my 17 yr old will not clean her room! Any suggestions I've tried everything
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Barbara - posted on 12/05/2012
I've done the same thing, remove cell phones, ipods, DS/Wii gaming systems, sleepovers here or anywhere else. Room gets cleaned in a hurry. For an older girl, you might want to try the car keys if she has her license. My daughter has to be threatened with loss of everything. Several months ago when she didn't heed my warning, I went in, put everything in big black trash bags, put two large signs on them that read 'THE BLACK HOLE" and locked them in the garage. She needed to earn EVERYTHING BACK, one by one with good behavior, good conduct at school and following through on the few other chores she has in our home. Before she could start earning things back she had to show me she could vacuum her room two weeks in a row without hounding by me. She still backslides occasionally, but all I have to mention is 'the BLACK HOLE' and she is back on track in a hurry.
Ruth - posted on 06/19/2010
Yes, it is her room...but it is YOUR house. I just shut my duaghters door and lived with it for a couple years and then I got fed up. I made a change when she started driving (and I was finding dirty dishes and old food in her room and got worried about bugs and mice) She can let it get messy during the week but she doesn't get to go anywhere on weekends until it her room is thoroughly cleaned. She got tired of working for 2 hours on her room on Fridays before going out and now she keeps it pretty clean. I think ignoring it is doing your kids a disservice. Do you want to visit them when they are grown and have their own kids and see their own homes looking like that? I don't!
Lisa - posted on 04/06/2010
Well, I also removed my daughter door. But not for a messy room. Which it is! My daughter calls at 12:30am says she'll be home in 30min. then comes back at 2:30am. So first we took the house key. We told her be home by1:00am or call, if not the door remains locked. Then she would not come back for a day or two. So now we removed the door. She is 21 and very disrespectful, ungrateful, and rude to us and her 10 yr old brother! Any advice,moms.....HELP!
Debbie - posted on 03/08/2010
I have 3 girls. When they were to clean their rooms they were given a strict deadline. If the room wasn't cleaned by that deadline, they were grounded until it was cleaned to MY standards! That meant I came in and checked under the bed, in the closet, their drawers, checked for dust and to see if they swept or vacuumed and moved their furniture! If they cleaned when asked it wasn't as tough! They found out pretty quickly to do it when asked or it was a much harder job! If any plans were made before the room was clean those plans were cancelled until further notice. No phone, no tv, no music. no anything.
Janice - posted on 03/07/2010
Oh my goodness, this is my daughter, I tried everything from the time she was 3 years old, starting with a sticker star poster, nothing worked! We fought constantly! when she went away to college I realized it wasn't that important and I stopped fighting, I just closed the door, and being a bit of a clean freak that was HARD for me to do! but twice a year I ask that she picked everything up so I could go in and clean the walls, carpets, windows, etc and that's the best I could do. It's funny , while she was away at school, she had 3 roommates, and she was the one cleaning the kitchen, etc and griping about it, so I guess there is hope for her yet, but now that she's living at home again, she is a little better but I still don't make a big deal about it, she';ll be moving out someday and I will miss her being here so I don't want to waste anymore time yelling.
Paula - posted on 03/02/2010
Having 4 teenagers at the same time, I couldn't keep up with their rooms. I finally made the rule : you do your own laundry and I'm not touching that room unless it starts to smell or I see green growing. If I have to clean it then I throw away anything I want. One daughter's room started smelling so I cleaned it with her help (trying to keep my from throwing awy the good stuff) and we found a dead mouse smashed under a pile of laundry she kept walking on. This cured her as she is deathly afriad of mice.!
Kathy - posted on 03/01/2010
" 17 " a little late to be putting your foot down I think, but pick your battles and I truly do not think that the room is one of them .. my son once upon a time had the grossed room and now 25 it is really clean.
Diane - posted on 03/01/2010
I have a 21 year old son whose room is terrible. I "asked" him to keep the door shut - which he does. If there is anything he leaves lying around the house (which he usually does not), I just put it in his room and shut the door. I don't have to look at it, and apparently he knows where everything is in there. No problem.
***However, I don't and never have allowed my kids to have food/drinks in thier rooms.***
Jane - posted on 02/18/2010
Yep, throw away everything that bugs you. Trust me, that'll take care of it. And if you really don't WANT to throw it away but want it to appear you did, bag it up, stick it in the garage and don't give it back.
