If you find yourself walking by your child’s room for the umpteenth time and shaking your head, it’s probably because you can’t stand the sight of such a mess.
Dirty clothes on the floor and bed, toys scattered everywhere, empty bags of chips and discarded juice boxes—the list goes on and on. How could anyone live like that?! Once you realize it’s you who can’t stand to live like that and not your child, it’s time to get to work.
But where do you start? Instead of jumping in and throwing half the room’s contents in the trash or seriously considering grabbing a hose, take a deep breath and strategize. You could just clean a kid’s room and do it all again next week, or you could involve your child in cleaning the room and work together to create a more organized space that’s easier to keep clean! Less clutter and more organization make learning how to keep a kid’s room clean much easier for them and you.
A Special Note About Older Kids’ and Teen’s Rooms
We all know little kids and big ones have different priorities, so if your teen’s room looks like a natural disaster, you may just want to let it go, according to PsychCentral.
Adolescents and teens pushing their parents away, needing more privacy, and wanting more control are normal and universal. Those dirty piles of clothes, scattered snack wrappers, and other debris could simply be your teen’s way of claiming their space. And older kids aren’t typically too concerned with parents’ fear and loathing of that space.
Reaffirm the family standards for cleanliness and teamwork and close their doors. Do you really care if your teenager can’t find clean underwear? Who knows—maybe running out of clean clothes will get your teen interested in doing laundry after all. Parents need to understand this doesn’t mean you have to stay out of your kid’s room! You just have to let go and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to clean it anymore.
Declutter Your Child’s Room Together
The first step for a clean kid’s room is to get your child involved with decluttering. Together, you want to get rid of as many unnecessary clothes, toys, gear, and other stuff as you can. Start in the closets. If they are overflowing, it may be best to empty the contents on the floor for sorting and purging.
If it’s spring or fall, pull the seasonal clothing first and store it somewhere else. Move on to clothes, shoes, and jackets your child has outgrown and put them in a donation bag. As you and your child work on the decluttering, explain why you’re doing it, how it will create a nicer space for them, and other positives that align with your family values.
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Next, work on toys, sports gear, and other clutter. For personal items like these, take the approach of being a sort of cleaning coach. The more you can get children to take the lead (going in the direction you want, of course!), the less resentment they’ll feel as you slowly whittle down their inventory of stuff. Depending on your child’s age, you could make decluttering a game. For older children, you can appeal to their desire to be autonomous by giving them a say.
Once you and your child have purged all that clutter, it’s time to clean your kid’s room, right? Not so fast. If you want all the hard work you’re putting in to make a real difference, you have to set your child up for success. With all the clutter out of the way, it’s time to get organized.
Organizing Kids’ Rooms and Cleaning Tips
Take a good look at your kid’s room organization and put yourself in their shoes. Can they easily get to storage areas like top drawers, the closet rod, and shelves? Are their toys crammed into drawers and under the bed because they don’t have any other place to keep them? What other issues do you see that would contribute to the unorganized mess you have before you? Don’t forget to get your child’s input on this—the more involved they are, the more likely they will be to help maintain the place clean(er) in the long run.
Armed with your new “kid’s view,” it’s time to learn how to keep a kid’s room organized. Move the clothes rod in the closet down to a more accessible height for younger children. Consider removing the closet door altogether for easier access. Get rid of that toy box that has become a catch-all and opt for bins and other containers so that you can sort and organize better. Create storage under their bed with low-profile containers, add shelving where possible and make any other changes that will help your child stay organized.
Now that you and your child have decluttered and renovated the storage options, it’s time to clean a kid’s room with proven cleaning tips. You’ve already done a lot, so we get it if you want to turn the next stage of the process over to a maid service. Either way, you’ve taken a big step towards making your child’s room more kid-friendly and less cluttered. If you’re moving ahead on your own, follow the next hands-on steps.
