ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How can I get my teenager to clean his room?

Updated on June 28, 2011

Buy a big throw rug!

1st measure the room that the teen has trashed and go get a throw rug that will fit the space. Kick everything in the room around until the piles are about the same height and all the floor is equally covered. Then stand back and unfurl that rug and let it cover the mess. Then walk around on it and stomp down the places where it pokes up. You will be surprised at how neat the room looks and so will your teen. Then when the room looses it's tidy look, just roll the rug back and kick the new mess under the rug.

When you hear the teen asking,

"Mom, where is my toothbrush?" You simply reply, "Did you look under the rug?"

"Mom, have you seen my IPOD?" You simply reply, "Did you look under the rug?"

"Mom, is there any pizza left?" You simply reply, "Did you look under the rug?"

Home Work: "Did you look under the rug?"

Where's dad, "Did you look under the rug?"

Can I have my allowance? "Did you look under the rug?"

Can I use the car? "Did you look under the rug?"

MOM, YOU ARE MAKING ME MAD! "Get under the rug!"

Look it is all perspective, when the mess is under the rug, I don't have to look at it, and looking at it is my problem and I solved my problem.

Messed up Room
Messed up Room
Organized Closet
Organized Closet
New Simple Bed
New Simple Bed

Do you want to visit your grandparents?

Send the errant teen to see his grandparents.  Don't worry they won't keep him!  While he is gone, contact the local fire department and let them practice with their fire hoses in the room.   Be sure to open the windows and stash your throw rug some place safe.   When the teen comes back from his grandparents, show him where his stuff is and tell him to hurry up and pick it up before the yard sale on Saturday.

Then have the yard sale on Saturday and sell all of the stuff he has left in the yard for 5 cents.  Then have the goodwill come by and pick up the rest.   All the nickles belong to the teen of course and you can gladly hand them over.  Then tell him that you are bringing his throw rug back tomorrow.   

When tomorrow comes, kick the stuff around in the room to make the floor equally loaded and pretty flat and then roll the rug out.

When the teen asks where anything is, say  "Did you look under the rug?"

How Can you Help?

I know that the humor has probably not helped you much with your problem, but it is important to make sure that your approach never says any of the following:

  1. Your room is more important that you are.
  2. I don't think you are capable of cleaning your room.
  3. I do not believe in you.
  4. I will not help you.

It is important to convey the expectation and to discuss how to get organized and to offer help at every step. It may even be helpful to consult sources of organization like books, kits, or stores.

I found that involving my son in every aspect of the change was great because he had ideas that I never thought of for organizing baseball cards, magazines and hats. Shopping at a storage store was very helpful too as he chose a bin rather than a hamper for dirty clothes.

As it turned out the room needed more than a cleaning and when re realized that, we were able to focus on the great new way we could make the room over into a more sophisticated place for him and his stuff.

Hints that we got that made a difference to him:

Bold new accessories for the room, a huge mirrior.

The window treatments needed to be more masculine. Change those.

A lot of stuff needed to be junked, get rid of the broken stuff and garbage stuff.

Organizational bins were needed.

Replace the blankets with a comforter that could just be thrown over the bed.

Get some huge pillows for sitting on the floor but can be stacked on the corner.

Get a comfortable chair.

Set up an area for computer, homework, etc.

Start over........

This may have a great desired effect, ask for a timely tune up and help with it.  You may have to help keep it up....and you can meet each challenge one at a time.   

You may discover that you need more organizational ideas for the closet or containers.  Remember to use organizational suggestions and displays.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think I'm going to forward this Hub to my son. Is his room a mess? Yes! Will a throw rug do his room justice? Not sure but I think it may be worth a try. Well, maybe I will try some of your other solutions. I think it is better as you point out to assist wherever possible to help one's son or daughter learn the art of organization. Super Hub! Voted Up--Best Regards--Deb

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      When raising teens, it sure helps to have a sense of humor. Unfortunately, some never grow out of it. I had a 60 year old friend who's place was a huge mess, huge.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @KCC consider this, messy teens usually grow up to be neat and tidy. Just wait. LOL

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      7 years ago from Central Texas

      I finally gave up trying to get my teenage daughter to keep her room tidy. I decided that we just have different standards and if she wants to live like that, then she can. I just ask that she keeps the door shut so that I don't have to see it.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      That was a great read and I loved the humour

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Funny AND useful! I remember those days all too well!

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Thank you angel4todd, I appreciate the kind words.

    • angel4todd profile image


      8 years ago from louisiana

      this is really funny. i enjoyed reading this.

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Nellianna, thanks for the detailed and fun feedback once again! I love all your spirited comments and positive support.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      8 years ago from TEXAS

      I was really buying into the big throw rug and fire hose! haha - well - I have no teens now, though my teen-age great grandkids and their mom are coming to visit in a couple of weeks. My den floor will be full of their stuff but I like it! (it's only for 5 days, besides!)

      This really is a great article. Maybe I'll print it up for my granddaughter when she goes home! ;)

    • SteveoMc profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Once again, thanks BJ, I appreciate the support.

    • BJBenson profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      You write such great hubs about teens and parents.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)