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Cleaning Up with Kids

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When parents ask their children to clean up their room, the typical response, at best, is not enthusiastic -- and at worst, well, lots of screaming and tears. The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way!

Parents, read on for simple ways to make cleaning up easier for your kids and easier on you. Easy as 1-2-3.

The most important factor in teaching your child to clean up after themselves is giving them the means to do so. According to the experts at Cargokids, a solutions-based children’s furniture and accessories retailer, there are three easy steps parents can take to get their children in the habit of picking up after themselves:

1) Parents need to provide adequate storage for their child's belongings;

2) mark the storage areas with easy-to-understand labels; and most importantly,

3) encourage them by leading by example.

Step 1: Storage Children need a place to put their toys, once they've been asked to pick them up. “All of your child's belongings need storage space if you expect them to not be left around the house,” says Julia Summers, Cargokids expert and mother of one.

“Action-figures tend to migrate to piles underneath the bed if they don't have a place to call home when playtime is over.” “Storage trunks are essential to an organized kids' room, however, toys are not the only things that need a home.

Hang wall hooks within your child's reach for jackets and sweaters and save space in the closet for shoe bags or racks,” advises Summers. For school age children, parents should consider a computer workstation.

In addition to “housing” the computer, it will serve as a desk and provide extra storage for computer and school supplies. Cargokids also carries CD/storage towers that house small books, CDs and stuffed animals.

Step 2: Labels Now that you have supplied a home for your child's belongings, create an easy system for them to learn what goes where.

Mark storage areas with color or picture labels that they can recognize and understand. Look for drawer pulls with pictures on them, such as socks for a dresser drawer or a toothpaste tube for the bathroom cabinet.

Summers also suggests color-coding storage areas for toys. “Color coordination is simple for kids; in fact, I use color coding as an adult!”

Cargokids has a wide variety of large baskets and storage bins that are sturdy, attractive, colorful and reasonably priced.

Step 3: Lead Attention Parents: You are the greatest influence in your child's life.
The best and fastest way to teach your kids that cleaning up is easy and important is to do it yourself.

Hang up your coat, don't leave your shoes under the coffee table and find a home for your magazines and mail. “If parents don't pick up their belongings from around the house as part of their daily routine, it makes it hard for children to understand why they have to,” says Summers.

“Sending mixed signals is confusing to children -- that’s why it is important to have a simple system in place to save you and your kids time and frustration.” Why waste time?

Start now by cutting out this article, putting the newspaper in the recycling bin and show your kids today how it's done. To find a Cargokids store near you, call (800) 333-1402.

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