Lately, while making my bed, I’ve been reminded of a set of books my children had. They were those book-club type books where you pay so much a month and get a book a month in the post. I can only remember a couple of the story books they got. ‘Little 6 o’clock’ was about the number 6 on a town clock who wanted to see the town and so left the clock face but had to be back before the clock hands reached his spot! The other had something to do with a garden and a rose when it rained! (Maybe if my children who are reading this still have those books, they can put the publisher and the other titles in the comments!) Each month these delightful stories would arrive in our postbox along with an activity book, all colourful, hard cover and beautifully presented.
In one of these activity books there was a plan on how to tidy your bedroom! FANTASTIC IDEA!! And yes, it did work! Even today, probably about 20 years after my daughter first came across it, she sometimes uses this method! And I admit, so do I! So I thought I’d share it with anyone who’s interested.
This is not a ‘Go and tidy your room!’ plan. It’s a ‘Let’s go and tidy your room!’ plan! It’s something Mum and child do together, and, as proved in my daughter’s habits, eventually they may adopt it for themselves!
Step One: Ask your child to bring a bin bag to their bedroom, for all the rubbish, and then to bring the laundry basket, or something to put their dirty laundry in.
Step Two: Here comes the part they will LOVE! – Ask them to take everything off the bed and put it on the floor! Note that they are doing the work! Everything goes on the floor, including the sheets, pillow slips, duvet covers etc. which will eventually go in the laundry basket!
Step Three: Help your child make the bed with clean sheets, pillow slips, duvet cover etc. All children can help you do this, even if the three year old gets her head in the pillowslip together with the pillow! It’s all about having fun together and getting a task done! You might like to put a children’s song CD on and sing together while working!
Step Four: Now that the bed is all nice and tidy, pick up everything off the floor and dump it on the bed! That’s fun too! All the shoes, dirty clothes, sweet papers, toys, books, papers – everything!
Step Five: At this point they might be quite excited at seeing the carpet and finding so much space! Enjoy the moment! Make yourself a spot to sit on the bed and explain to them that we’re going to find a place for everything! And then hand each thing on the bed to them to put in its correct place – rubbish bin, laundry, books on bookshelf etc. By this time my children were well into this ‘game’ and were quite happy to start putting things away. It might be an idea to have a drink-and-biscuit break on the carpet for very young children!
Step Six: Once the last item from the bed has found a place, the job is done and the rubbish bag can be dumped outside and the laundry basket back in its place!
Not only is your child’s room tidy, but you’ve spent a happy hour with them, laughed together and worked together! Note that 99% of the tidying was done by the child herself/himself! You’ve given direction in a plan of action, you may have suggested places to put things, but the child probably had their own suitable ideas, and all you’ve done is hand the things over!