Why can teenagers not keep their rooms tidy?

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Jessica - posted on 05/14/2009

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Really the condition of their rooms isn't very important. If I can't stand looking at it, I don't go in their rooms. I also tell them that if their clothes aren't in the hamper they won't be washed and I don't wash them. That way if they really want clothes to wear they pick them up and put them in the hamper. Otherwise this is one battle that you might as well give up for now. They will come around later. I was messy as a teen and now I'm not. You have much bigger fish to fry with teenagers. If you can just take a deep breath and try to ignore the messy room it will alleviate some of the tension. I think its best to focus more on their grades, social activities, peer pressure etc.

Dominique - posted on 05/04/2009

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How nice to see that others have the same problem. My 15 years old girl just throw her clothes everywhere in her room. But as Sarah says no matter how busy she is, and she is very busy, once a week usually Saturday, the room has to be tidden up. And it works, even then she has a swimming competition or a ridding lesson or a meeting with her friends. Often it ends up with a fight, but the room is clean. By the way, if her clothes are not in the washing basket, they do not get washed!!!

Terry - posted on 05/21/2009

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I remember wtching Dr. Phil episode where he said that it is important to teens to have their space. He said that parents need to allow them to keep their room messy or clean however they like it. He said it is usually a phase tht they grow out of. I have 2 teenage boys and they are both messy. I do require them to clean their room a couple times a year but other than that they can keep it however they want as long as there are no dishes or food left in there. I think this falls under pick your battles.

Sarah - posted on 05/04/2009

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I am a parent that really believes in order no matter how hectic our schedules are. Every Saturday my son MUST clean his room. If we have baseball or football or any other actitvities that get in the way of him cleaning it on that day, he must clean it first thing after church on Sunday. I enforced this rule when he was 12 because I NEED his help and I let him know that I NEED his help. He's at the age where I KNOW he's perfectly cabable and I don't feel guilty about it anymore. I'm a working pregnant mother. I am NOT superwoman or ANYONE'S maid! lol He is very receptive to it and respects what we have to say. We don't ask alot of him but he is responsble for helping around the house. No exceptions. It's just the way it has to be. You have to work together as a family unit or things just get out of control. Nobody said parenting wasn't work!

Leslie - posted on 05/19/2009

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As annoying and disgusting as it is, you just have to keep the door closed. I insist on my 20 year old son cleaning every 2 weeks before the cleaning lady comes, and he has to remove all food from the room on a daily basis, which he ignores. On the rare occasions he does his laundry, I end up taking it out of the dryer and dumping it back in his room because I have to do the rest of the family laundry, and he can't tell the clean from the dirty.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/27/2014

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Dylan, nice try, but I don't believe a word.

If you truly DO take on the responsibilities that you state, then you would understand what parental responsibility is.

You telling an adult "If you want me to keep my room clean, you keep YOURS clean" is an assumptive entitled statement by a brat. You don't GET to make those choices. In the home that YOU pay for, YOU can set the rules, but as long as you're living in your parents home, you have to abide by theirs.

Furthermore, if you're supposed to be minding young children, why are you surfing the internet, rather than watching them attentively?????

I love entitled kids who think that they know it all...they'll ALL find out differently when they become parents! LMAO.

Oh, and if you don't wish to be responded to in a blunt manner...DON'T COME ON TO AN ADULT WEBSITE

Dylanblazer0 - posted on 06/27/2014

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I am actually a girl, Dylan can be a girl's name. I have had to deal with some very hard things in life, things that I was pulled into that should never have even touched me. I've had to mature quickly. My mom doesn't like me to go into the laundry room, she doesn't give me the option to do the laundry. I don't expect my parents to do everything for me, I am very responsible, I watch my little sister and my baby cousin regularly. I actually signed up to this website to look for ideas to keep them busy, but when I came across this post I felt like giving my opinion- and thats all it is, an opinion. I'm entitled to mine, and you're entitled to yours, but if you could be possibly a little more mature about the way you present your topic that would be better. You make it sound like you're the teenager and I'm the adult. I am a teenager, but I'm old for my age, I don't like feeling pressured or pushed around by people, even people who are older than me. In your reply to my post you disrespected me as a person so I'm going to say one disrespectful thing back: grow the hell up and don't use people who are younger than you to make you feel better about yourself, you make yourself look idiotic.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/27/2014

