My two girls share a small room and honestly, it never gets messy. Izzy is seven and Abby is five, so they are old enough to be in charge of their own space, but I do have a few tips that help them stay on top of things.
Tip One: I only allow ONE small toy box in their room. They have toys in the living room and their toy room, but in their bedroom, I only keep a manageable amount that can be picked up in just a few minutes (all their absolute favourite toys are in their room).
Tip Two: We use a basket system on their bed. Two baskets each. Only what fits in their baskets is what they can have in their bed. That goes for stuffed animals too. This forces them to pick and choose what is special to them and when the baskets are full, they make hard choices on what can go to make room for something new. It also makes making the bed easier than picking up 15 stuffed animals every.single.time.
Tip Three: Their room HAS to be cleaned every night before bed. I put a reminder in my phone. Each night they have three chores. Clean their room. Clean their bathroom. Pick up the living room. Because they do this daily, it never gets bad and never take more than 5 minutes ...tops. Allowing a child to leave a mess until it becomes overwhelming is setting them up for failure.
Tip Four: Dirty clothes go in the hamper, clean clothes go away. The girls put away their socks, underwear and pjs away, while I put away the rest. Do they whine? Of course. Do I care? Not at all.
I don’t feel that I am some super mean orge when it comes to keeping their room clean, but I am firm. I’m not doing them any favours by allowing them to live in mess and chaos. I’m not teaching them any life lessons by not giving them chores.
I do get asked often, but how do you MAKE your kids clean up their room? Simple. If they don’t want to pick up their toys, I will do it for them, with a garbage bag. It may sound harsh, but allowing them to get away with not respecting their home and their belongings is going to only cause them to struggle with this issue their entire lives. Trust me, I am doing them a favour.