This is a problem that has probably existed since Adam and Eve brought Cain and Abel into the world: how do parents motivate their children to clean their room?

Our children see their room as their sanctuary – a place where they can be themselves, unencumbered and free from the rules they live under every hour of every day. It’s no surprise that their messy, cluttered, unorganized room is a reflection of that.

So, how do we gently or forcefully convince our children to clean their room and help them to do it quickly and efficiently? Here are a few ideas:

1. Incentive

Try the carrot and the stick approach. Give her an incentive. She wants to go out with her friends? She wants to use her smartphone? She wants to borrow the car? Well, she cannot do those things unless she cleans her room. It’s that simple. If she gets an allowance, make that contingent on doing chores around the house and one of those chores is cleaning her room. If she wants to those things badly enough, she will clean her room in record time.

2. Have Storage Options

Maybe one of the reasons that her room is a disaster is because she lacks the tools necessary to keep it tidy. You can give her some storage options like flat boxes to go under her bed, additional furniture pieces and bins to store clothes or other items. If she has those items, it might be a quick and easy fix to a messy room.

3. Set Up an Organizational System

Maybe it’s not the storage items, but the organizational system that’s contributing to the mess. Help your daughter figure out the best places to put her things and once she has the system down pat, she should be able to clean her room quickly and efficiently.

4. Limit the Clutter

The less stuff in her room, the less there is to clean up. And the less stuff there is, the less time it will take to keep her room clean.

5. Don’t Let it Get Out of Control

If your child goes weeks on end without cleaning and organizing her room, then it’s going to be chaos when she finally decides to dig in and dig out from under the mess. If she is on a schedule – cleaning her room every week or every other week – then it won’t be such a chore.

6. Make it a Game

If you have two or more kids, make cleaning up a sort of competition. Kids love to win and if you make the cleaning process a game, they will probably get it with a speed you never expected. The big challenge, though, is making sure they clean their room well and don’t simply toss stuff everywhere.

7. Give Them Sections to Clean Up

Maybe cleaning her entire room is overwhelming because of how untidy it is. If you give her a section to clean, she will probably be able to manage that more easily and get it done more quickly.