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To the very misguided young man that claims to be a teenager, and claims that he should have to do "no more than bring out our laundry and dirty dishes"...Cute, but no cigar there, buddy. At YOUR AGE you should be doing your own laundry. Your mother isn't your fucking slave, and you should be more than capable of taking a little personal responsibility.

There's a difference between your parents' room and yours, and the difference is YOUR PARENTS PAY FOR THE HOUSE. You do not. Therefore, as owners of the abode, they may keep their space any way they want. As a resident of the abode, it is YOUR responsibility to live up to the expectations that they've assigned to your room.

In other words, get your lazy ass off of your computer, and clean your dump. Stop being an entitled little brat that expects their parents to do every fucking thing for them.

Dylanblazer0 - posted on 06/27/2014

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.......this is coming from a teenager........... we should keep our rooms the way we want them, we realize that moms have busy, stressful lives, but we do as well and some parents just don't understand the extent of that. High school is the worst 4-5 years of some of our lives, I know it's going to be mine. We should have to do no more than bring out our laundry and dirty dishes. If you don't like the sight of our rooms, then close the door and for God's sake, if your room is a mess DO NOT tell us to clean ours!!!

Bec - posted on 06/28/2009

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hahaha... thats quite amusing reading how alike teenagers are at not tidying their room! it doesn't stress me as much anymore, i have the 'let it go' approach now. i stopped folding her clean clothes when i found them tossed in a heap on her floor!! lol

[deleted account]

My only room rule is 'don't eat in your room'. Then at least I know whatever lurks under the bed is not molding, or developing into a WMD. I really don't care if they keep up their rooms or not. My messiest child is the youngest, 14. Not long ago he just got up one day, cleaned out/up his room got rid of his toys, made his bed and has kept it up every sense. After 14 years of not seeing his floor it still shocks me when I walk by. Parents really vary on the room issue, me, I think of it as their space. If they like it messy, why should I stress over it? But that's me.

Connie - posted on 06/15/2009

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I think it's just how they are. Personally, I have more or less given up ... I just shut the door and don't look ... however, I do lay down the law weekly, and insist she at least puts her dirty clothes in the laundry, and throw out her rubbish, and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher !! Don't know how they can live like that ... yuck !!!

[deleted account]

I've had the same problem over the past 5 years with my 16 and 19 year old kids. I have also tried the allowance bribe, the frustrating lectures, etc. The only thing I've found that works right now is writing chores on our dry erase board attached to the refrigerator (called The White Board of Truth, lol). Some weeks they do well with keeping their room clean on the surface and washing their clothes on the weekends. Other times I have to write down directions for them IE: Wash Clothes, Vaccuum Floor, Dust Furniture, Make Your Bed, Empty Trash, Clean Your Bathroom - To be done no later than 6 pm tonight! Out of sheer laziness on all of our parts, during the week, I allow them to leave their rooms messy as long as there are no dishes/food items in there and they close their door so I don't have to see it. My daughter does a better job of keeping her room neat because she's like I was at her age - the more mess, the more energy it takes to clean later. My son is more of a clutterer (gets something out without putting it back where it goes). The one thing that helps is when they have friends over, they know they have to clean up so they don't get embarrased by their freinds for having a messy room/bathroom. The dry erase board helps us because it saves me from yelling at them and lets them know what's expected of them that day by a certain time. When they accomplish their tasks, they still bring me or my husband upstairs to 'check' their job to make sure it's satisfactory. :)

Christine - posted on 06/15/2009

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I gave my daughter a card for her 13 birthday it read 'I love you more than the stars in the sky, the sand on the beach and the clothes on your floor.' lol

Cheryl - posted on 06/14/2009

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One comment though, if it didn't work she would have to replace the clothes in the end anyway...

