When should your child start cleaning their own room?

Teaching your child to keep their room clean early on in life is one of the best ways to give them a real head-start. Instilling important values of pride, motivation and discipline will prepare your child for a successful future. As a parent, it takes the weight off your back, too! But how early should children start cleaning their own rooms?

According to professional counsellor Debbie Lynes, children should start cleaning their own rooms from about 16 months. At this age, children’s brains are like sponges! By modelling good cleaning habits, your child will naturally try to imitate everything you do.

How can I teach my child to clean?

Once your son or daughter reach the 16-month mark, it’s time to start showing them how it’s done! Demonstrate simple cleaning techniques like putting toys in their toy box or placing books back on the shelf. Involve your child by handing them a toy and asking them where it belongs, or by spraying a table with a cleaning agent and asking them to wipe it down.

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

When your child is a little older—around two to four years old—you can start modelling slightly more complicated tasks, like keeping cupboard doors closed and putting the lids back on bottles. Over time, your son or daughter will make a habit of keeping things tidy.

From five to eight, it’s time to start working on teaching independence. Don’t guide your child too strongly—let them develop their own work ethic. By ten to 13, children should be able to keep their rooms clean and help with general tidying-up, dishes and laundry.

What if my child still isn’t cleaning?

We get it—cleaning isn’t any fun. And which child wants to do “not fun” things?!

The best way to keep your child motivated to clean is to make it easy for them. Have special storage spaces for every toy, game and item of clothing, and label everything clearly. Consider investing in a handy storage solution like the Kiddy Bedside Organiser to make your child’s life easier. A convenient bedside organiser will help your child feel in control of their life (leaving you more time to focus on yours!)

Positive encouragement works best

Remember, cleanliness and decluttering is all about attaining a stress-free lifestyle and peace of mind for you and your children. Positive encouragement is the best way to help your child grow, and help yourself in the process.