How to Clean a Kid’s Room
Remove everything from the tops of dressers and nightstands and any shelving. Dust each piece of furniture and shelving from top to bottom, including feet and supports. Move on to chairs, stools, and any other furniture. Clean off stuck-on grime with water and a microfiber cloth, let it dry and finish up with furniture polish on wood surfaces. For furniture with drawers, empty them and vacuum the insides with a crevice tool.
Mirrors and Windows
Get those windows sparkling clean and mirrors streak-free by using a lint-free cloth and glass cleaner. Dust off window and mirror frames and give everything a shiny finish with a dry microfiber cloth. For sticker residue or other build-up on mirrors, you can carefully remove these with a safety razor.
Lay a drop cloth or sheet below a ceiling fan to catch dirt and wipe off the dust with a long-handled duster. These dusters are handy for other hard-to-reach places like ceiling lights too. If you have buildup on your fan blades, grab a ladder and a pillowcase. Place the pillowcase over each blade and wipe off the dust and dirt right into the pillowcase. Clean off the grime with a damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the ceiling fan housing too.
Give the corners of the bedroom and the ceiling a quick brush with a broom to capture dust and spiderwebs. Remove crayon marks and scuffs by scrubbing lightly with a Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. For larger areas or lots of dirt, mix one cup of baking soda and one cup white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Dampen a microfiber cloth with your solution and wipe down the walls and wooden trim.
Bedding and Mattress
With their help, change your child’s bedding, including mattress toppers, weekly. Strip the bed and vacuum under the bed and along the rails. If it’s been a while since you cleaned your child’s mattress, now is a perfect time. You’ll want to clean their mattress at least quarterly to get rid of bacteria and germs and take care of any stains.
Get hardwood floors shiny again. A good sweeping and mopping will get rid of dust and most buildup. For floors sealed with polyurethane, damp mopping is best. Floors with shellac or varnish will need an appropriate cleaner or polish applied with a wax mop. A weekly sweep and dry mop should keep them looking great. Vacuum carpets and take smaller rugs outside for a good shake. Some smaller rugs are machine washable, so check the label.
Desk and Study Areas
Will your child happily begin studying harder and jumping into school projects now that their room is so clean and tidy? Maybe not. But giving them an uncluttered desk or study area sure doesn’t hurt. Work together with your child and set up some bins or canisters for school supplies, shelves for notebooks and textbooks, and other storage solutions. Make sure they have adequate lighting from a desk or floor lamp.
Now that you and your child have decluttered, organized, and have a clean kid’s room, what’s next? Are you destined to repeat this routine over and over, or will your child’s room stay cleaner and more picked up than before? When you help children remain focused on some easy maintenance with an age-appropriate cleaning chart, they’ll create habits for cleaning and organizing.
Shift Your Perspective
There are alternate perspectives to consider when dealing with children’s messy rooms, such as a cease-fire and a more flexible attitude toward your child’s room. While we can’t say for sure whether our teen’s dark, dirty hideaway is a healthy place or not, young kids’ health isn’t at risk just because their room is dirty. So if your focus on keeping a clean kid’s room is based on sanitation, you can relax.
Parents who take an objective point of view find that picking their battles with their kids is an integral part of keeping the relationship in balance. The next time you feel your blood pressure rising as you survey the latest disaster area, keep these three points in mind:
- Is the constant battle to see your child cleaning their room worth it? There are worse things than a dirty kid’s room, and parents can save their energy for more critical “battles.”
- Your frustration over a clean kid’s room may not be about the dirt. We all inherited rules for kids from our parents, but we aren’t our parents. If you find yourself just following the rules, you may want to consider if those rules are the best ones for your family.
- Kids need a space of their own where they feel in control. When your child’s room is just how you like it, consider that it may not be how your child wants it and how that can be a problem. A messy room poses no real danger, and as long as your kids follow some ground rules, maybe it’s time to give up the fight and embrace the mess.
If all else fails, just find The Maids nearest your neighborhood and give them a shot! We offer affordable residential cleaning services, disinfecting, exterior cleaning, and more. Get your free estimate today and see what we can do for your child’s room and your entire home. We give you a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, so you have nothing to lose and a cleaner, more orderly home to gain.