When you have children, it can be challenging to keep your home clean, especially if they are younger.

Kids want to help. Don't they already follow you and pretend to do the tasks that you are doing? Instead of feeling overwhelmed with cleaning tasks, enlist their help.

Teaching your kids to clean up after themselves helps you keep your home more organized. It also allows your child to develop responsibility and a sense of accomplishment. Best of all, when kids learn to clean at a young age, the easier it is for them to continue this habit as they get older. 

How Can You Help Make Cleaning More Manageable For Your Kids? 

If they are young, sit down on the floor and look at a room from their perspective. See what is easy to pick up and what may be more demanding based on your child's age and height.

Place a couple of bins/baskets in the room on the ground. Regardless of their height, this allows for your child to pick up toys and put them away. Even toddlers can help pick up a few toys and return them to their proper place. 

Another helpful hint is to take photos of each basket with the appropriate toys placed in them. These pictures will cue your child as to what belongs where. This means even younger kids can figure out what goes where. 

Be Specific

Set realistic expectations for your child’s age and skill level. A 3-year-old is not going to be able to clean up their room. When kids hear this, they can become overwhelmed and throw a tantrum. 

Instead, say precisely what you want to be done. For instance, ask that all the Legos are picked up off the floor. Or ask that all stuffed animals are put away.  

Make Cleaning Fun 

Reward your children for completing cleaning chores. Keep track of tasks completed with stickers on a chart. When a set amount of stickers are rewarded, give your kid a special privilege or treat. 

Music is also a motivator when cleaning (even for us as adults). Play a song and see who can pick up the most toys before the song ends.  The child that picks up the most toys gets to pick the next song played. Dance during this song, and then go back to cleaning for the next song. Not only is your home cleaner, but you get to laugh and burn some calories also! 

Switch Up Toys 

Too many choices are overwhelming (the same goes for adults). Keep out one basket of toys only, placing all other toys in a big plastic bin. Rotate toys into  the basket every couple of weeks, taking out the ones more recently played with.  This allows for toys to feel “new” and exciting. Best of all, there are fewer toys scattered around your home. 

At first, it may be challenging to have your kids help clean up after themselves. But the more practice they have, the easier it will become a habit.

The most important thing is to remember to have patience, realistic expectations, and make cleaning fun.