Sandy - posted on 02/16/2010
having a messy room is not a battle to fight with teenage children. if they want to live in their rooms with a mess, so what? you cant really fight this battle and have positive results. when they move out, they all become responsible and take care of their own space, i have 3 kids in their 20's as proof positive! It just is not worth creating all that negative stress over a messy room.
Melanie - posted on 02/13/2010
When she is not there clean it yourself. A lot of people tell me i am crazy but when I clean I clean dresser drawers out, desk drawers out and there is nothing left to privacy. I only do this if the room is dirty enough where in my opionion it is a health issue, dirty dishes wih mold etc. After a few times both of my kids learned that keeping things picked up and decent made their lives easier.
Patty - posted on 02/01/2010
Close the door! However, don't put ANYTHING clean in the room...including laundry. Depending on where the room is a laundry basket outside the door works...or just no laundry until you can stand to enter. Another approach is to pile everything from the floor on the bed (it does get dumped back on the floor but persistence becomes annoying). You can remove anything not put away and charge a cleaning fee for returning it if not ransomed after 2 weeks it goes to Goodwill. Amazing how motivating no clothes can be.
Maria - posted on 01/25/2010
I would ask my daughters once and if they did not respond then I would tell them that I would do it. I would take a large black trash bag in with me and everything that was on the floor or out of place ended up in the trash. I have also taken cellphones and computers, etc away.
Barbara - posted on 01/02/2010
I have two daughters, 16 and 20. Have just learned to shut the doors when we have company. They go in spurts... both are currently working on cleaning; I find that it works out better when I don't say anything!
Kathy - posted on 12/23/2009
Wow! Pick your battles. Who has to live in it? I realized my daughter just cannot focus on it at certain times, so I close the door--or she does. She gets in her cleaning jags in her time, then it gets messy again. I don't worry about it.
Loretta - posted on 12/16/2009
my step daughter is 16 and she would live in a pigs stye if i let her she would put trash in her drawers throw clothes on floor under bed room smelled horrible so one day when she left to visit her mom we went in packed up all her things that we had told her to put in its proper place and put up in attic she was furious but you know what her room stays clean now and if she was my blood daughter she would have cleaned it the first time or suffered the raft of me
Barbara - posted on 12/16/2009
LESS IS THE WAY TO GO.
Remove all personal items - radio, pictures, stuffed animals, even her clothes all of it. With less stuff in her room its hard to make a mess with nothing. Leave the room with just a bed and sheets. Give her 1 outfit to wear a day, another one is not given until she puts the dirty ones in their proper place. I might even go so far as to make her wash the dirty clothes by hand and only be given those two outfits to wear at all. Imagine a teenager not being able to change 50 times a day. She'll learn - the hard way.
Carolyn - posted on 12/15/2009
My daughter is responsible for her own cell phone bill, computer connection, all her gas in car and car note, etc.. I believe if you make them accountable for other things that are important to them, they have more self esteem and respect that not everything comes free. There is a price to pay for what you want and the respect they form, from being independent helps in all aspects of their lives. The way they live with you helps them prepare for life on their own. If you have tried everything, then you could try the opposite. Do not help them or do it for them! Cleaning their room is so trivial to all the things they need to be learning to prepare for life on their own. I say just stop harping on the little things and work on the more important things.
Kathy - posted on 12/15/2009
Hi: I have a 19 year old son who lives like a pig. My daughter's 15 and not any better. I have a great letter from Dr. James Dobson. It's 3 am and I don't know where I put the letter, however. I remember one thing. He said this "choose your battles carefully, if they live like pigs, SHUT the door and don't worry about it." That's what I did and I really don't care much anymore about their rooms....... I will find it later and post the letter in it's complete form :) Hope this helps.
Linda - posted on 12/11/2009
My mother insisted on a spotless house....she was nervous and uptight and yelled....we never cleaned good enough....was it worth it? No way. I wish she would have spent more time relaxing and having a good time with us. I remember I got in big trouble because I was reading a book instead of cleaning my room. I love my mom dearly, we are very close....but I'm not a spotless house keeper.....I love a clean house, but I work at not letting it get me crazy. My advise....close the door. I agree with the other posts as far as that goes. I help my son clean his room (he's 10), I'll mention things to my older daughter and my oldest is married and on her own....It is a control issue I think.
