1. Carefully consider your child’s age, ability and experience before expecting him/her to keep their room clean by himself/herself.
  2. Show your child how to keep their room clean. Work with your child. Make the bed with him/her; help put clothes and toys away where they belong. Help dust and sweep the floor. Have your child gradually assume responsibility for keeping his/ her room clean by himself/herself.
  3. Establish a routine for keeping a clean room (e.g. make your bed daily, put clothes and toys away where they belong, dust and sweep once a week, etc.) This routine should be consistent and followed by everyone in the home. Set aside a specific day of the week and specific times for room cleaning.
  4. Give rewards to your child for cleaning their room. Possible rewards include verbal praise, a kiss on the cheek, a hug, having a friend over to play, staying up late, watching a favorite show, playing a game, etc.
  5. Make sure your child has enough storage space, shelving, containers, organizers, etc. Label the storage areas so that your child can keep their possessions together.
  6. Eliminate things that may distract your child from cleaning the room (e.g. turn the TV off, no friends over, etc.)
  7. Write a contract with your child. For example, “I, Jason, will make my bed at 8:30 a.m. each day for one week. When I have accomplished this, I can stay up until 11:00 p.m. on Friday night.”
  8. Make certain your child understands the relationship between their behavior and the consequence that follows (e.g. a dirty room results in a loss of privileges, toys not put away may be taken away for a period of time, etc.)
  9. Limit the amount of new toys, games, etc. for your child if they are not able to take care of the things they already have.
  10. Point out to your child the natural consequences of not cleaning their room (e.g. clothes not in the hamper won’t get washed, can’t find things you need, etc.)
  11. Occasionally help you child “clean out” things they do not need in order to help keep their room clean.
  12. Set a good example for you child by keeping your own room clean.
TIP: Remember a clean room does not have the same importance for your child as it does for you. You may want to settle for a semblance of order and cleanliness rather than perfection.