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Messy Room Kids - Part 1

By Andrea Simanson

Does your kid have a messy room?

Does your kid hate it when you nag them to clean their room?

Are you frustrated every time you walk into your son or daughter's room?

Tips on helping a kid with a messy room.


1. Don't regularly tell them to clean their room.

2. Don't nag them.

3. Don't let their room get messy to begin with.


1. Do give them frequent room inspections.

2. Do inspire them to love living in a clean room.

3. Do help them clean the room.

4. Do get involved everyday.

Teach your child what the standard is and then expect that from him. If it's not kept up, what are the consequences? Do they lose a privilege, Avoid the temptation to nag when you're irritated with their lack of cleanliness. I know, 'it's easier said than done." The key is to inspect the room daily and help them learn to put things in their place each day before the pile has grown. This may mean that you pick up a few clothes and toys initially when you are training them, so they feel helped and inspired to do the right thing. Involvement can either be "anger expressed out of frustration because they are messy" or it can be "hands-on training and involvement, and loving acceptance through the process."

Did you ever stop to think that maybe Messy Room Kids are those who aren't bothered by the mess. Consider their personality? Do they automatically throw their clothes on the floor (which takes about the same amount of time as it does to fold and put them in a drawer or on a hanger and into the closet).

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Step back and look at the big picture. Why does my kid "pile" instead of "put away"? And just because it doesn't bother him or her, does that mean I should allow the pigsty to grow? Of course not. The key is in learning how to work with your particular child to help him or her succeed. Your child may ask you to stop nagging, but nagging is different than involvement. Your child may not like your involvement because it means "work" for them, but that doesn't mean you should stop being involved. Here's the scenario: You walk into the room. You have thoughts that make your heart pound: "I don't know where to start -- with a broom under the bed or an 18 gallon garbage can" "This is completely unacceptable!" "How can you live like this!"

Notice I said "thoughts" not "verbal expressions." Oh, sometimes we verbalize them, but for the most part, we need to try to exercise self control and patience through the whole process. Teaching a disorganized child to be tidy and organized is a process. It's not a one-time activity where I help them get their room clean and it automatically stays that way. This whole process can either be a downer or an upper -- and much of it depends on your approach to the situation as a parent. Have you talked with your spouse about the issue? Have you prayed together to consider your child, their personality, your approach to the situation, how you can help him or her? If not, that's where to begin. It doesn't have to take long, just a few minutes actually. Your child is worth the investment and your family life will improve as you work through these issues. Hang in there.

Visit the "Messy Room" section at the author's site for upcoming tips on how to help your kid get his act together! It's a process, and they want to see you through it!

© Andrea Simanson
Andrea Simanson is a wife and mother of three children.


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