A strategy to help your child keep their room clean and tidy

If you heard the sound of a thousand little people feeling incredible torture, sadness and hardship this afternoon at around 3.10pm, then you heard my daughter’s realisation that yes, perhaps Mama is crazy and DID vacuum every toy she owns off the floor and threw them in the bin.

Like many parents, I was going spare at the state of my daughter’s room. It was a pit of cleanly despair, of crimes against bugs and festering with every kind of sickly sweet smelling lip gloss and fairy paraphernalia. Who is this filthy child? (My mother at this point is rubbing her hands with glee, guffawing at the cyclical nature of it all, as the chickens finally come home to roost in her daughter’s hen house.)

Where toys and my mind come to die.
And since some friends are coming to stay at our house while we’re in Fiji (you guessed right- our friends’ prefer to visit when there’s an extremely high likelihood we won’t be around) Sussie’s room had to be cleaned up. I hounded, I cajoled, I made ultimatums, some of which I followed through; but the time had come, my little grot. Today I went into her room, tipped all the containers of crap out, sorted them back to their rightful homes, vacuumed up all the bits of cardboard, grasshopper and God know’s what else… and then put all of her toys up into the cupboard, out of reach and banished.

 Random shot of the bedroom floor.
I’m not completely heartless- I’ve left out her soft toys, books and pens. I did this because I couldn’t fit them up in the cupboard, otherwise it would be a completely Spartan room akin to a prison cell but without the foul looking toilet.
I have a strange sense of peace now the pit has been cleaned up. I expect there to be all sorts of tantrums and negotiations to ensue once she gets home. However, she will not lay a hand on any of those toys until her room remains clean for one week. Then she can choose one box to get down. Should the mess return, the box will go back up. Pretty simple.
Hopefully this might curb her grubbybehaviours in regards to the cleanliness of her room- there are a whole lot of other issues involving snot amongst others.
I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I’d love to hear of any other successful strategies for clean rooms. I think I’m going to need all the help I can get.

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