It's a rare kid who keeps his or her room clean on their own. More often than not, it's the embarrassment of the house. The room we close the door to and warn others not to enter. But, keeping a tidy room has more than aesthetic benefits. Kids learn that organization and tidiness make finding their things easier and completing homework faster and more efficient.
So, why don't more kids keep a tidy room? They don't have a natural understanding of the process of organization. Facing that mountain of dirty socks, stuffed animals, CDs and homework papers is daunting. If kids don't have any idea how to approach that mountain of clutter, it won't be moved. And a clean-up process that seems second nature to a parent doesn't always make sense to a kid. Here's an easy method even the youngest child can use with success.
As a parent, your job in the process involves providing some storage and explaining these instructions. Buy or find bins, baskets or plastic boxes. Provide a hamper for dirty clothes, a toy box or bookcase and a container for trash. Then, simply give your kids these 3 easy steps to a neater room.
1. Walk around the room and throw everything that's out of place into a huge pile in the middle of the room. That includes toys, papers, dirty and clean laundry. This is the fun part!
2. Clean off the surfaces of furniture, make the bed and clean the clutter off the floor around the edges of the room. Anything found here also gets put into the pile in the middle of the room. There! The perimeter of the room already looks good!
3. Now, remove the items from the pile in the middle of the floor. They either belong in the trash, the laundry basket, the desk, the toy box, bookcase or storage bins. Clean clothes get folded and put into a dresser.
That's all there is to it. The once daunting task of moving each misplaced item to its proper place seems so much easier when there's only one pile to sort. This method is easy for every child to follow and provides the start of a good habit. It gives them an easy way to pick up and being able to find their possessions and work in an uncluttered environment is incentive to keep their room clean longer. Learning how to approach a big project and find an easy solution is a skill that will stay with your child through other challenges.
Sheryl Wood is co-owner of All Educational Software where learners of all ages can find interactive learning software. She also writes articles that teach parents how to help their kids learn. Visit All Educational Software for educational software and more articles about parenting and teaching children.
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