How do i get my daughter to keep her room clean?

My daughter - Taken a few days ago with the only clean shirt she has left!
@Caila611 (992)
United States
March 14, 2007 12:45pm CST
My daughter is ten and is a slob. I asked her yesterday to clean her room at 4pm and that she could not play until it was done. So the boys and I are playing outside and she comes out and plays and swears up and down she cleaned her room. Ok. So i go up there this morning to put some folded clothes on her bed and her room is a distater!! Yes i know I should have checked before I let her play. She leaves her stuff everwhere I just picked up eight pairs of her socks that have been left in every room of the house. She never brings me her laundry to wash and then complains that she has nothing to wear. How can I get her to clean up after herself and take more responsibility for her stuff. She's grounded by the way for one week for lying to me.
9 people like this
40 responses
@Stringbean (1273)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Good discussion. One thing I found that worked was to tell my daughter that I would be checking her room (with a box) at 11 a.m. I went there at 11 a.m. with a cardboard box, and everything that was on the floor went into the box. The box was off limits for a week. I usually kept the box on the top shelf of my bedroom closet, but the attic would have worked. The second day, I found much less to put in the box and by the third day, her room was spotless. If it doesn't work right away, try putting the box off limits for 2 weeks. If they don't have clean socks to wear, tough. Let them wear dirty ones or no socks at all. They will get the idea in a hurry. Good luck.
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Thanks! Those are great ideas. I will talk to my hubby about them (we always discuss and agree on our dicipline and routines and rules together before we implement them). I want so badly for her to take pride in helping me keep the house clean . She sees me picking up and putting stuff away all the time. My son who is only two gets it. He cleans up all the time!
• United States
15 Mar 07
that is a great idea I need to try that on my husband
@ragmama (536)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Aww, poor mama. I remember very well giving my mom fits about cleaning my room too - it's just childhood torture, I suppose. My daughter is only three, but we're already working on teaching her to pick up her things - she knows that when she gets undressed, to pick up her clothes and put them in the hamper in her bathroom (although Daddy rarely enforces this.) I've made her room as organized as I can, with clear plastic boxes (less than $1 each at Wal-Mart) on shelves for her smaller toys - all of her Mr Potato Head pieces in one, dress-up jewelry in another, doll clothes in another, etc. - and that helps her to know where her things belong. Maybe I'm a little tough on her, but she knows that whatever toys aren't put away at bedtime are going to be taken away until the next night - then she can put them away before bed and start over. She doesn't want to lose her things, so she's sure to pick them up. Maybe that would work for your daughter as well. She's a real cutie, btw. :)
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Thanks Ragmama. I will give that a go. Have to wait till payday though which is at theend of the month. But i like the clear plastic boxes for everything. Thanks you again.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I think you might fare better if you just ground her until she cleans her room regularly. This is obviously important but also, you need to re-establish that her room is EXPECTED to be clean just like you expect the sun to rise in the morning. I think daily inspection might be in order. If it seems overwhelming then keep her grounded but make a list of things she MUST accomplish in her room by a set time, like before dinner or by a certain time on the clock. If she doesn't meet that requirement then you start removing things from her room, because she obviously can't deal with them. It is logical. She doesn't have any clean clothes of HER choosing until she washed them...so pick out the things she hates to wear THE MOST and wash them for her. You might have to remove the other clothing from her room but it is a logical consequence. I bet that if you get really consistent with thiese actions, she'll start paying more attention.
2 people like this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Great advice! Thank you! Well she certainly has just the basics to wear. Sweat pants and t-shirts that are 3 x's her size. LOL. Only problem is . She loves to wear them. But i usually won't let her wear them to school. So she;s in heavan right now. LOL!
@Joslyn77 (374)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Funny this is a topic today because I just spent all morning long in my nine year olds room,also a girl. She is such a pack rat! Anyhow, I have tried several things myself and nothing has worked. So I went in there with two very large garbage bags and threw away a lot of junk. If,she complains or is upset maybe she might keep it clean. I've been on her for over a month to get something done about her room and I just did it myself. The next step is taking something away,such as her cd player or her stuff animals which she loves!
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I did that too today! in fact we stopped buying her toys that cause clutter altogether. Instead we buy her toys that help her with school and craft supplies to keep busy. Although her real dad supplies her with plenty of toys so she doesn't need any from us. No beads though. They just end up on the floor and the cat has loads of fun with them!
