Tuesday, April 24 2018 - 6:13 AM
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Go Clean Your Room!

If you are a mom, you have said it a million times, “Go clean your room!” It is a rare mother who gives birth to a child who prefers to clean his room instead of trash it.

So what are moms and dads to do if they want their children to put away the toys, place clothes in the hamper, and keep books perfectly lined on their shelves?

Well, this may seem harsh to some of you. First things first. Go clean your room – and the bathroom, and the kitchen, and the family room, and the home office, and the garage, and the closets… you get the idea. If your room has piles of clean clothes waiting to be folded, or you only make your bed when company comes over, or the dishes get washed only when there is nothing left in the house to eat with you are not demonstrating an organized life to your child.

Okay, so maybe your house is not a candidate for the popular show on Lifetime Television, How Clean is Your House?, but look around.

  • Does your desk have stacks of un-filed papers?
  • Do you forget to fold the clothes as soon as the dryer stops?
  • Does your bed turn stale before the sheets are changed?
  • Do your feet stick to the floor before you remember to mop?

Perhaps your careless ways have rubbed onto your children. It is time to clean up. Today.

Your next course of action is to create a friendly routine that you and your children can comfortably work around. Make a list of chores that need to be completed each week. Then divide them up appropriately among the members of your family. Children should be expected to do chores daily. And if Dad works outside the home full time to support his family, his household chores should reflect his hard work each week. In other words, don’t expect Dad to clean the house after a long day at work. Stay at home moms, should take over most of the responsibility for maintaining the household. The Bible tells us we are to be “keepers at home.” So, make your home a real priority. If both mom and dad work outside the home, you will have to have a discussion about who should be responsible for each chore and when. Then be accountable for your part.

Making a routine a habit is the hardest part for some people. Especially if they are not used to being on a schedule or have always been unorganized. Don’t give up if you fall off the schedule. Tomorrow is a new day with a fresh set of goals. Post the chores and schedules up where everyone can see them on a daily basis. The kitchen works well for my family.

Pray each morning before you begin your day. Ask God to give you the will power to make your home pleasing to HIM so that your family can live daily in comfort. Finally, work with your children to show them how to clean up. For instance, in the evening after supper, clear the table immediately with their help. Then after Family Worship time, follow them to their bedrooms and sit down. Tell them nicely what to do.

“John, put your books on the shelf – no like this.”

“Sarah, place your dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.”

“Timmy, you know your room looks nicer if you don’t leave your cars on the floor. Put them in the right bucket.”

And then, be sure to do the same when you go to your own room to retire for the day.

Daily Plan of Action: (This is what I use in my home.)

  • Daily Prayer and Devotion
  • Make Beds
  • Wipe Down Bathroom Sinks
  • Wash Two Loads of Laundry
  • Clean Kitchen and Sweep
  • Straighten House
  • 10-20 Minute De-clutter of One Area
  • One to Two Weekly Chores

Lastly, organize your child’s things so that when he is finished with a project or toy, he can put them away easily. Remember the adage, A place for everything and everything in its place. Group like toys, ie. Lego’s, Lincoln Logs, dolls, etc., into plastic storage containers and label them. Label everything. Teach your child this rule: “Only One toy at a time¨ Your child must return the toy to its proper place before getting out a new toy.

Keeping a neat house, especially when you have children running around, is not easy. In fact, much of the time, it is down right hard. But tackle it like any other project. Break it down into manageable sections. Make a Plan of Action or Daily Schedule. And stick to it – every day. If I don’t stick to my plan daily, my house can go from clean to disaster within a matter of hours.

If your child destroys his room, it can take hours to clean. BUT, if he puts away his things as soon as he is finished with them, it only takes a few seconds at a time. The same goes for grown ups. A messy bedroom takes longer to clean than a relatively neat one and three papers are easier to file that a mountain of papers. Learn your lesson… and then pass it on!

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About Melissa Ringstaff

Melissa Ringstaff

is the Director of A Virtuous Woman, a non-profit ministry for women based on Proverbs 31.

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