Sonja - posted on 06/14/2009

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You mean mine is not the only one?!? Lol! My 17yo is great. He is organized, always makes his bed, and keeps everything in it's place. He is blind so he likes things neat and organized so he knows where things are. My youngest is 13 yo and it is not the same story! He will have dirty dishes in his bed, food wrappers, etc. and we have asked him not to eat in his bedroom. He has to do the dishes by hand if we find them in his room. It still happens. He leaves his clothes in a heap on the floor instead of putting them in the clothes hamper. Uggh! And he hates making his bed...it is like pulling teeth. I'm still trying to think of the best way to help him become indpendently neat and organized about his belongings and I certainly don't have a good answer for you at this time.

Cheryl - posted on 06/14/2009

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I would say that homework is first before chores. Homework is vitally important to their future academic achievements etc... Chores are important it teaches them responsiblity and also as they are part of the family they must contribute. It is also character building for future relationships.
When they have finished the homework then they can do the chores. The chores will always be there, but homework needs to be done in a timely manner.
Regards
Cheryl

Debra - posted on 06/13/2009

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I have a 14 yr old daughter with dexlysia who i've told constantly to clean her room,but she is always saying it's clean enough for her to live in. she hardley helps around the house. She will help other people she knows such as friends.but won't lift a finger around OUR house. She is 14yrs going on 20yrs.



Any suggestions.?

Sue - posted on 06/12/2009

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Lead by example - rule number 1 - or blame the TV. I have a 14 y.o. who is not too bad overall but will not fold clothes to lay on a chair 'cause "I'm a scruncher not a folder"; uses this as a catch phrase! Persist, persist without being overbearing from an earlier age helps.

Sara - posted on 06/11/2009

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I also have 3 boys, one a neat freak, one too young but tries and the last ...we let's just call his room the black hole. The oldest boy @ 13 can't have a hair out of place in public but his room is a wreck. I have just decided that it is his problem in due time like all of us he will learn the necessity of a clean and organized home. Now think back how clean was your room as a teenager? I will admit mine probably looked just like his does - !

Angela - posted on 06/11/2009

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i have two teenage children one boy one girl i dont know who is the worst i use to clean there rooms .i have stopped now i just shut the doors and walk away,the only problem is they seem to like living in a tip so when there friends come over i make sure they go to the bedrooms to play on the x box or ipod,and i have found they dont seem to like there friends seeing the stuff al over the place so they clean it up. this only works sometimes. it all depends on the friends somtimes there friends make it even worse.

Cheryl - posted on 06/02/2009

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I don't think their brains are wired to think at a micro level. They are constantly thinking of their friends, social lives, boys and gossiping on facebook etc...

I have tried so hard to teach my 14yo girl to be neat and i have just about given up.

Cherrill - posted on 06/02/2009

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well now im really impressed with my 16yo son, hes the neat freak in our house, his room is always organized, but i do have to remind him to sweep it weekly.(and he does!) my girls room on the other hand... is a mess. a 10yo and 13 yo in the same room is hell, every time i ask them to clean they start an arguement with each other over who used what last! ive tried sending them in one at a time but this doesn't work either. the only way i can make them work is if i sit in there and give directions. ive tried giving them a list each of what to do but this didn't work either, so now i just leave it! i refuse to waist any spare time i get in my day making them do something that that just doesn't matter that much. i have told them that one day soon im going to have to tie a rope around their waists so when they get lost in the mess i can pull them out! lol i guess its their room and they have to have some space to rebel in their little way! i remember my room was not much different.

Sara - posted on 06/01/2009

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I have set up a rule that chores come first when they get home. Once they are done they do their homework. All of their chores take less than 20 minutes to do unless they let it build up and have a ton to do. If they dont do their chores they dont do anything else, they dont get the fun stuff if they dont do the tiny bit of cleaning up. Works for me. I do give them an occasional break for a night if they have a ton of stuff going on but that doesnt happen very often.

