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How to Get Your Teen to Tidy Their Room without Killing One Another

teenager and mumWe happened to stumble across this article in The Guardian on ‘Teen Queen Chaos’ and found it a rather interesting read. The article explains how the clutter of a room can really affect a person and their mood. It also touches on the troubles that parents have in trying to persuade their teenagers to keep their bedrooms tidy.

This article is specifically about one girl who’s an A* star student with a very busy lifestyle (like many of our teens these days) who uses her busy lifestyle as an excuse not to tidy her room. The Professional ‘de-clutterer’ (yes, that is a real profession!) makes some very valid points regarding this problem:

“Just because this is a disorganised space, doesn’t mean she should label herself as a disorganised person.”

“Clutter arises when life’s busy and it’s not your priority. Then it builds up and takes real effort to clear.”

“It’s not just about having a tidy up and makeover; it’s about the motivation to want to regain control and live in a cleaner space. The challenge is long-term maintenance.”

Nowadays our teens tend to get caught up in their regular day to day activities such as school, after school activities, extra-curricular activities, social media, homework and going to see friends. All of this takes up their time and they forget the common rules you teach them when growing up. One of the biggest mistakes they tend to make is forgetting to keep their personal belongings organised – this leads to their rooms getting out of control without them even realising. But now it is time for you as a parent to encourage and take some action.

So if you have a similar problem in your home, and like many mothers out there are tired of moaning at your teens for months on end – take a look at our 4 steps which will help encourage them to get the job done without any sweat off your back:

  • Avoid Criticism

We all know how stroppy teens can get – and one thing you don’t want to encourage is pushing them over the edge. Do you ever have the problem of telling them one thing, then they do the complete opposite? Well there’s something to think about – try to suspend judgement, criticism and negativity. Telling your teen that he or she is disorganised won’t motivate them to shift the clutter – it will only encourage them to do it more, as well as resenting you in the process.

So instead, try leaving them to it, and maybe bring up some small suggestions here and there, they’re bound to pick up on these eventually – just avoid the negative talk!

  • Have a Declutter

Having a declutter is one of the best ways to get rid of all the excess mess in a room – and getting rid of all the things you don’t need anymore. Instead of going all guns blazing into your teens room and picking up everything you can find to throw away, why not suggest to have a spring clean throughout the house. Then you could suggest helping them declutter their own room – this then gives them the idea (without you intentionally telling them to do so), and also lets them know that you’re more than happy to help.

Another good incentive is to offer to buy them some more furniture for their room – this is a great reason to have a declutter – just be sure to buy something with a lot of storage space!  Or even suggest a car boot sale – where they get to profit from their decluttering.

  • Respect their Belongings

You may find that you’re pestering and pestering for weeks – but just because you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, don’t let this be a reason to take it upon yourself to go into their room to clean in. You’ll only make things worse – they’ll get the hint eventually and realise that the job needs doing.

  • Leave Them To It

Even if you are at the tip of the iceberg – don’t be pushed over. Restrain yourself from taking matters into your own hands and just acknowledge every step that they take that’s in the right direction – and don’t forget to praise the effort involved!

They need to learn for themselves one day, and never will with you pushing to do it for them.  So stay calm and give positive light on everything that your teen does – rather than harping on about tidiness, focus on the benefits for them: small suggestions like clearing space to study or unwind, or creating a room that can be shared with friends often works.

Good luck – we hope these bring your nagging worries to an end.

By Tony Fitz-Costa – Check me out on Google+.

Shelfstore is a system of creating furniture, shelving and storage solutions around your ideas – in any size, and to fit your space.

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