all labelled, its easy for the kids to put it into the right boxes and shelves.
Voila! In 10 mins you have a clean room! Your kids will be amazed at the transformation and how easy it was to do it. The first few times, you’ll have to do it with your kids. But once they get the hang of it and memorize the 5 steps… it will be a breeze. And the best part of all – you’ll always have a clean room.
I’ve found that cleaning becomes a habit. Once your kids develop this habit, they themselves won’t be able to live in a messy room. So initially you may need to put in a little extra effort, but once its set in motion – you’ve gifted your child with one of the greatest habits for life!