Bonnie - posted on 05/28/2009

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Priorities baby....are they good students? Are they good kids? Respectful? Helpful? Are they headed in a positive civic direction? If this is the only issue then pick you battles wisely and let it go. I can't tell you how many dorm rooms at college looked like this when I went. How many Apartments looked like this when I was single and dating...eventually they figure it out...or marry some one who picks up after them. A disorganized room to us may be perfectly organized to them and they live there not me. My only caviot is if you don't bring it out to be washed...you have to wash it yourself.

Brenda - posted on 05/27/2009

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they are too busy with homework, jobs,hanging with their friends and on the phone with friends. The clean laundry hangs out on the floor or anywhere they can fit and before you know it the clothes (both clean and dirty) take over the total floor.

Catherine - posted on 05/27/2009

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Good luck with that one. I have three kids, only one is a teenager and her room always looks like a cyclone has gone through it. The reward system only works for a short period of time and then it is back to the same ole same old. Her sister and brother are not much better. It drives me crazy. Their father is the same way - where you drop it is where is stays. His desk is always one bump away from a disaster so I guess they get it from him. The clothes of the floor are the worst. I spend the time doing the laundry and them she simply piles the clothes on her desk chair or leaves them on the floor. So let me know how it turns out for you.

Monique - posted on 05/27/2009

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I have 3 teenage girls, well one is actually college bound now; but the reality is that they are the most untidy little ladies I've ever come to know. In the past I would yell my head off about maintaining their rooms, but I've gotten to the point that it's just not worth it. If they want to live in squalor let them...

Melissa - posted on 05/26/2009

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Quoting Heidi:

Wish I knew! My 13 y.o.'s room looks like a hurricane hit, clothes and stuff all over the floor. I've helped her too many times with getting it clean and just am not in the mood to do it anymore. She wants to get a cat SO bad, but with a room like hers she can forget it. Should be interesting when we have company after the baby is born.



Just a tip for you my daughter wanted a fish and both my teenagers can't keep their rooms clean even for one day.  so I told them both if they kept their rooms clean for I can't remeber how long more than a week though they could each have a fish.  My son didn't even bother but my daughter did and she got her fish guess what happened next!!!!  Of course she let her room go back to normal and neglected the fish and let it die,  I tried to help with the fish but it was her responsiblity and I have to much going on to remember to remind her to feed her fish seeing how I can't even get her to clean her room.  If I were you I'd forget the rabbit entirely especially with new baby on the way.

User - posted on 05/22/2009

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I really dont have a problem with my sons untidy room as long as he keeps the door shut. I never tell him off for it either, I prefer him to concentrate on his school work and if its so messy he cant find anything i never help him look LOL If you dont make it a massive deal then they will clean it eventually....... they have to live in it. oh... and I dont pick up his clothes or anything so he has got to the point of putting his washing in the laundry at least or it wont get washed!!!

Janet - posted on 05/22/2009

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I have a friend who used to have a second hand market stall and she sold lots and lots of brand name clothes that teenagers love wearing (the latest makes) and she sold them very cheap. I asked her once if she makes a profit selling them so cheaply and her answer was "No profit, but its really worth it when my children ask what I have done with their clothes" She goes into their bedrooms and collects up all their clothes and sells them on the market. She has warned them beforehand though. She no longer sells their clothes on the market guess why? Cos it worked. This only works if the children bought the clothes in the first place though.

[deleted account]

hi. i just joined today. i ahve a 13 yr. old son and 15 yr. old son. we redid their rooms a couple months ago. they picked out the paint, the bedding, and whatever else they wanted in there. guess what it worked, they are keeping them neat and clean, they weren't that bad before that but dedoing them made a difference.

Susan - posted on 05/21/2009

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I don't feel bad anymore! I have a 17 year old whose room is horrible. There are clean and dirty clothing all over the floor and in the bed. I asked him how does he sleep in this pig sty. I get weirld looks. One day, he will flee here and realize he MUST clean his room. I'm just going to wait until that day comes or something grows from the dirt!!!

