It's time for your kids to clean their rooms, and suddenly they're nowhere to be found. Go figure! Once you roust them from wherever they're hiding, their effort is tepid at best. They may pick up a few toys, throw their blanket on the bed, and say, "It's clean." Not so fast, kids! It's definitely not clean. Enter our handy room cleaning checklist for kids. It helps you set your expectation for a clean room and keeps your kids on task from start to finish.
Daily Room Cleaning Checklist to Get Kids Cleaning
Kids have short attention spans, so a long-drawn-out daily cleaning list will probably frustrate them. At the same time, you need your child's bedroom to have some semblance of order so it's a safe and non-chaotic place where they can play, sleep, read, do homework, and entertain their friends. A short daily list of easy to accomplish tasks will keep their room in order without requiring an excess of work. Your kids will also learn that maintaining cleanliness with small amounts of daily effort is far easier than waiting until the entire room is a wreck before cleaning it up.
These tasks get your kids into the routine of picking up after themselves. As a bonus, there won't be any Legos for you to injure yourself on when you go to tuck them in. Win-win.
- Make the bed and put on pillows.
- Put away clothes, shoes, and toys.
- Put dirty clothes in the hamper.
- Throw away trash.
- Tidy up desk and nightstand.
- Put any dishes in the kitchen.
Weekly Kids' Room Cleaning Checklist
Tidying up daily is important, but once a week, your kids' rooms are going to need a deeper cleaning. This simple checklist only takes about a half-an-hour, but it makes a huge difference in how their room looks, feels, and smells all week long.
- Strip the bed sheets.
- Put new sheets on the bed.
- Clean under the bed.
- Dust and disinfect all the surfaces in the bedroom.
- Empty dirty clothes hamper.
- Vacuum or sweep floors.
Make the Checklist Useful and Enticing
To save paper and printer ink, use a clear plastic folder or laminate the checklist and have them mark items off with a dry-erase marker. You can even punch a hole in the clear folder and tie a string to hold the marker with the checklist. That way, your kiddo won't lose it.
Introduce the Checklist
Your checklist looks perfect! You printed it, your kiddo drew a few pictures to personalize it, and it's freshly laminated. There's a colorful string holding their choice of dry-erase marker, so it's all very official. Now what? It's a first step, but like anything else in parenting, there's going to be a learning curve. It's likely young kids will need to actually see each and every step, sometimes multiple times, before they complete the task the way you expect them to. So, it's best to take a systematic approach to introducing daily and weekly room cleaning tasks using the checklist.
- Show them the checklist.
- Read through each different step.
- Demonstrate each step to them.
- Give them pointers to make things easier.
- The next few times, allow them to clean themselves with you close by. Only help if they ask for it, but be readily available.
- Let them try it on their own.
It's important not to pick their cleaning apart. Praise everything. Tell them they have done well for trying, and give them pointers for improving areas they didn't clean well. For example, if they struggle to make the bed, show them how they might do it better next time, but tell them you appreciate their effort.
You'll also want to make sure you're consistent. Make a point to check their room after they clean. Give high fives or point out something they did really well. They'll be proud of the effort they put in and know it was worth it.
Benefits of a Kids' Cleaning Checklist
Checking boxes on a list helps your kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each task, and it requires them to be accountable for the tidiness of their rooms. The checklist gives kids a clear idea of what's expected, how much there is to do, and how often they need to do it. It also makes it easy for you to track their progress and point out tasks they still need to complete.
It's a visual world, and kids are prone to forgetting until a routine is established. Having a checklist that they can touch and feel makes the cleaning experience more real. Cleaning is broken down into easy-to-follow steps that they can understand. They'll also learn important life lessons and gain life skills:
- Prioritizing cleaning and cleanliness
- Using their logical thinking and motor skills
- Taking pride in a job well done
- Breaking things down into smaller steps
Tips to Get Your Kids to Use the Checklist
Getting your littles to clean their room may be challenging at first, especially if you've always done it for them. Kids have far more interesting things they'd probably prefer to do, like watching cartoons, playing games, and doing other kid stuff. But cleaning is also going to be part of their life for...well, forever. By prioritizing cleaning, they'll learn that it's an important part of growing up and taking responsibility for your own things. You can help your kiddos establish a positive habit through your example and encouragement.
- Ease them into cleaning. Make sure you help them for the first week or two. Let them get into the routine.
- Have them focus on one section of the checklist at a time. Make a big deal of them checking off each different section.
- Offer a lot of praise and compliments.
- Don't expect perfection. Your child is not going to clean their room the way you would. So, praise the little wins and know they are trying.
- Don't step in and do it for them. They need to learn this responsibility.
- Set a timer for kids who have a short attention span or are prone to meltdowns. Have them work on one section at a time with a timer to keep them on task.
- Allow them to play their favorite tunes and dance while cleaning to make it fun.
- Give logical consequences for not cleaning their room or certain areas of their room. For example, if they fail to make their bed, they might lose their tablet until the bed is made. Once the bed is made, they get their tablet. It's an immediate reward.
- Lead by example. Clean your room while they clean theirs.
- Be consistent with consequences and praise.
Help Kids Clean Their Room One Step at a Time
Keep your kids on task and encourage them to take responsibility for their stuff by giving them a room cleaning checklist. It breaks down cleaning their room into small manageable tasks, making the whole process easier. Taking responsibility for their personal space is the first step to getting them started on chores.