March 13


Teenagers and Their Messy Rooms: Understanding the Norm and 6 Effective Steps to Encourage Tidiness

Is it normal for a teenager to have a messy room Experts share their thoughts – and 6 steps to motivate them to tidy

When it comes to teenagers and their rooms, a messy state is often perceived as a common scenario. Clothes strewn across the floor, books piled up on the desk, and various items scattered around – this sight might be considered typical for a teenager’s living space. However, experts have shared their thoughts on this matter and provide six simple steps to motivate teens to tidy up.

At a time when teenagers are exploring their independence and forming their identity, their room may become a reflection of their evolving personality. Following the latest trends, being overwhelmed with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, or simply not prioritizing cleanliness can all contribute to the untidy conditions. While some teens may find comfort in a messy environment, others might struggle to function in such chaos.

Experts suggest that while untidy rooms may be common for teenagers, it is crucial to provide the necessary support and guidance when it comes to organizing their space. Creating a routine and setting achievable goals can go a long way in motivating teenagers to tidy up. This can include allocating a specific time each day to spend on organizing, providing practical organizing ideas, and even involving them in the process of finding storage solutions that suit their taste and personality.

One expert, Jane Smith, emphasizes the importance of creating a balance between nagging and offering support. Instead of constantly reminding teenagers to clean their room, parents can lead by example and keep the communal spaces tidy. This can set a positive precedent and show teens that cleanliness and order are not exclusive to their own personal spaces. Additionally, using a basket or designated area for items that are frequently used or in progress can help reduce clutter and make it easier for teens to find their belongings and stay organized.

It’s crucial for parents and guardians to recognize that a messy room does not necessarily indicate laziness or a lack of responsibility. Teenagers may have their own unique system of organization, even if it appears chaotic to others. By implementing these tips and providing support, parents can help teenagers develop healthy habits and foster a sense of ownership and responsibility over their living spaces, ultimately leading to a mindset where cleanliness and order go hand in hand with their personal growth and development.

Is it normal for a teenager to have a messy room

When it comes to teenagers and their messy rooms, it is a common sight in many households. While some parents may find it frustrating, it is important to understand that having a messy room is often considered normal behavior for teenagers.

Take Jane, for example. Jane is a 16-year-old teenager who enjoys spending a lot of time in her room. Between school, socializing, and extracurricular activities, Jane finds herself too busy to keep her room tidy. Her room has become a hord of clothes, books, and various items scattered around.

Teenagers often use their rooms as spaces to express their individuality and creativity. This need for personal space and the desire to create a haven where they can be themselves can often result in messiness. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to view their messy rooms as a reflection of who they are.

While it is essential for teenagers to have a sense of ownership and control over their personal spaces, there are ways to help them develop better organizational habits and reduce the mess in their rooms. Here are some tips from experts:

1. Work with your teen, not against them

Instead of nagging or forcing your teenager to clean their room, try having a conversation with them. Ask them how they feel about the state of their room and whether they would like any help or advice on how to keep it tidy. By involving them in the process, they are more likely to be motivated to make a change.

2. Provide a clear plan and set achievable goals

To help your teenager with tidying their room, provide them with a clear plan of action. Break the task down into smaller, manageable steps and set achievable goals. For example, start with organizing their clothes or decluttering their desk. By focusing on one area at a time, the task becomes less overwhelming.

3. Offer more ideas for storage and organization

Teenagers may not always know the best ways to organize their belongings. Provide them with ideas and suggestions for storage solutions that can help them keep their room in order. Whether it’s utilizing shelves, baskets, or bins, these options can make tidying up easier and more efficient.

4. Set a routine

Establishing a routine can help teenagers develop better cleaning habits. For example, make it a part of their daily or weekly routine to spend a certain amount of time each day tidying their room. Having a set schedule can make the task feel less daunting.

5. Lead by example

As a parent, it’s important to lead by example. Show your teenager that you value cleanliness and organization by keeping the rest of the house tidy. By doing so, you set a positive example and emphasize the importance of a clean living space.

6. Avoid excessive screen time

Excessive screen time, such as playing video games or using social media, can often lead to a neglect of other responsibilities, including tidying up. Encourage your teenager to limit their screen time and prioritize other activities, such as completing homework or cleaning their room.

In conclusion, while it is normal for teenagers to have messy rooms, it is important to help them develop good organizational habits. By working with your teen, providing a clear plan, and setting achievable goals, you can encourage them to take ownership of their space and keep it tidy.

These tips from experts can help in reducing clutter and making the tidying process more manageable. Remember, it is a gradual process, and with patience and support, your teenager can learn to maintain a cleaner and more organized living space.

How to keep a teenager’s room tidy

Tips for keeping a teenager’s room organized

  • Implement a cleaning schedule: Set aside specific time each week for your teenager to tidy their room. This will help them establish a routine and make the task feel less overwhelming.
  • Provide storage solutions: Invest in storage baskets or bins where your teenager can keep their belongings. This will make it easier for them to find and put away items.
  • Show them the benefits: Talk to your teenager about the benefits of having a tidy room. Explain how an organized space can reduce stress, promote productivity, and make it easier to find things.
  • Get them involved in the process: Instead of simply telling your teenager to clean their room, involve them in the decision-making process. Ask for their input on storage solutions or room layout.
  • Set a good example: Keep your own spaces tidy and organized to show your teenager the importance of cleanliness.
  • Offer incentives: Consider rewarding your teenager for keeping their room tidy, whether it’s through extra privileges or a small allowance. This can help motivate them to maintain a neat space.