Tuesday - posted on 05/19/2009

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Heck.....I just think it's a teen curse, esp boys....lol______my son is 14 yrs old & he plays football & baseball, so you can only imagine "THAT SMELL"...ahaha....but I do buy that Arm & Hammer Fabric Freshner Spray & sit it on his dresser & he actually uses it from time to time;)

Donna - posted on 05/19/2009

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Thank you so much for this post. I just thought it was my sons. I've even taken to cleaning their room and putting everything I found on the floor in a big trash bag and hiding it in my room to see if it would teach them a lesson. It didn't, they never asked for their stuff, and two days later the room was a wreck again. I gave up and taken to shutting their bedroom doors. I don't have to sleep in there and maybe they'll get disgusted enough to clean it one day.

User - posted on 05/19/2009

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It is so reassuring to find I am not the only one - my 17 year old daughter uses the floor as her alternative wardrobe, rubbish bin, dishwasher (without ever switching it on!!), I just leave her to get on with it though, got tired of nagging - lol

Linda - posted on 05/19/2009

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This post really made me laugh..This is an issue our family is going through right now...3 girls..14...13 and 9...It makes me and Hubby crazy...LOL..I just don't get it! I have taught these seemingly normal children to do chores and help around the house since they were old enough to walk and talk...they were soooo cute back then...what happened to my girls???? LOL I feel like I'm living with a bunch of pigs! Then they have the nerve to get testy with me when i remind them to do something....* I KNOW MOM...YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL ME* Yeah right....Oh well this too shall pass...I'll have plenty of time to have a clean house when they are grown and on there own.

Corina - posted on 05/14/2009

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My 15 yr. old leaves clothes, papers, books, and pens all over her bedroom floor. About the only thing she doesn't leave sitting in there are dirty dishes. On the weekends, if she wants to go to a friends or have a friend over, she has to totally clean her room. I was the same way as a teen, and out grew it when I moved into my own place. I think it comes down to having pride and being proud of what is yours. I've learned to close the door when my friends come over, and remind myself...it won't last forever, and she'll soon be off on her own. Then I can have a clean and spotless home. But to tell the truth...I'm in no hurry.

Melissa - posted on 05/13/2009

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i have 2 girls 13 and 12 i gave up on there rooms they r all ways a mes but there is no food in so it is a clean mess so i dont care they clean it up when they feel like it its just not worth the fight

Nicole - posted on 05/13/2009

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Glad to know I`m not alone with this problem. It drives my partner and me mad, why can they not tidy their clothes away and put the rubbish in the bin ? We ve tried so much, taken television etc. out of the rooms, didn`t allow them to leave the room before it`s tidy, cancelled parties or other events ... nothing works.All we get is "we can`t be as perfect as mum is and why can`t we just be teenagers? plus the rolling eyes and the huffing and puffing of course. Why can they not understand that 5min a day is enough to keep it tidy ???

Jeanene - posted on 05/12/2009

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Quoting Heidi:

Mine isn't busy at all, so she has no excuse to not clean her room. Whenever she is done with something it goes right on the floor. I'm so tempted to do that with the dishes and see how long it lasts when she asks what I'm doing and I tell her the same thing you are doing in your room.



My daughter is the exact same way..I have tried rewards, extra computer time, movies ect..nothing interest her. she says it is clean enough, when it really gets dirty she will clean it.  It drives me crazy.  When I was her age...if my mom came into a messy room..the junk it the fan! lol  I have tried to show her by not doing the dishes.  she said Mom what are you doing(she knows I hate dirty dishes piled up) I told her same as you with your room NOTHING.  she said cool can we go to Walmart to buy paper plates?



Need some help..if you have advice please post it. !!

Michelle - posted on 05/12/2009

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wow its so good to know your not the only parent with this problem.

