Useful? Share it!

5 ways to get your kids to help tidy up!

5 ways to get your kids to help tidy upHow do we get our kids to take responsibility for their things and get them to put their toys and clothes away, as opposed to stuffing them under the bed so you won’t find them?

I’m always amazed that an empty wardrobe with dozens of hangers isn’t as inviting as shoving the clothes in a corner or throwing them in the dirty clothes basket (even though they have never been worn), rather than hanging them up.

So how do we get children to help tidy and declutter their bedroom and toys rather than shirking their responsibilities?

5 ways to get your kids to help tidy up!

1. Praise their efforts when they do tidy up

Praise, praise, praise! Kids can never get enough praise for a job well done. Studies have shown that giving someone acknowledgement for their work will keep them motivated to do well. This has been proven to be more effective for productivity than a cash incentive!

So always take a look at the bed they made, the clothes they put on the hangers, and the shoes they placed in the cupboard. It may take time to check out their handiwork, but it will mean less work for you when you don’t have to iron the crushed clothes under the bed.

2. Don’t fix it when it doesn’t meet your expectation

This brings me to my second point. Don’t redo their chore. If the towels are folded badly or the bed is lumpy, don’t redo it. If they think you disapprove of the job they did, it is unlikely they will do it willingly again.

3. Show them first

Show them how to do the job before they start. Chances are they don’t know how you like the towels folded, so give them a demo before they begin or assist the first few times until they get the hang of it, and then praise.

4. Learn to compromise

Remember the other family members may have a different version of tidy to you. Living together is about compromise, so don’t despair if their ‘clean and tidy’ is different to yours. Sometimes you just have to appreciate that they made an effort.

5. Offer incentives

Nagging doesn’t work, so you need to be a little inventive to get others to take action. Try making it a game: “You have five minutes to get all those clothes on the hangers. On your mark, get set, go!“. If they finish the task in the time frame given, you could offer a small reward.

For older children you might need a different bartering system: “After you have put your clothes away (on the hangers), then I can drive you to your friend’s house“. “Can you put out the garbage so I know you have completed all your chores, and then I can give you your pocket money” Even though this comes down to bribery, you still need to acknowledge a job well done. Did I mention the word “praise”?

Why it is important to encourage to children to tidy up

It often seems simpler to tidy up ourselves rather than ask our children to do it as:

  • It saves time
  • The job is done the way we like it
  • There is no need to argue with anyone

The problem with this is, although short term it seems more efficient, long term you create lazy children who expect others to do everything for them, and their work ethic is extremely poor. That work ethic extends beyond the home and into the workforce.

So if you want to set your children up to be responsible useful members of society who can look after themselves – get them to start tidying up.

You are doing them a favour for life!

Post your comment

Comment Guidelines : Play nice! We welcome opinions, discussion and compliments. Especially compliments. But remember: the person on the other side of the computer screen is someone's mum, brother, nan or highly intelligent but opinionated cat. We don't tolerate nastiness or bullying. We'll delete disrespectful comments and any replies to them. more

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have a Gravatar, it will appear next to your comments. Read more about Gravatars here


Prove you're human ... *

4 comments so far -

  1. I wonder if parents would appreciate kindy teachers doing a little folding/hanging lesson here and there. I like the comment about not fixing it, even when they’ve done an imperfect job. I guess, like with everything else, the key is to teach them only what they’re ready for (teaching a 5 yr old to sweep is probably not only a waste of time, but an esteem crusher too when an adult then has to do it properly)

  2. Like suggestions ! FYI on your page should organiser be spelled organizer?? If not my bad, but I would want someone let me know if its incorrect



Pea Pods Reusable NappiesPea Pods are the smart choice when it comes to choosing what's best for you, your baby and the environment. Affordable ...
FORUMS - chatting now ...
General Federal Election ThreadGeneral Election Discussion
WWYD - help! I’ve discovered a troll!General Parenting Tips, Advice & Chat
Loss of sensationBirth Trauma Support
Teen mom 2Movies / Music / Books / TV Chat
High Natural Killer Cells #11Reproductive Immunology
Brisbane midwife/birthing centre/holistic doctorConception & Fertility General Chat
Wanting another baby after agreeing we were done...General Parenting Tips, Advice & Chat
Tonight we're smashing into...#4Recipes & Lunchbox Ideas
Who has an air fryer?Recipes & Lunchbox Ideas
"Made bed time less anxious"
by Meld85
My Little Heart Whisbear - the Humming Bear reviews ›
"Wonderful natural Aussie made product!"
by Mrstwr
Baby U Goat Milk Moisturiser reviews ›
"Replaced good quality with cheap tight nappies"
by Kris
Coles Comfy Bots Nappies reviews ›


back to top