A cleaning checklist for kids’ rooms empowers your children to take responsibility for their space while helping them learn important life skills.
This particular cleaning checklist was born out of countless arguments I had with my children over whether their rooms had really been cleaned.
You know how those go: you ask them to clean their rooms while you’re doing your own chores. After a while, they announce they’re finished, but it looks just as bad — if not worse.
In my home that used to lead to frustration all around: I knew I’d shown them repeatedly how to clean things, and didn’t want to have to watch them every second. They knew that cleaning their rooms was part of earning their allowance, but felt like they didn’t know where to begin.
Cleaning Checklist for Kids’ Rooms
If you’ve used my printable cleaning checklists around the house, you know they break tough cleaning tasks into manageable steps. That’s the kind of structure kids need when cleaning, too, so I decided to come up with a printable cleaning checklist for kids rooms to make things easier for everyone involved.
Work Together the First Time
But, here’s the deal: you can’t just hand your child a cleaning checklist and expect them to get it right the first time.
Guess how I know? Yep, our first attempt at using a cleaning checklist for kids rooms led to more frustration. Then I actually listened to what my kids were saying: they were willing to clean their rooms (especially if that kept me out of their space) but they didn’t understand what was involved.
So my advice is to go over the instructions below with your child step-by-step, then tackle the task together the first time as we did. After that, depending on your kids’ ages, they can use the checklist to clean their rooms independently while you do something else — or even nothing at all.
1. Prepare to sort stuff: Mark one box/bag “Trash” and the other “Return.”
2. Pick up all trash: Start at the door and work to your right. Pick up all trash and put it in the “Trash” bag/box. Open drawers as you work and look for trash that should be thrown away. Close each drawer afterward. Once you’ve worked your way around the room, look under your bed and gather all trash. Look in your closet for trash, too. Now, set the full bag outside your bedroom door.
3. Find everything that belongs in another room. Do this just as you did with the trash, starting at the door and working toward the right, then under your bed and in your closet. Things that belong elsewhere include dishes, water glasses, and towels. Put these in the bag marked “Return.” When you’re finished gathering these things, put this bag outside your bedroom door, too.
4. Put away things that are on the floor. Toys left on the floor look messy. Put them in the toy box, on shelves, or wherever they are supposed to be stored. Pick up dirty clothes from the floor and put them in the hamper. Clean clothes should be hung up or folded and put away in the dresser. Shoes should be neatly placed on the closet floor.
5. Put away the things on your desk, dresser and nightstand. Put away toys left on the dresser. If you like to keep homework or books out where you can find them, arrange them in stacks. Things look much cleaner when stacked nicely instead of sprawled all over. Continue working until all of the flat surfaces in your room are neat and tidy.
6. Start dusting. Get one cleaning cloth very lightly wet. It should not be dripping water everywhere! Use this cloth to clean up dust. Start at the room’s door room and work to the right wiping off the top of each piece of furniture (desk, dresser, shelves, nightstand, etc.). Pick things up as you work and wipe the surface underneath them. Wipe the windowsills, too!
7. Clean the glass. Spray the mirror with a little of the glass cleaner. Use a dry, fresh cleaning cloth to wipe the mirror from top to bottom until all smudges and streaks are gone.
8. Change the sheets. Pull the bedspread and sheets off of your bed. Don’t pull off the mattress pad! Take the pillowcase off the pillow. Now, put the new sheets and pillowcase on and make your bed. Smooth the bedspread with your hands so it’s not bunched up and messy. Put the dirty sheets outside your bedroom door.
9. Start vacuuming. By now there should be nothing on the floor that doesn’t belong there, so it’s time to vacuum. Remember: never use the vacuum to pick up coins, puzzle pieces, Lego or other objects. It’s only for dirt, dust and pet hair. Begin vacuuming at the door and work your way around your room from right to left.
10. Time to finish up! Wrap the vacuum’s electric cord back on the prongs neatly. Put it outside of the door. Take dirty sheets to the laundry room. Take the Trash bag to the garbage can. Go through the bag marked “Return” and take each item to the place where it ought to go. Don’t just toss the thing in there — put it where it belongs!
The first time may seem like a lot of work, but things will go much faster every time you clean. Use the checklist below once a week to stay on track and enjoy that tidy room!