Mom’s brilliant breakdown of how to teach your kid to clean their room is SO helpful

How to clean kids' rooms

It’s easy to forget that things that overwhelm us can likely also overwhelm our kids, too. Like cleaning, for instance. On one hand, you just want them to keep their room clean for longer than 24 hours. On the other hand, it’s also a skill they need to be taught.

Now, there’s a difference between a handful of Legos or Barbie shoes on the floor from an imaginative scenario they were just having fun with and a room where you can only see a few spare inches of the floor because EVERYTHING is EVERYWHERE. The latter scenario is much more likely to cause kids to feel overwhelmed and incredibly reluctant, right?

Well, one mom is sharing her brilliant tips for how to conquer those feelings AND the mess at the same time.

“The truth is — keeping a room clean, let alone a whole house, is a skill that involves lots of little tasks,” Sara Olsher explains in the now-viral video. “If you know how to tidy a room, you might take those little tasks for granted, but for kids, being faced with a messy room is totally overwhelming. They have no idea where to start.”

Olsher is the founder of Mighty and Bright Co., a company that helps simplify and streamline parenting—both emotionally and organizationally. In the video, she explains that the best way to start any task that can seem stressful is to create a checklist—a great option for kids and adults. It makes keeping a clean room seem much more doable and less formidable.

“When we teach kids how to break down a big task, like cleaning a room into manageable chunks,” she says. “We make this big chore easier to execute and kind of fun. After all, who doesn’t like checking things off of a to-do list?”

Over the summer, I felt the predictability of our family routine slip away faster than you can say “GET OUTSIDE NOW.” And as someone who works from home, having a somewhat clean space keeps my mind in a better place, which makes me a better mom. Managing it all mostly myself was killing me, so I bought a kids’ “chore checklist” to keep on the fridge, and made sure my girls knew that if they wanted to do the fun summer stuff, they needed to check their checklist first.

It helped immensely, and they really liked being able to use the dry-erase chart. Hey, whatever works!

Mighty and Bright also has their own Room Reset Board to help with the process, too. Osher recommends easing into the process with your kiddo and relying on the visual aid to make it easier.

“The first couple of times we might need to go through the steps with them, but once they get the hang of it, you can add a room reset to their weekly task chart and they’ll know what to do,” she said.

Looking at all of your clutter and trying to figure out where it all should go is overwhelming for anyone, especially our littles. But since living in mess and clutter can negatively impact one’s mental health—yes, kids too—it’s vital to practice ways to combat it. Because our home and all the spaces in it should be peaceful and relaxing, and clutter = chaos and high cortisol levels.

Teaching kids basic, necessary skills like how to manageably clean their rooms is something that will benefit them throughout their lifetime.

These are some fun, great products to help you and your kids keep things clean.