Friday is National Clean Your Room Day!
Why this Friday? Well, what mother wouldn’t want her kid to clean his room for Mother’s Day.
In my house, one of my children declared recently that his room was “too far gone.” The other wanted my assurance that while she’s at camp this summer, I would take care of it.
You see, that has been my grand plan for years. The kids go to camp, I decontaminate their rooms and donate all the stuff they really don’t need to charity. Most years they never miss what I removed from their hovels.
Lemi Shine, the Austin-based cleaning products company offers these tips:
Go in with a game plan. If you are doing a deep clean, be prepared to move furniture around to clean under and around them. If it’s a lighter clean up, set a timer on your phone so you’re under deadline to get it done and don’t become distracted.
Be prepared. Nothing’s worse than getting into the nitty gritty of cleaning to realize that you don’t have the product to take care of something. If you have marks on the wall or dirty baseboards, opt for an efficient disinfecting wipe that is durable, gives a strong clean and allows you to get into the corners. For glass items like frames, windows or a bedside table, not any surface cleaner will do. Invest in a powerful and safe cleaner that is made specifically for the surface you’re working on.
Clean top to bottom – literally. Start with the dust on your overhead light or fan and end with the floor. This method ensures that all dirt, dust and miscellaneous items get sent to the floor and have no chance of being missed by the vacuum.
I’ll offer my own tips, or those gathered from many experts.
Clean every day. In the ideal world, nothing every gets cluttered because everything has a place and you put stuff away as you use it. (I hear the laughter right now). Try to make cleaning up their room part of the bedtime routine just like bath, pajamas, books and tuck-in.
Related: Cleaning 101: How to maintain a neat home in as little time as possible
Divide the tasks by day. One day you sweep or vacuum, one day you wash the sheets, one day you do the laundry and put it away, one day you dust, etc.
Marie Kondo it. Really ask: Does this bring my child or myself joy? If the answer is no, some other kids wants it, or the maybe it’s more suitable for the trash.
Make this your child’s responsibility. For young kids, assign a time every week when the heavy lifting has to be done, sing song such as the Barney song “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up,” make it fun. Also, make it part of their job as a person living in that house. Routine and expectations will make it easier later on. For the teenagers, sometimes you just have to shut the door and let them live in filth until they can’t take it anymore. When I can’t take it anymore, I grab a can of air freshener and go to town so the stench doesn’t take over the rest of the house. And, then then know, come summer, some of their stuff won’t be there anymore because I just had to take care of business. They got the warning. No complaining.