Becky - posted on 12/09/2009
Clean the rest of the house and CLOSE HER DOOR. She will be out and on her own before you know it, and believe it or not, she will learn to clean...because it will be HER stuff. I've already warned my kids that when I come to visit I plan to raid their refrigerator, leave crumbs all over their counters, not put the toilet seat down, and pretty much make a mess for them to clean! They know I won't, but it is so nice to imagine...
Nannette - posted on 12/09/2009
have u tried makeing her pay for her room to be clean by doing it and when she ask for something tell no because u clean her room and what u was going to give her it's yours for clean her room u work for what u want and need.
Penelope - posted on 12/09/2009
let her room be, soon it will be empty, and before that is allowed to happen she will get a good smell of her room,(especially if you warm it more than normal to make it smell "better") so don'tpush as they are old enough to rebel and that is a fight in all its own
Ana Silvia - posted on 12/06/2009
Well I think you should have started way before!!!!! My two sons 18 and 20 and my daughter almost 13 learned how to clean their rooms since they were little, it is a habit. At this time I don't have any problem with that, sometimes their sister clean the room for them and they give her money. But in your case taking away privileges will be the right thing to do. In our family we have "FAMILY MEETINGS" and during that time we talk about the things that need to be changed without screaming, arguing or getting stress out. Talking is the best way to communicate! Try it it works!!
Tonya - posted on 11/21/2009
Around my house, allowance and all perks are directly related to how well the housework is done. Anyone not sharing the household responsibilities (including cleaning their own room) loses a specific amount of allowance money for each day that they continue to be lazy. When all allowance money is gone, the perks start dropping off one by one. Of course, the reduced allowance is a big deal because that's how the boys fund their playtime (movies, bowling, etc.). I do not pay for such things - especially if they can't afford it because they were lazy and lost their money. The lesson in this method is that you have to work for what you want. It creates a strong work ethic that will serve them well when they join the workforce.
Tracey - posted on 11/19/2009
I have two sons 1 would not keep a clean room to save his life. I have cleaned it by chucking things out. The room was bare but the bed and the dresser but still dirty with tuns of dishes, wrappers, clothes every where. But one day I was just fed up and I took the door off the bedroom while he was at school. I told him some who has a clean room gets privacy! He had to go to the bathroom to change his clothes for 2 days and keep his room clean before I would give the door back. That worked!
Susan - posted on 11/16/2009
I'm in the boat same with my 17 son. First I take responsible that I didn't teach him the daily cleaning habits needed when he was young. (mainly because I had to train myself first. ) I was a messy myself. I taught myself how to clean by following this website. www.flylady.com Its free and the cleaning advise works.
Their 15 minutes cleaning concept, Im using on my son. Its slowly working.
I ask him to give me 15 minutes of his time and I dont drop it like a bomb in his lap tho. I warn him that I want 15 minutes of his time in an hour or at 5pm or tomorrow after dinner and I let him know what we will be doing.
I make a promise to him no lectures and only 15 minutes. Then I set a timer and together we work on his room. When the timer is done, we are done for the day.
At first he resisted, I told him that I give him 15 minutes of my time everyday by driving him around, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
Now he is willing to give me 15 minutes even if we are cleaning another room. I live up to my word....only 15 minutes. Alot time is less than 15 minutes. So he is willing to help out now.
I try to respect his time and I expect him to respect my time.
Now I am working on daily habits with him. 3 daily habits...trash, dishes, and clothes off the floor. This help alot.
The hard part is my habit to be consistent with him. I forget or get busy or something happen. But I dont give up, I just start over.
I figure its going to take some time. Its been 17 years of bad habits. I cant expect him to change over night.
I dont know if it will work before he move out. But I keep trying. In hope that I am setting an good example that someday when he is a father he can draw from.
LaShundra - posted on 11/12/2009
my 17 yr old will not clean her room! Any suggestions I've tried everything
First ask yourself why is it so important that the room gets cleaned? I was struggling with this and realized that it was all about control. I agree with the posts that say close the door and dont allow how they keep their space to cause you to lose out on valuable time with your daughter. She is alomost an adult and will be moving out soon. Will you care more about how her room looked or the moments you had getting to know who she is? Good luck.
