30 Polite Ways to Say “Clean Up After Yourself”

Have you been living with a roommate and feel that it is time to take control of their mess?

I know the feeling. When you live with other people, especially family, it can be hard to voice your concerns on their lack of cleanliness.

It is important to keep your cool and polite ways to ask someone to clean up after themselves when they spill coffee on the carpet in the morning or leave their wet towel lying in the living room.

You want this person to know that you are not trying to pick a fight, but you are trying to help them out.

Not to worry; I’ve got a few tactful ways to encourage someone to tidy up after themselves without coming off as unpleasant or aggressive.

You can tell them really straightforward things like, “don’t leave a mess”, or “try to leave it as tidy as it was before” as a way of saying “clean up after yourself.”

For something more cheerful or with rhythm simple rhymes like, “Files And Papers On The Desk, Waste, And Rubbish In The Bin”, “Don’t make me write a children’s rhyme, just keep the place tidy all the time”, and “Your space is not a bin, keep the workplace clean” should do.

Some sentences framed as polite requests or questions work well. Let’s dive in and explore the rest:

32 Great Ways to Tell Someone to “Clean Up After Yourself”

Don’t Leave A Mess

Advising someone not to leave a mess is equivalent to telling them to clean up the place because it is already unclean.

You might also advise them not to cause a commotion. In any case, you are advocating that they make an effort to clean up everything after whatever they are doing, regardless of how messy it becomes.

Leave It As Tidy As It Was Before

You are simply saying I don’t want a mess when I come back. Before they came in the place was spick and span, so they should try to leave it as they met it when they are through with whatever activity they are engaging in. It is a great friendly reminder for toilets in the office place.

Is Everything Cleaned Up?

Sometimes framing sentences as questions helps people understand you better.

For children and people who like to stick to simple things, questions will help them know what exactly they should do. If it is not clean, they will start to clean up and if it’s clean they will tell you it is.

Be Sure To Put Those Away When You Are Done

If they are using something that they always leave out, telling them to return it will be a reminder for them.

After all, it is not like they want to be messy, they just forgot. The tone is also friendly and for both children and adults, it will tell them that you are okay with them making use of whatever they are using but they have to return it when they are through.

Please Don’t Leave Anything Undone

If the area was clean when they arrived and they used some items, this will instruct them to put everything back where it belongs, clean up any spills, and pack up any trash that they have generated.

Although it may not be the most polite, anyone will listen to it because it is sincere.

Do Well To Dust, To Keep Germs Away Is A Must

It is a cute rhyme that works well for kids and at the office. Nobody will hear you recite this out.

This courteous notice will alert them to the repercussions of failing to clear the table after eating or to gather their belongings and put them away at the end of the workday.

Consider this: People often work more if they believe it will benefit others, or at the very least themselves.

It gives them an internal sense of superpower. In this instance, they are defending themselves against any hazards that the dust may present.

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If You Didn’t Leave Your Messes For Me, Think How Much Happier I Would Be

It acts as a reminder to do nice deeds. Want to keep your officemate content? Continue to tidy up after yourself after that! Genius.

In this way, people reflect on their own selfishness, examine their values, consider their happiness, and do you all the favors. Unless they don’t like you, great. You’re then in a serious pickle.

Use The Bin

…or a wastebasket or a trash can. This will warn them not to scrunch their trash and throw it on the floor or leave it on their desk because some individuals may not even be aware that there is one.

Try shooting some baskets just for fun. They may crumple up the sign, but hoops will demonstrate a creative method for getting their trash into, or at the very least around, the trash.

Nobody Wants To Walk In Your Puddle

Reminders on bathroom cleanliness and safety. Please advise the men and women to wipe their puddles so no one steps in them and ruins their day since sometimes we are not very clean with our bathroom business.

It’s not very great for the environment or the user after you.

Keep It Clean So We Don’t Have To Clean Your Mess Later

When you use we when adding for something, whoever you are doing it to will most likely agree and then do it because it seems to benefit them even though in this case, it is more to your benefit.

Maybe before they think it through they will be done cleaning up any mess they made and you won’t have to clean up after them.

Just One Wish, Wash Your Dish

That overly friendly neighbor came over and is eating everything in sight? This should say they should clean without you having to say anything.

They will read, understand, and clean. Then you are not a bad host and to avoid the chore, they won’t visit again.

Please Use The Towel/napkin

When you say stuff like this at the table, they will feel it is some sort of rule in the table manners guide and they will comply. You might have.

Few who will not understand but by wiping your side, it will seem ceremonial to wipe the table with napkins and then they will clean their space.

Don’t Leave Your Clutter Lying Around

If you have a work environment that gives cubicles for each of their staff, this won’t be a worry but if you have a more modern workspace kind of environment, someone else’s clutter can spread to your own space.

Telling them not to leave their clutter tells them clearly to bug you with their junk and you would appreciate it if their space was tidy so you don’t have to intrude on your own.

Remember To Leave Your Space Clutter Free

At the end of the day when everyone is exhausted, they just want to go home to their families. This simple reminder tells you that you understand they want to be home resting.

They have one last task to do, and that’s to do a little cleaning up. It won’t take much for them to get the hint and do their bit.

Leave It How You Want To Meet It

Let’s say you work in a common area where there is no defined space for everyone.

Clutter and junk will be a constant bane you will have to deal with if others leave a mess. This remainder tells them to clean up when they are done with a day’s work.

Mess Don’t Make Anyone Happy

Unless you are an animal bit since we are all humans, clean up! This is best for children.

