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How to Clean and Tidy a Teenager's Messy Bedroom

Updated on December 11, 2011

Teenagers and messy bedrooms, they seem to go together, don’t they? If your teenager has a messy bedroom and you don’t like it, see it as your problem and not theirs. The question is, “What are you going to do about it?” You have a choice, you can expect them to tidy it themselves, you do it for them, or you can help them keep it tidy. This hub assumes the latter, that you and your teen will work on the messy bedroom together.

Do little and often. Frequently the job is so overwhelming that no one wants to start. Use a timer, tidy for 15 minutes, or 30, but have a finite end to the tidying and then do more the next day.

Don’t say, Go tidy your room and expect anything to get done. They will literally not know where to start, you have to give them the tools to start.

Take a trash bag and pick up anything that’s trash that can go straight out the door and into the garbage bin. Keep a box by the door and anything that’s not wanted any more can go in the box and be donated to a thrift store.

If your teen is grumpy and doesn’t want to join in, then insist that your teen stays in the room while you tidy. But involve them in the task by saying things like, “Do you really want this?” Or, “Can I throw this out?” And “Where do you want me to put this?”

Make sure there is enough storage space for all the items in the teen’s room.

Start with the floor. Even if you don’t manage to tidy the whole room, if the floor is done the room will appear greatly improved.

Pick the item there are most of on the floor, e.g. Clothes, books, papers. Tell the teen that’s what you’re doing first. You and the teen collect all of those items and put them in the right place. Then you will have a new item you see most of, move to that item.

As the items on the floor reduce, push them into a smaller and smaller pile. It’s easier to put away items that are all in one place rather than items that are scattered.

Make sure that there is a laundry basket in the teen’s room. Train your teen to put laundry into this basket so there won’t be clothes on the floor. Are you still doing their laundry for them? Children over 12 can cope with doing their own laundry if you teach them the steps.

The room doesn’t have to be perfect, just greatly improved. Don’t get disheartened if it’s messy again soon afterwards.

Tidy frequently then it won’t be a big job each time you do it. Daily is ideal if you can manage it. Teach your teen to tidy their own room for 5 minutes each day, then it won’t get really bad.

When the floor is clear encourage the teen to vacuum the room.

Please take my poll on teenagers' bedrooms

Do you have a teenager who needs help with their room?

See results


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    • profile image

      Illi 6 months ago

      My mom just don't want to care anymore like she had enough of it. The thing is, what itch my eyes and stops me from cleaning my room are someone else's things in my room! And I really wish I can do something about the old rickety bed as things fall behind it and I can't get it back, and my father's tools below it and my mom's appliances on top of my shelves!

      I really wish to makeover this room but I can't do this alone.... T T

    • dotty1 profile image

      dotty1 5 years ago from In my world

      Great ideas ...I always end up doing it because I'll either feel sorry for her with all her homework or I just canr stand looking at it any longer ....

    • profile image

      kelly 6 years ago

      well my room is tidy because my parents are to poor to buy new things for it i have a broken bed and no curtains to have my privatece and my clothes are in a titchy pile i hate it!

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 7 years ago from Washington MI

      Great ideas! Even though the teen spends most of the time sitting on the bed complaining it does get done. It is amazing how quickly their rooms vanish from sight. LOL! Rated up.

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 7 years ago

      Great ideas for helping a teen learn the skills to be tidy. One more thing that applies to both teens and adults: making the bed. When the bed is unmade, the whole house feels messy!

    • karent profile image

      karent 7 years ago

      I was almost ready to argue with you when I first started reading, but it makes perfect sense. When I think about the comments my kids have made when I ask them to clean their room or another room in the house, I realize it's true that they are overwhelmed and need to have the job broken down into manageable tasks. I've also noticed that they are more likely to help if I'm doing the work. Great job with this hub!