- Jenny Hayes
Is It Normal For A Teenager To Have A Messy Room?
We were asked by Homes & Gardens Magazine "Is it normal for a teenager to have a messy room? What do you suggest to try and keep it a bit tidier and more organised? "
Here are our answers...
There are many and varied reasons why a teenager may have a messy room. Here are a few simple steps though that will help them maintain a tidy space.
· Discard outgrown clothes and shoes
· Reduce/discard childhood toys/games that they have outgrown
· Have their own dirty washing basket in their room
· Have simple storage boxes for everything sorted by category
Try to zone the room so that everything has a designated space, this makes putting things away so much easier.
Kids like adults are individuals, no two are the same. Each child will bring more stuff into the house but whether a child is messy or tidy might depend more on the example we as parents set. It is important to lead by example, set boundaries and the younger you start the better. Having a tidy bedroom might not be the most important thing for a teenager but having a home where they are comfortable to invite friends over might be. Work with them not against them to provide a calm and loving home environment.
Teens are carving out their own identity so personally, I wouldn’t get involved too much. The best thing you can do is make it easy for them ie if they’re throwing clothes in a heap, supply a basket for them to throw them into
As mum with one tidy and one super messy daughter, I’d say yes. No amount of nagging made any difference to get my messy daughter to tidy up so I’d collect any rubbish, plates or cups daily and she’d do it occasionally of her own accord. A weekly or fortnightly reset, so her room could be properly cleaned, was done by me and sometimes unprompted by her. Nagging and arguments do not work. But equally, keep encouraging and requesting the teen to bring food, plates and glasses out and laundry in the basket. Choose what’s important to fight over, in our case, food and laundry, and try to remain relaxed about the rest. My messy daughter now has two young kids, resets her whole house every night and before leaving every day. And she has a super messy daughter of her own.
I don’t believe it is no. I think that can be something we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about a situation and not actually deal with what’s really going on. Firstly be the inspiration and keep your own things in order and secondly ask if they would like support to get in their things in order the first time round so they can do it for themselves from there on in.