Children’s bedrooms can be a bit of a nightmare to keep clean, mainly due to all the clutter that can present itself. When there is too much stuff lying around, it makes vacuuming and dusting properly near on impossible. The trick to making your kid’s room easier to keep clean and tidy is to give everything a place, and then there is always somewhere to tidy the mess away to.
It is important to encourage your child to take responsibility for their own room from a very young age, instill pride in them and a sense of it being their space that they should keep tidy. When children are young, obviously you will still be doing the majority of cleaning and tidying in the room, but it is still important to get them involved. If your children are older, and physically capable, then they should really be taking responsibility for the cleaning of their own room. By using rewards and consequences with your kids, they will learn that they are rewarded for doing what is expected of them, and not so if they do not. Young children can be told what is expected of them, such as putting their toys away into the toybox, and you can do the rest. Give them praise for doing as they are told and keeping it up.
When you come to clean your child’s room, the best way to start is to tidy everything away, deal with any laundry, pile any personal items for them to deal with themselves to the side, and then you can deal with the cleaning. Vacuum, including under the bed – children have a way of getting bits of fluff and crumbs everywhere. Dust all surfaces down with a damp cloth. Once a week you should take care of general bedroom cleaning tasks such as changing the bedding and cleaning the window. Make sure that their bedroom gets aired on a daily basis, and that the bed gets made – this will go a long way to keeping things appearing clean and under control.
While the majority of the time, there will be no need to clean your children’s toys, there will be occasions when it is necessary. With baby toys especially, they should be kept clean as they are in their mouths a lot, and if they have been ill it is a good idea to give their toys a clean too. Obviously any toys that are dirty or have food stuck to them also need cleaning.
Regular hot soapy water is sufficient for cleaning grease and grime from plastic toys (with no batteries), and if you have a dishwasher this is also a very useful way of getting plastic toys extremely clean, as well as sterile. It is not necessary to use an antibacterial soap when cleaning toys by hand, however if you do wish to sanitise them then a weak bleach solution can be used. Be aware if you are cleaning baby toys, you do not want any harmful chemical residues left behind – remember babies and small children often have their toys in their mouth.
To clean soft toys, first check for a care label attached to the toy itself. This will usually state if it is suitable for machine washing and at what temperature. It is often a good idea to place the toy inside a mesh laundry bag when machine washing due to eyes, nose and any small parts which may come loose, and then afterward leaving it to air dry naturally. Some toys may only need a spot clean, in which case a cloth with some soapy water is likely enough to get the dirt or food off. Be careful when it comes to old teddy bears, expensive models, and even overly cheap stuffed toys – you need to make sure that the stuffing and the fabric can tolerate washing.
No matter what age your children are, it is really important to involve them in the tidying and cleaning of their own bedroom. This is their own space, and from an early age it should be encouraged that they take responsibility for keeping things in order. They should be taught that they must put away the toys they take out to play with when finished, and that it is their job to make their own bed and put their dirty clothes in the laundry, at least.
For very young children, despite the fact the task of cleaning the room will be yours, there is much you can do to involve them. Try setting your child fun missions to complete such as finding all the clothes they can and putting them in the washing basket, or picking up all toy animals to be put in the box. You can time them to do each task too and make it a game. Introducing reward charts for very young children is an excellent idea, letting them see that they can get their weekly treat if they do a specific chore each day such as folding their clothes before bed instead of leaving them on the floor. This will also let them know there can be consequences of them not doing it. Older children can still benefit from rewards and consequences, and much more should be expected of them.
If you have a hand held vacuum then this is something a young child can use to clean their own carpet in between the times when you or someone else does it. Also dusting is something a young child can easily do. The main thing is to lead by example and teach your child early on what is expected of them by involving them from the start.