Cleaning up after your kids can get old pretty fast. There are only so many Barbies and so much Lego you can pick up before you start risking back problems (or your sanity).

When it comes to cleaning their room or remembering to pass on notes from school, kids can use a little help.

With a few management strategies, you can teach your kids to improve their organisation skills and stay on top of their homework and household chores.


1. Use Checklists

Boy Making a Checklist

Is your kid prone to leaving their lunch in their schoolbag for days on end? Or do they walk away from school projects halfway through?

Creating a checklist for your child to refer to is a great way to remind them of their daily chores and tasks. It also helps hold them more accountable for their responsibilities.

Keep a copy of the checklist somewhere they’ll see it each day, such as their bedroom door or inside their school diary.

This template can be personalised to suit your schedule:

MorningAfter SchoolNight
Make bedBring belongings home (e.g. hat and lunchbox) Dinner
Get dressedGive mum/dad any notes from schoolPut school clothes in laundry basket
Pack schoolbooks and lunchGive mum/dad any lunch you didn’t eatShower and pyjamas
Eat breakfastDo homeworkBrush teeth
Brush teethPack away toys or crafts after playingBed

Bonus tip: Have your kid help write their own day-to-day checklist, as well as lists for particular events and activities, such as packing their bag for a school camp.


2. Create a Cleaning Schedule

Girl Doing the Dishes

Kids work well with a stable routine. Setting a weekly schedule will make expectations clear, so your child can’t complain that a surprise chore has ruined their afternoon of making pizzas out of playdough (or whatever kids are into these days).

Your cleaning schedule might look a little something like this:

MorningMake bedMake bed & unpack dishwasherMake bedMake bed & unpack dishwasherMake bedMake bed & tidy roomMake bed
LunchtimeSchoolSchoolSchoolSchoolSchoolHelp prepare lunchHelp prepare lunch
AfternoonPut dirty clothes in the laundryPack away toysLoad dishwasherPut dirty clothes in the laundryPack away toysBring in the washingWipe the bathroom vanity
NightBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of redBring mummy her glass of red

Have more than one kid? Just add an extra column for every day of the week for each additional child.


3. Make It Fun

Dad and Son Cleaning

Obligations are tough enough as an adult, let alone for a child. Motivate your little one to stay focused by adding a bit of fun.

Rhyme Time

“I make my bed before I start the day, and I remember to pack my toys away!”

OK, so we’re no Bob Dylan. But we’re sure you can come up with your own little rhyme to help your kids remember their tasks in a fun and creative way.

Beat the Buzzer

There’s nothing like some friendly competition to motivate a kid. Set them the challenge to finish unpacking the dishwasher or cleaning their room before the kitchen timer goes off. This works great using their favourite song, too.

Good Old-Fashioned Bribery

If they don’t finish their chores, they don’t get dessert. It’s called a classic because it works.

While your child may not ever be super tidy and organised every day of the week, these tricks can help you see some progress.