LaShundra - posted on 11/12/2009
I had an uncle that had 3 teen girls and he warned them to get their room cleaned up well they didn't so while they were in school he went in to their room and nailed everything to the floor. After that they kept their room cleaned
LOL!!!! That is too funny! Even priceless.
Carolyn - posted on 11/09/2009
When my 17yr son won't clean his room, I do it myself.. I usually leave a big pile of trash in the middle of the floor. I move stuff around on him. When he does'nt want to do it. I tell him it's either you or me. It works..
Jan - posted on 11/06/2009
I will tell you that when I was growing up, my room was a disaster. You couldn't even see the floor. My father brought my boyfriend into my room and we both just laughed at him. My boyfriend's room was worse than mine! I now have a 20 yr old and I just shut the door. She is away at college and keeps her dorm room very clean. In time, she will clean her room here at home. Don't stress over the mess. Just don't allow food or drink in the room. I didn't make that a point and we did clean her room one day and found mouse turds.She was so grossed out that she stopped with the food in her room. She doesn't keep it as clean as I would like, but there are other battles might have to be fought and I'd rather fight the important ones.
Debbie - posted on 11/06/2009
Close the door ...when she needs clothes she will either clean it or wear dirty stuff...every now and then walk thru spraying LYSOL really like a whole can of it... she'll eventually get tired of no clothes to wear or the smell of lysol on them good luck!!!!
Sandy - posted on 11/01/2009
That's what bedroom doors are for. Close the door, don't worry about it, and enjoy her and her funny friends. Laugh more often and realize that too soon she will be out on her own (hope it is before the numerous 20-somethings apparently still at home for some of these moms!). She will clean when she needs to find something.
B - posted on 10/30/2009
I have seen many ideas and have used most of them myself too. First let me say I understand about closing the door and picking your battles but I admit I wish my mom would have harped on me a bit about it. I didnt learn very well about the whole keeping my things nice idea. I truely believe in the warning or two and then going in yourself and bagging it up and donating it. I have done this a few times to my sons (now 18 and 17) and now they will even say Hey I think its time to donate and go through and pick some things so there isnt so much stuff to keep up with. I also really agree about kids being overwhelmed and just unsure of where to even start. After seeing all the responses I would love for you to update and see what you did or didnt try and what worked for you guys., :)
Tammy - posted on 10/28/2009
My daughter wouldn't clean her room I kept asking her and asking her finally I cleaned her room and I threw away anything on the floor even stuff I had bought her. I threw away cd's dvds and stuff she just loved. When she came home she was like thank you for cleaning my room then she realized that some of her stuff was missing when she asked me I said it was on the floor so you must not wanted it and if you would of cleaned your own room, you would have your stuff. Ever since then I would say clean your room and if she didn't I would say do you want me too and she would say no and run in her room and clean it.
Christie - posted on 10/26/2009
Does she have a boyfriend? I would think that when she gets one that if she wants him to ever go to her room that her room would be clean but then again I would think that for her friends too. I would just close the door and not have to look at it.After all it is her mess and some day she will have children and realize EXACTLY what momwas talking about.
Sandy - posted on 10/26/2009
Spend an afternoon cleaning the room from top to bottom TOGETHER. This is a one-time offer...after that, the teen needs to maintain the room her/himself. Sometimes, teens are overwhelmed and don't know how to begin. Get rid of anything that isn't being used, Rearrange furniture and consider some redecorating to give the teen a little uplift.
Shelly - posted on 10/25/2009
I'm a mother of much criticized "tough love".....I have 3 girls, 18, 13 and 9. Their rooms stay rather SPOTLESS at all times. Started with them when they were young and the rule still applies. I tell them when I don't think their room is clean and they clean it. If they don't.....I do! The difference is, when I go in with a trash bag, it never comes back, it goes to the curb! Regardless of what it is, how much it cost and/or who bought it. My house, my rules, my way! It's worked so far, my daughter keeps her dorm at school pretty clean, she actually complains when her roommate doesn't keep her parts clean. Good luck, but don't shut the door, those have been known to disappear too!
Donna - posted on 10/23/2009
What I did with my son, I just closed the door! I was turning blue in the face talking to him. So with the door closed I couldn't see the mess. Then when he had friends over he got embarrased and started cleaning.