In matters of housekeeping, as in so many other things, children are more prone to do what we inspect than what we expect. We have certainly found this principle to be true when it comes to keeping kids’ rooms tidy. Which is why I created this free bedroom inspection checklist.
Our children have always shared bedrooms, with two to four siblings occupying a single room. This does more than economize space. It also teaches valuable life skills about getting along with others and working together toward a common goal — like straightening their room.
When kids tackle the job of cleaning their bedroom, it helps when I clearly define what I mean by “clean.” But want to know what really motivates them to get the job done properly? When they know I’ll be checking up on their progress with more than a cursory glance.
Children tend to do what we inspect, not what we expect.
That is what inspired me to create my free printable bedroom inspection checklist. It defines an acceptable standard (rooms don’t have to be “perfect”) and helps our neat-niks to peacefully co-exist with our pack-rats.
For years, I used this plain-jane version. But I recently decided to give it a facelift and offer the girls‘ and boys‘ versions you see above. Just click on either image to download its free printable PDF.
The room inspection checklist really serves two purposes:
- It helps my kids, because they know exactly what I want from them.
- It helps me, too, by allowing me to recognize and reward a job that is done “well enough,” instead of zeroing in on the pair of dirty socks stuffed under the bed or a nightstand drawer that is overfull.
If a child scores at least 85% on inspection, his room passes. If not, he must pay a nominal fine (just a dollar or two) and keep working until it does pass. Kids whose rooms pass with flying colors get a small reward.
Best of all, when I’m consistent about inspecting at least once a week, including surprise “pop inspections,” the rooms seldom get into such a state of disarray that they can’t be tidied in a matter of minutes.
More Help with Household Organization
- Practical Tips for Keeping Kids’ Rooms Clean – how to organize kids rooms so they’re easier to clean
- Mailbag: How Often Do You Do Room Checks? – Here I field more questions on room inspection (and share an original poem about making beds)
- My Housekeeping Strategy – 7 tips for keeping your home clean and clutter-free
- More Free Printables – find even more inspiration by scrolling through our entire library of free printable resources