1 person likes this
• India
14 Mar 07
Firstly I feel punishments would not help this situation .. the more you punish even worse .. she knows all she wil get is punishment .. instead help her out .. make a list of things to do using a flashy notebook full of colorful paper and huge fonts .. suppose that list has 1) Good Morning Gal !! 2) Wheres your towel .. go get a shower .. 3) Did you keep your towel back to its place dear .. ok then come fast for breakfast .. mums waiting ... And so on and so forth .. Give her some kind of marker which she can use to mark the activities she has taken care of .. If she does 8/10 approx you can appreciate in front of everyone at home and maybe even reward her initially .. Once she gets on with the habit you can be at peace . . Lets hope this works for you .. One more thing Never tell her she is a slob or lazy in front of other members of the family or her friends .. this will make matters worse .. Instead say shez very particular and changing day by day for good ..
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
14 Mar 07
I have found that yelling and punishing her does no good. She doesn't care if she can't have friends over or can't watch tv.
• Canada
16 Mar 07
I think if there was a secret to getting kids to keep their rooms the way we'd like them, we'd all be rich! LOL Perspective can be a big part of the problem, depending on their ages too... what I think is clean and tidy is "obsessive" according to my girls. They're 13 and 16 and definitely have their own ideas about how they want "their space" to be. Something that I did find helped a lot was giving them a few "tools" to make the cleaning up more focused - and FASTER (which is really the key, given most kids' attention spans!). They each have a laundry hamper in their room now (I just bought those inexpensive mesh "pop-up" ones... you can get them in a bunch of great colors, usually at the dollar store, so they can match the rest of the bedroom). It put an end to having laundry in a pile on the floor (or lost under the bed!). Also, I hung shoe bags on the insides of their closet doors... but they don't use them for shoes. The pockets are great for personal hygiene products, hairbrushes and hair accessories, game consoles or small games, jewellry, what have you (and I recommend getting one with clear plastic pockets, if you can find that kind). They use those organizers for the items that they want on a daily basis... so, again, at least they are stored and not on the floor, dresser or desk all the time. I also bought several packages of the "stick-on" hooks and put them on the inner walls of their closet which used to be wasted space. Now they hang up their purses, belts, even lightweight jackets or robes on those hooks (rather than tossing them on the closet floor or having them falling off the hangers). Their rooms are far from perfect... and I'm learning to curb my expectations just a bit too :) We are actually meeting somewhere in the middle and it's a lot less stressful for the family as a whole.
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
16 Mar 07
WOW those are some great tips! Thank you! I like the shoe bag idea!
@jay_em93 (99)
• Philippines
16 Mar 07
i was like that when i was little,lol,sometimes i hate it when mom would clean my room because i felt like it's more chaotic, you can't find things and you'd have to ask mom and she knows where she put this and that. If your daughter doesn't want to clean her room then how about making a few bargains? she'd do the dishes or prepare the table or clean the yard, maybe she'd prefer that instead of her own things,lol.
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
16 Mar 07
if only that would work. She says she will do other stuff but getting her to do them is like fighting with a wall.
@coolseeds (3921)
• United States
16 Mar 07
What you do is take her stuff. If she has a tv, stereo, games whatever she likes. Take it. Give her a room with furniture & clothes. Nothing else. I don't think any child should have a cel phone or tv in their room. If she can not maintain that... start throwing the stuff away. Something Dr. Phil & I agree with.
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
16 Mar 07
That's one thing i have a hard time doing. Her bio dad bought her all her clutter toys. We stopped buying her toys because she destroys them (writing on them with permanent marker, cutting hair, etc). The only stuff she has here is educational toys.
@kaazzaam (133)
• India
15 Mar 07
first of all u should set a example for ur daughter as ur daughter will learn from ur deeds. then u must add incentive if she clean the room. then u can also add that if she keeps her room clean throughout she will be getting a gift on her birthday whatever she likes,may be "xbox 360"etc..u should treat her as a friend, just as close that she feels comfortable to tell u her secrets & is compelled to obey ur orders just like a true friend.
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Oh I keep the house picked up and clean as best as i can with a two year old running around after his big sis. But the other problems is hubby. He doesn't clean up after himself so she feels she shouldn't have to either. And I have discussed this with my hubby but it goes in one ear and out the other.
