Every working parent’s nightmare is to come home from a long arduous day at work to realize that the house is in utter chaos. And who might the likely culprit be? The kids!

Imagine: Clothes strewn all over the living room sofa, toys littered along the corridors of the room… We understand, it can get tough to keep sane and calm when such scenarios hound you daily.

So, what can you do? Stop cleaning up after the kids! Teach them to clean up after themselves and here’s how:

1. Type of Furniture

The type of furniture you buy for your child is important! The furniture must be befitting of your child’s smaller stature so that the child is able to reach for it comfortably. Better think twice if you are opting for that cupboard with a cool, sophisticated-looking knob that is not instinctive to hold.

It is best to choose a simply-designed furniture and storage organizers that is better catered to the needs and constraints of a child. After all - if a child is clueless on how to open the cupboard to his toys, why would he put his things back into place?

2. Guide Child into the Process

Resist the urge to scream ‘Clean your room! It is so messy!” without giving any elaboration. Merely stating that the room is in a mess does not give your young child an idea of how to fix it.

Instead, walk him through the entire process of what a clean and tidy room should look like.

Also, rather than implementing a solution that works for you, come up with a cleaning routine that suits your child! For instance, instead of dictating where each toy should be, let your child make the decision! It does not matter if he places his toys and books in the lower shelf (rather than the top one) so long as they are organized and neat, right?

3. Use Visual Reminders

After spending so much time organizing your child’s room, you would not want him to forget how it should be like!

Take pictures of different parts of the child’s room (at its neatest state) and paste them at prominent area (e.g. on his door) would give them a timely reminder how they should organize the room daily!

4. Make It Fun! 

All of us dread household chores, so making it a little more fun for the kids would be good. Incorporating graphic labels would be a good way to start!

One method you can try - print out pictures of dolls, dresses, socks etc. and paste these pictures on shelf edges, outside of drawers, on plastic storage boxes, you name it! Now, challenge your child to match the items to the labels - it makes an ordinary household chore slightly more rewarding for the kids! For slightly older child, parents could switch out graphic pictures for word-type labels instead!

5. Have a Schedule for Maintenance

Clearing a huge amount of mess at any one time can be daunting to anyone- let alone a young child. To prevent this from happening, parents can come up with a daily maintenance schedule or checklist for the child to follow.

For example, mornings are meant for tidying up the bed area and evenings before going to sleep are for organizing the play area. This way, mess and clutter is never allowed to accumulate and your kid will less likely be discouraged by the mess he has created when it is time to clean!

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