How do I get my child to clean his room?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,

The question of the week has been about getting children to clean their rooms. If you tell your child to go clean his/her room, they don’t know where to start or what needs to be done.

The FlyLady has written a Student Control Journal that helps your child develop routines. Part of these routines involves cleaning their room a little each day. She is specific in what they focus on each day, and this is what will help your child the most with room maintenance. You can download the Control Journal at no cost and print it yourself.
This is how The FlyLady divides up their bedrooms into zones:

Zone 1           The Bed, nightstands and under the bed
Zone 2           Your closet
Zone 3           The floor
Zone 4           Your desk, chest of drawers or dresser.
Zone 5           Your bathroom

Each Zone can represent a day of the week. Monday can be Zone 1. Tuesday can be Zone 2. Then it follows with the additional three zones the next three days of the week.

The FlyLady will also suggest Morning, Afternoon, and Before Bed routines in the Student Control Journal. There are pages that will allow your child to write down their daily routines.

As you give this Control Journal to your children, you need to be prepared to praise them for doing their routines without you reminding them of each step. You should reward them with a fun activity like Family Game Night because you should have more time for play with their routines in place.

Developing their routines is much like you establishing your routines. They will need to learn the routines in stages. It will be difficult for them to jump in and do them all at once. Be patient with them.

If their room is particularly cluttered, it will take time for them to clean it. Encourage them to get rid of things. Provide them with a black trash bag for trash. Give them a box for items to donate. Part of the problem with them struggling with cleaning their rooms is that they have too much stuff. They don’t know what to do with it all.

You might have to take a step back and let go of some emotions as they declutter. You might be more attached to their stuff than they are. (smile) Over the years, I have kept some of my children’s toys, but I have let them declutter and give away toys, too.

If your children have a lot of toys, you might have to help them develop a sorting system for their toys. Find whatever works for your family. You can use clear, plastic bins, or you can use plastic bins with lids. Use labels if the storage bin is not clear.

You can also do toy rotation and put some of their toys away. You can rotate them every couple of weeks. They will actually enjoy their toys more if they have fewer to play with at a time.

Each day, you need to have a pick up time in your home. The children can go on a scavenger hunt to pick up whatever they have used for the day. Give them tools to organize their toys, so they can put them away without your help.

What are your questions about teaching your children routines?

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter items from one dresser drawer.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken pie for the guys and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

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About Tami

Tami Fox is a homeschool mom of 6, who in age from 26 to 11. She and her husband have homeschooled for 17 years and have graduated three of their children from their homeschool. They are currently homeschooling 3 boys who are in grades 11, 9, and 6. They use hands-on learning and unit studies to ignite the fire of learning in their children. Tami is a homeschool author and conference speaker. You can contact her by email at Buy her book, Giving Your Children Wings at

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