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
15 Mar 07
I rated her picture a + your daughter is a nice looking girl and she's smart too. She has you well trained. Picking up her socks all over the place is her job not yours. I went through this with my daughter too and the thing that worked best was to cut her off any form of allowance. Grounding her and sending her to her room didn't work for me because she'd just have a sleep.
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
LOL yOur daughter sounds like mine!! She doesn't get any allowance from me. I have told her dad to with hold her allowance too because she didn't deserve it. But he's going to do what he wants when it comes to her. So when she visits her dad she gets her way.
• United States
15 Mar 07
I would tell her that she can't have any play-in friends over until it's clean. Also, she can't watch television until it's clean. She should clean it up that way. Also, try rewarding her when she does clean it up. Give her an ice cream or something that she likes for doing it. Rewards often work better than punishment for some children. But you do have to check and see if the room is clean first.
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Yep that was my biggest mistake! Not checking behind her!
@abhi07 (186)
• India
15 Mar 07
stop telling her to clean or nething sometimes these kids do opposite of wat u want them to do
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
True! she does play when i tell her to clean her room.
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
15 Mar 07
I agree that she should be punished for lying to you. Howerver, I don't think it is a big deal if kids clean their rooms. I just shut the door and the stress of the messy room is gone. I do make my kids clean their rooms if we are having company. This is a deal we have made. It is their room, they can keep it how they want but if I need it cleaned for company they have to clean it when asked. my kids are 6, 13, 15 & 18. I have found that as they get older, the rooms get neater. The 13 yr old is still messy, the 15 yr olds started to get neater last year.
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
It wouldn't be such a big deal if she kept the mess in just her room. But it oozes out the door into the hallway, in the bathroo, the kitchen, the livingroom, outside even.GRRR
@Alicet (82)
15 Mar 07
Why dont you try making cleaning her room fun, a bit of a game, even help her. I hate tidying my room but but if i get my music on and start then i'm fine. My friend once came to help me tidy and we made each corner a different thing which i enjoyed doing. Dont make it a chore make it fun and enjoyable then she might do it.
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
She likes music so maybe that will work!
@CORDALE (868)
• United States
15 Mar 07
hello there, you can start by waking her up an hour early to clean her room. and if she still refuses wake her up 2 hours earlier and keep adding early hours until she gets the picture. oh yea also for every early hour she gets up that is taking from the free time she has to play usually a week tops solves this problem
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
LOL (*insert evil laugh here*) I may just try that!
@angelap41 (113)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Ask her to clean it up and if she won't then punish her and make sure that the punishment is something that she loves and then she will clean up
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
That's the problem. She doesn't seem to care if i take stuff away. even the stuff she loves.
@AnnaB87 (761)
• United States
15 Mar 07
You'll just have to go in and work with her until everything is done and do that until she finally figures out it is easier to do it by herself that it is to have to do everything step by step with detailed instructions as to how it is supposed to be done, That is what seems to work with my daughter, but every so often I still have to go in and help her to remember how to get it all done, but for the most part now she keeps a very clean room.
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Thanks for the advise! I will definitely have to do that!
• United States
15 Mar 07
I totally know what you mean, though not with my own child, but with my SIXTEEN YEAR OLD BROTHER, lol. Even worse! I mean, asking him something so simple as to clean his room, geez. It's not that hard to just tidy up after you mess it up. Maybe you should reward your daughter after she cleans her room? I know some people don't think you should reward children... but I think like, if you take something away from her, ask her to clean for it, and then give it back, maybe... ? Or if you reward her with something simple, like a piece of candy or clothing or a puzzle or game or something. Give it a shot, and good luck! :)
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
hmm it works for my two year old. why not her? I will try that!
15 Mar 07
When my son was little I found the only way to get him to clean up his roomw as to withhold his allowance. He only got his money when I was satisfied that he had cleaned up his room tough love but it worked
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
see and that's another issue for another post. .LOL. I actually started one about allowance last nght too! Her bio dad pays her no matter if she does something or not and way too much money i might add. So for me to withhold it does not good since she knows that when she goes to her dad's she get money
• United States
15 Mar 07
OMG! When you find out the answer to this question, please TELL ME! My TEEN daughter's room looks like a bomb hit it. I used to clean it up. Now, I just shut the door!
1 person likes this
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
15 Mar 07
LOL! If I find the secret i will tell you! I want to nip this in the bud before she's a teen.