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My daughter is almost 9 and I am finding it increasingly harder to get her to tidy her room. She used to listen to me and when I asked her to do it, she would. It was part of a routine where she would do this of a morning once ready for school or when we got home while I made dinner. Now I find that she just mucks about and not a lot gets done. She seems to collect a lot of ‘treasures’ (which to me is just junk) and amasses a lot of stuff that she haphazardly puts all over her room, if that wasn’t bad enough, the dirty laundry is driving me nuts – the hamper is in the bathroom next door! We have a rewards chart, which initially worked great and now she just doesn’t seem to care. What am I doing wrong? Any advice?


Posted by sars_angelchik, 22nd September 2021


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  • It’s a personality trait – some people are naturally tidier/more organised than others. Try and help her create more storage, reduce the amount of “stuff” she has and help her get into a routine of “when you walk past and see something out of place, take 2 seconds to put it away”.


  • I have three kids. Two are tidyish and one has created a bedroom I refer to as “the hell hole”. So it might just be a personality thing. Try getting her to choose a few storage containers or baskets for her treasures, and see if that helps her keep things tidier.


  • Firstly, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Miss 10 here is the same. Maybe you can help her declutter and ensure she has a place for everything to go – her treasures are important to her so try and see them as that too. Also, she may now be feeling overwhelmed by the “work” she has. Perhaps just focus on one thing each day – pick up the clothes, tidy the desk/draws, straighten a shelf – so it doesn’t make it such a big task to tackle. Good luck Mumma.


  • Make sure that her room is set up so everything has a place (including her treasures). And set aside time each weekend for a reset clean if ur gets out of hand.


  • I’d be helping declutter as much as she can. It’s okay to have some things but we don’t need to keep them if they aren’t serving a purpose in our lives right now. Maybe she could have a small container (an icecream tub) to put her treasures in. Once that is full she needs to go through it and empty out what things can go to make way for new treasures. It doesn’t matter that you don’t see her treasures as valuable, however, it is important that she knows that you respect her decisions. She won’t hold on to these things forever, For the rest of the room…………….maybe she would like to chose a new rug, a lampshade or poster. Once she has cleared up a bit, she could go shopping with you for one. Concentrate on making the room ‘Her space’ and somewhere that she feels good. What would make her feel good to be in that space? It’s not about the ‘stuff’, it’s about the emotions attached to the stuff. Best wishes.


  • How about big clean up weekend and minimalism her things…lest crap in the room less messy it will be. I can’t help with other advice as I had two little kids but my aunt once just grabbed all the stuff from the floor, put on the pile in the middle of my cousin room and light it ( yep she put it on fire) there was a black whole in the carpet and from that on my cousin was scared her mum was going to do it again and was keeping her room less messy


  • Anything on the floor goes in the bin or in a bag and has to be earnt back.


  • Do you have a visual schedule where she can tick things off as she finishes them? Works for some kids


  • I think with any one that age you take away things that are important to them or set rules around it for once chores are done


  • My 2 younger granddaughters share a room & it’s the 9 year old that likes to keep it tidy but often just gives up when her younger sister trashes the room when shes not there. Their Mum works on a reward system for them both individually & since lockdown they compete to keep it tidy! Bribery works a treat & keeps Mum sane too!


  • I like Party Gift Boxes from the cheap or reject shops. They have different sizes from shoe box size to very big like a suitcase. Kids love filling these with their stuff. It’s out of sight except for the tower they make stacking these. I find my kids ask me for more when they have filled these up. The boys sort out their Lego in theirs and the girls love to keep their scrunchies and hair products. I think they are called Stacking Storage boxes. Could be fun for your daughter to sort out her room with these.


  • Is there a place for everything to go? If she could declutter it would be a lot easier to clean. Maybe suggest packing some away to rotate later on and then see if she even misses them.


  • I always told my children that their rooms have to be tidy as they all shared rooms so each had their half a room where their bed was and I think that helped keep rooms tidy.


  • I don’t have a child at that age yet mine are still very young. If they don’t clean their rooms when I tell them to I tell them that anything left on the floor will be donated to other children. This so far is the only thing that has worked for me. I’m sure it will change though as they get older.


  • At that age the only thing that made me want to clean my room was if I had friends or cousins coming over my mum used to help me too which I think helped because she would make it abit of a game and her reaction to how good it looked cleaned made me enjoy looking at it clean too I also hated any judgement from anyone so that’s basically why I’d do it.
    My 3 year old and me clean her room together now and I’ll continue to help her until she’s happy to do it alone. I constantly remind myself this isn’t forever and one day I’ll miss the messes.


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