My son is 14 and we have an argument every time. His room is dusty (which he sneezes constantly), and there are clothes all over the floor (the difference between dirty and clean no longer visable) and bits and peices everywhere. We have tried the every friday clean but his idea of clean and our idea of clean is completely different. His clean is a vacumed path to bed and tv. Please any ideas most appriciated.

Nina - posted on 05/11/2009

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i wish i knew the answer. i asked my daughter could she clean her room for me for mothers day.she said ok. is that all. i guess that didnt mean anything to her. its still a mess.

Charlene - posted on 05/08/2009

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My girls are 13 and almost 14 years old. My girls have to be told each day to clean their room. If we get home late in the evening they aren't required to necessarily clean their rooms. However, about 4-5 times a day, when they get home and after homework, they are told to clean their room. We tell them it is their job as a family member to help around the house and to keep their rooms clean. They hate every minute of it but they have no choice. Parenting is not easy but it is part of life. We will have our time in life to be their friend but for now we have to be their parent. We have to guide them, teach them and love them.

Kate - posted on 05/08/2009

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My 17 year old daughter thinks that her floor is a suitable place for every stitch of clothing she owns, even though she has a walk-in wardrobe and loads of storage! I find dirty cups and glasses, wet towels, dirty laundry etc etc etc....



I only get stressed about it if I know that somebody is visiting, or I will insist that she straighten it up before she has one of her friends over for the night. One solution I found (but its probably not really teaching her much!) is to tidy it myself once in a while. I put things away, I tidy drawers, I rummage through her stuff, and then she gets all "you are not respecting my privacy!"



So the point is made that if she doesn't do it, then I will! Usually she keeps it clean for about a week until she gets lazy again! I think it is just in their hormonal make-up or something. My 9 and 6 year old sons are quite neat in their rooms at the moment, but I am dreading teenage years with them!!

Erika - posted on 05/05/2009

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Yes, my girl is 15 and i thought by now she would understand my problems with her room, but no, not yet. Maybe we should just leave it for 'n month or so and see what happens......

Heidi - posted on 05/04/2009

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Mine isn't busy at all, so she has no excuse to not clean her room. Whenever she is done with something it goes right on the floor. I'm so tempted to do that with the dishes and see how long it lasts when she asks what I'm doing and I tell her the same thing you are doing in your room.

Angie - posted on 05/04/2009

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LIke, Kim, I simply shut my son's bedroom door. My daughters are younger and don't have any trouble keeping their rooms clean. I wonder if anyone else has teens and busy as mine. He often goes to school at 6am for weight training class or 7am for jazz band. He gets out of school at 3 and has soccer practice from 4 until 6. He takes honors classes so after dinner, he's doing homework until midnight. Friday and Saturday he has soccer matches (or basketball or football or track). Sunday we go to church and spend timet together as a family. To be honest, I don't know when he has time for this.

Kim - posted on 05/03/2009

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My 2 teenagers 18 yr old and 19 let their rooms go til they get to the point of not being able to stand it anymore...lol... which can be months i just let it go and keep the doors closed mine was messy as a teen too!

Rebecca - posted on 05/03/2009

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LMAO!!! I am so grateful for this post! go through it constantly with my son, he is 14. I can't understand what he doesn't get about keeping his room clean??? I imagine he should know about smelliness, and dirty clothes,. but no, he acts as if I'm the alien!! lol!!

Heidi - posted on 05/03/2009

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Wish I knew! My 13 y.o.'s room looks like a hurricane hit, clothes and stuff all over the floor. I've helped her too many times with getting it clean and just am not in the mood to do it anymore. She wants to get a cat SO bad, but with a room like hers she can forget it. Should be interesting when we have company after the baby is born.

Maria - posted on 05/03/2009

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I have two teenage boys, one's a organizer, and one's a pack-rat and can't keep his room clean for a whole week! I've tried reward system and it worked for awhile, then he's back to his old self. It seems he only cleans his room if we have company coming. If anyone has a suggestion, let me know as well. My husband and I are at wits end!

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