How to get kids to clean up after themselves and be part of the family cleaning schedule is one of those things that seems overwhelming to me as a mom.

I have researched and asked around to compile a list of strategies on How to Get Kids To Clean.

how to get kids to clean

How to Get Kids To Clean

1.  Break down the cleaning task – Take a room and list out all the things that could be accomplished by a kid.  Then break those tasks down into small pieces.  Instead of sending a kid to clean a room, send him in to fill a box with blocks or dust the bookshelf.  Make it something simple that can be accomplished quickly.

2.  Assign a space – Give the responsibility of keeping a certain area clean.  Break down the tasks of what needs to be done for that space and work with them the first time or two.  Let that be the child’s responsibility for a week or a month so they get good at monitoring it.

3.  Make sure everything has a place –  Organize a room where everything has a place to go when it is put away.  I know this seems simple, but asking kids to “clean up”, but not having a way for them to accomplish that fully can be frustrating and setting them up to fail.

4.  Turn on the music – Turning chore time to dance party time can be therapeutic for not only kids, but mom!

5.  Take a picture of what “picked up” looks like – Take a picture of what a bookshelf or toy cabinet looks like when it is clean.  Let the child have that while picking up so it becomes more of a matching game.

6.  Set a timer – We all get overwhelmed by a task that looks like it will take hours.  Break up that time by setting a timer and creating a cleaning racing game, “How much can you get done in 3 minutes?  On your mark, get set, go!”

7.  Hide and seek prizes – Hide a few dimes around the room to be cleaned and act surprised when your kid crew finds them.

8.  Think non-breakable when kids are young – If you want the kids to be involved in cleaning up breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you are using your Grandma’s fine china, it might be a good to rethink it.  Choose non-breakable dishes and serving plates for when the kids are young so they can get in on the clean up without you worrying.  There is plenty of time for fancy dishes in your future.

9.  Use an all-purpose cleaner that is safe for kids to use – No mom wants to hand over heavy chemicals to a small child!  It is one of the reasons why I love the Method  {affiliate link} products.  They are non-toxic, naturally-derived, extracted from corn and coconut, yet effective in cutting through grime and grease.

10.  Get the kids involved in choosing cleaning products – Let them choose a non-toxic cleaner with the scent that appeals to them.  Many All-Purpose Cleaners  comes in various scents like Clementine, Cucumber, Lavender, Ginger Yuzu, White Rosemary and Pink Grapefruit.

Are you ready to really declutter, clean and organize the entire house?  We LOVE this declutter course!  It’s perfect for busy families!  (You will have lifetime access- we use it daily!)

More Great Cleaning Posts From Kids Activities Blog

You can make your very own DIY clorox wipes!

We have 20 great home hacks to help you keep your home clean.

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Thanks for the ideas. I am a single mom with 7 children. Ages ranging from 6 to 18. I also have a restaurant that sucks up most of my time. So any clever ways I can get to get my children to join in is much appreciated.

  2. The best way to keep the keep out of the trouble and have a good relaxation is putting them in martial arts or another sports. Good for them health.

  3. I have 3.5 year old twin boys. This is a struggle for us daily. Some days are easier than others, but it’s not something that comes hassle free. We did start breaking it down into smaller tasks and that has helped. Thanks for the other ideas. Every little bit helps with two rambunctious little guys 🙂

  4. Great ideas thanks! I clean the bathroom once a week while the kids are in the tub. My daughter loves cleaning the wall of the tub. She has a sponge (pink!) and I let her wash the wall with some old baby shampoo that is expired. The walls don’t get very dirty so the baby soap is gone and now she thinks cleaning is in so begs to help! I even let her wear her Cinderella costume once with my old tiara and she did the vacuuming. Very cute!

  5. LOVE the hide and seek prizes idea!!!! So much fun! Cleaning, coin identification, and money to put in our acts of kindness jar…it’s like the perfect storm of activities! Thanks for sharing!