How to Get Your Kids Cleaning at Home?

Living with kids is a rewarding experience because you get to help children nurture their talents and learn new things every day. But parenthood is not always rainbows and butterflies, especially when your kids have not yet developed the habit of making their beds, and you are left with the task of stashing their toys for them when they are done playing.

Surely, you can use some help when it comes to doing everyday cleaning chores to lighten your load. But how do you get your kids to clean up after themselves? The answer is that there are a lot of ways you can motivate your children to get involved in cleaning tasks at home. Here, we cover the ways you can encourage kids to join in on organizing the house, so you can keep your abode clean and tidy without doing all the housework yourself:

Give Age-appropriate tasks

When assigning chores to the kids, it is important to consider their age. Younger children will need specific instructions, and more guidance when performing simple chores, while older kids who are able to read and write can be given chore cards that detail the actions they need to take to complete each chore. It is also a good idea to back the instructions with consequences so the kids know that they have to follow-through and complete the tasks as you have instructed. For example, you can assign your 4-year-old to put his toys in a box in 10 minutes, and tell him that if the task is not completed, there will be no playtime tomorrow. When using consequences with your children, we recommend balancing negative and positive consequences. So aside from letting them know of the negative consequences when chores are not completed, you should make it a point to give verbal praise or even a small reward when they organize their things to your satisfaction.

Make It Enjoyable

Kids are all for doing fun things, so if you make cleaning chores enjoyable for them, chances are they will look forward to cleaning time rather than dread it. You can play some upbeat music to lighten up the cleaning mood and to give the kids a sense of cheer. You can also include a game into the equation and have a scavenger hunt where the kids must find stray items throughout the house within 10 minutes. The child who will pick up the most items and return them to their rightful place will be the winner. You can even appoint one of your kids to play the role of an inspector, complete with a police badge and uniform, and to put any stray belongings inside a clutter "jail". If the owner of the items wants to have his or her things back, they must do one cleaning chore.

Establish rules

Even if you've had it with repeatedly reminding your kids to clean up after themselves, avoid caving in and doing all the housework for them. Taking over the simple tasks of organizing their toys and putting dirty clothes in the hamper when your kids whine or procrastinate will give them the impression that they do not need to take responsibility for tasks around the house. The key to helping your kids become responsible is to first provide routine and structure. Create a checklist of tasks for your kids like cleaning up toys, and using the potty, and guide them to perform the tasks until they become competent in the details of making the bed or unloading the dishwasher.

To get more ideas on how to get your kids involved in the cleaning process, check out these child-friendly cleaning tasks!


It is tempting to let your kids enjoy unlimited playtime while you take care of the cleaning chores on your own because you love them so much. But if you want your children to grow up to be responsible individuals, you will have to teach them to fulfill their duties at an early age and help them develop good habits earlier in life.

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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