My daughter is 5 years old.  Every night I have to ask her to clean her room, which almost every time ends in my daughter having a melt down.  I can help her clean (or tidy) her room and then the next day it is like bomb has exploded.  I have tried asking her nicely, reward charts, timeouts, confiscating toys or favourite things, stay in room till its clean and still she will not clean her room. Do any parents have any ideas on how to get their child to clean (or even tidy) their bedroom?

Posted by Kimberly, 8/7/13

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  • My 9yr old struggles with this and dirty undies and socks are stacked and hidden everywhere in her room. First of all I do not ask her to tidy her room daily. Secondly when she tidies something on own initiative, I praise her abundantly ! Thirdly, I don’t see anything wrong with helping her a bit, it’s about teaching how to organise. She loves her food, so fourthly I often ask if she can tidy her room a bit before I serve dinner. When she does it’s a big Hi five !



  • I was told to pick your battles. Some just aren’t worth the fight. So I ended up just closing the door so I didn’t have to see the mess. As she gets older, there will be bigger issues, don’t waste your time on unimportant things



  • Did any of the advice here help?



  • What do you do when your child throws clothes on the floor that he is supposed to put away. He is 8 years old not 5. He reckons his clothes are his to put away and out in the washing when they are dirty. While vacuuming I found some dirty ones under his bed. I was mean, but determined to teach him a lesson so I put them – separate space in his wardrobe. After a few weeks he reckoned his wardrobe and under his bed smelt so he cleaned the spaces out. I don’t whether he realised how they got in the wardrobe – if he did he didn’t say anything.



  • When my daughter was little I used to tell her that it was just as easy to be neat as it was to be messy. I decorated three large cartons and she used to place all her toys in those cartons when she was done playing. She got into the habit of putting things back in their place.



  • Its never easy lol! Very interesting to read the comments on this!



  • You have some good suggestions in your question. Is it a matter of her having too many things and not being able to find what she’s looking for? I know this probably isnt the case but I met someone who had ocd and it caused her a lot of family arguments as she could not physically bring herself to pick up dirty socks (even her own). Just thought I’d mention it as she’s hopefully not being naughty



  • I tried all those things too with little success. What finally worked was when I told my daughter that I wasn’t going to be helping her clean it anymore and when her friends came over, they would think it was dirty and gross and not want to come back. It’s still far from perfect, but I can at least get in to her room without breaking an ankle



  • Have you tried stove timer. Beat the five minute clock and get a treat.



  • We just made it a part of the evening routine, and eventually they started doing it without fuss.



  • Same situation with my five year old daughter. I do every room in house so she expects me to do her room too. I do try to get her involved saying to let me know what she dosen’t want anymore. And where to out what. But I’ve noticed she dosen’t have any interest in it as she wants to run and play. I don’t stress it too much because I guess it’s that age and stage she should play and enjoy



  • I once took a box of my sons toys and hid them until he started tidying up and keepin thiga neat..it worked



  • I had this problem. I went in one Saturday in the morning (when she wasn’t tired) and sorted through her things. I gave her the option to help because then she had a say in what was kept and what went in the bin. Once it was tidy I told her that she had to keep it that way. She didn’t, so each morning while she was getting dressed for kinder I went in wit a garbage bag a picked up everything front the floor. Only did this two mornings before she started to clean up!



  • My mum donated all my toys that were left lying around to charity. In her words – you just left it lying around so you obviously didn’t appreciate them, so I sent them to someone who really would treasure them. I learnt real quick!



  • i am stressing about this now… eekk


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