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The little ones care about your feelings so they will try to make you happy by cleaning up. Be sure to appreciate that. That’s a sound encouragement.

The Boss’ Favourite Are Those Who Are Neat

Teacher’s pet, boss’s favorite, who doesn’t want to be loved and spoiled a little? Anyone who cleans up after them will consider themselves on the boss’s good side especially if it was the boss who placed the tidy reminder.

This may not work for everyone, especially the old employees who have built strong bonds of friendship with the boss.

You can use that at home and use mommy instead of boss. It should work great.

It Won’t Hurt You To Be Tidier

This might provoke a reaction, but it is better than no reaction. They will either be provoked to clean while giving you a piece of their mind (no one wants to feel they are dirty even if they are) or just respond and leave the mess.

And if they do not clean because they are putting it off, this is a sound reminder.

Files And Papers On The Desk, Waste, And Rubbish In The Bin

When you see someone discarding a wrapper on the ground after lunch or leaving used tissues on the desk, just put this up overhead or recite it.

It will be enjoyable to hear and challenging to find offensive because of the rhythm in it.

There Is A Place For Everything, Keep Them There

It just takes a short period for a lot to accumulate, including books, flies, folders, used tissue paper, and so forth.

It’s no longer really cleaning when they conceive of it as maintaining what should be there. It’s more akin to returning items so you have a work surface.

Don’t Make Me Write A Children’s Rhyme, Just Keep The Place Tidy All The Time

Adults have the tendency of acting like children by leaving their things strewn all over the place, or not cleaning up the messes they make.

With this simple rhyme, you are telling them to clean up because they are not children and they don’t need a rhyme to remind them to do so.

Are You Through Here?

People can express their feelings and, more crucially, what they would say in sentences by asking questions.

A child may just respond “yes,” but an adult will recognize that you are asking them if they want to leave the situation as it is.

Unless you are a cleaner, in which case they would let you finish your work, if you had half their intelligence they would clean up right away.

It’s A Bit Messy, Do You Need Help Cleaning it?

Teaching someone to clean up after themselves often involves taking the first steps and reminding them of the importance of cleaning.

In this case, you are offering to help so while you are indirectly telling them to clean, you might end up cleaning alone, especially if they didn’t get the hint or they don’t want to do it.

This Place Could Use A Bit Of Cleaning After, Don’t You Think?

By seeking out others’ thoughts on issues, you might give them a sense of importance and belonging.

In this scenario, they will agree and begin cleaning even if they feel perfectly happy with things in a mess.

Giving them a helping hand will signal that you want to clean right away, and they will set to work.

No One Likes A Dirty Worker

Everyone desires belonging and a sense of welcome in a social circle, as well as acceptance, love, and care.

Although there is social interaction at work, there is also trash everywhere. As a result, they will be called out for being untidy, and they will try to make amends – if not for the sake of cleanliness and health, then at least to win the circle’s approval.

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You Will Need To Clean That Up, Let Me Get A Mop

Any confusion that subtle reminders can cause can be avoided by explicitly stating what has to be done.

When you offer to grab the cloth, broom, or mop, it shows that you are serious about suggesting that they clean up the mess and that you want them to do it quickly.

Although it is a little bossy, the desired outcome will be achieved.

It’s Not In Your Job Description To Leave A Mess

There are cleaning jobs and jobs that can become messy while trying to complete work, but no one will have a job where their only responsibility is to create a mess and leave it there.

This will significantly alter their perspective if they now believe that someone else will take care of the situation.

Try To Organize What’s Going On Here

If you spotted a mess area, very cheerily tell whoever owns the space to organize the space. Using the word organize sounds more creative to them than cleaning.

You can also try “I want to see how this looks when you are done organizing”.

You will make them sound like creative geniuses about to get some heavy work done when they are just really tidying up their space.

Your Space Is Not A Bin, Keep The Workplace Clean

This sounds like something you would say to ensure other people’s safety.

People would make an effort to keep the area clean rather than merely leaving their trash on the floor or beside the trash can.

Everyone would be content, and everything would be neat.

Don’t Leave Your Trash Lying Around

You can add please in front of this one. You are trying to be polite after all.

Since they litter the place, let them have the responsibility of picking up after themselves instead of leaving it on the floor and letting it get in the way.

Then maybe next time don’t make less of a mess and soon no messes at all.

Don’t Forget To Return The Mug

This time it really sounds like your reminder. So it’s like you are the one doing the cleaning and you want them not to forget to play that little part.

They will do it because it seems so simple and so easy and then no one will have to contend with any messes later.

And if it’s not their mug you can replace it with something else like an empty pizza box or a used napkin.

I Think This Place Could Use Some Cleaning

It’s possible that some of your coworkers will grow impatient with you if you continue to act like the perfect goody two shoes.

He simply reacts to the situation that you are observing; you don’t actually try to point out their errors; you just sound like you are telling them the good old gospel truth.

Diplomacy that is sincere. That aside, you can create some positive work relationships.

I Work Better In A Clean Environment

Everyone is unique from the person next to them. Their priorities and aims are the same.

While a tidy workspace is a requirement for you to get some work done, it is irrelevant to them because they can function in even worse circumstances.

They will understand quite clearly that this location is not clean, regardless of how minor or unimportant the mess may seem to them if you tell them that you work better in a clean environment.

Two, it instructs them to tidy up so that there will be an organization and you can accomplish more in less time.


Keeping a place clean needs everyone’s hands on deck so telling someone else to clean up after themselves is not wrong, just be sure that while you are using these friendly and polite reminders, you have a nice tone.

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