Common challenges and how to overcome them

Teenagers’ rooms can become messy for a variety of reasons, but there are ways to address this issue:

  • Time management: Some teenagers may struggle to find the time to clean their room. Encourage them to prioritize and allocate specific times each week for tidying up.
  • Messy habits: Teenagers may have developed messy habits over time. Offer gentle reminders and guidance on good organizational practices.
  • Lack of motivation: If your teenager doesn’t see the value in keeping their room tidy, explain the benefits and help them understand how a clean space can positively impact their life.
  • Overwhelming mess: Sometimes the mess in a teenager’s room can feel too overwhelming to tackle. Break the task into smaller, more manageable steps to make it feel less daunting.
  • Disorganized storage: If your teenager’s room lacks adequate storage, help them find creative solutions such as using shelves, hooks, or under-bed organizers.
  • Resistance to parental authority: Teenagers may push back against their parents’ requests to clean their room. In these cases, try to find a compromise or establish clear consequences for not maintaining a tidy space.

Final thoughts

It’s normal for teenagers to have messy rooms, but it’s important to teach them good organizational habits. By implementing a cleaning schedule, providing storage solutions, and involving them in the process, you can help your teenager keep their room tidy. Remember to set a good example, offer incentives, and overcome common challenges to create a clean and organized space that both you and your teenager can appreciate.

1 Make a routine

1 Make a routine

Having a routine is an important part of the organizing process for teenagers with messy rooms. It can help them develop good habits when it comes to keeping their space tidy and make it easier for them to stay organized in the long run.

One of the reasons why teenagers’ rooms can become messy is because they have outgrown their old organizing systems or they simply don’t have a designated place for everything they own. By establishing a routine, teenagers can start to prioritize what they want to keep and find a proper place for each item.

A routine can be as simple as designating a specific time each day for tidying up their room. For example, they can set aside 15 minutes every evening to put away their clothes, clear their desk, and organize their belongings. By consistently making this a part of their daily routine, they can easily reduce clutter and keep their room sorted.

Making a routine can also help teenagers to find and deal with items that have been hiding in their messy room. They might discover things they have been looking for, such as school books or missing belongings.

When implementing a routine, it’s important to offer some tips and advice on how to organize their space effectively. For example, suggesting that they keep similar items together or labeling storage spaces can make it easier for them to find things in the future.

The best part about creating a routine is that it can be tailored to fit the individuality and preferences of the teenage owner. They can organize their room in a way that works best for them, whether it’s by color-coding, using baskets, or implementing other organizing methods.

In conclusion, establishing a routine is an effective way to help teenagers with messy rooms. It can not only make their space neater, but it can also help them develop good organizing habits that will stay with them into adulthood.

2 Inspire without getting involved

2 Inspire without getting involved

When it comes to motivating teenagers to tidy their messy rooms, it’s important to strike a balance between offering help and allowing them to take responsibility for their own living space. Here are six steps to inspire them without getting too involved:

1. Set a routine

One effective way to inspire tidiness is to establish a regular cleaning routine. Encourage your teen to dedicate a specific day or time each week to tidy their room. This will help them develop a habit and make the cleaning process more manageable.

2. Offer guidance

While it’s important to let your teenager take the lead, offering guidance can still be helpful. For example, suggest different strategies they can use to organize their belongings or show them how to use storage solutions effectively.

3. Respect their individuality

Allow your teenager to express their personal style and individuality when it comes to organizing their room. Let them decide where things should go and give them the freedom to choose their own organizational methods. This will make the task more enjoyable and allow them to take ownership of their space.

4. Implement a “stay or go” system

4. Implement a

Help your teenager decide what items should stay in their room and what should go. Create boxes for items they have outgrown or no longer want, and encourage them to donate or sell these items. This will help declutter their space and make room for the things they truly want to keep.

5. Keep it fun

Tidying up doesn’t have to be a boring chore. Turn it into a game by setting challenges or creating a playlist of their favorite music to listen to while they clean. Incorporating some fun elements will make the process more enjoyable and increase their motivation to tidy up regularly.

6. Set a good example

Lastly, lead by example. Make sure your own living spaces are organized and tidy. When your teenager sees that you value cleanliness and order, they will be more likely to follow suit. Show them that being organized has a positive effect on daily life and can create a more peaceful and productive environment.

By following these steps, you can inspire your teenager to take charge of their messy room and create an organized and functional space that reflects their personality and style.

3 Help your teen downsize

Organizing a messy room can be a daunting task for a teenager. They might feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have and unsure of where to start. However, experts say that reducing the clutter can make the process much easier and will ultimately lead to a neater and more organized space.

When it comes to downsizing, it’s important to consider your teen’s individuality and what they value most. Clothes, for example, might be something that they have a lot of but don’t necessarily need. Encourage your teen to go through their wardrobe and choose items they no longer wear or that don’t fit them anymore. By reducing the amount of clothing they have, they’ll have an easier time keeping everything sorted and in order.

Another area to consider is books, games, and other items that your teen might have accumulated over time. Have them go through these items and decide which ones they no longer use or want. This will free up space and make it easier to tidy up.

One useful strategy is to provide your teen with a designated place to put items they no longer want. This could be a basket or a box where they can place things they want to give away or sell. By having a designated spot for these items, your teen will be more motivated to go through their belongings and downsize.

Getting other family members involved can also be helpful. If everyone in the household is working together to declutter, it will feel less overwhelming for your teen and they won’t feel like they’re the only one responsible for keeping their space tidy.

Victoria, a professional organizer from London, suggests creating a plan with your teen when it comes to downsizing. Set aside specific times to tackle the task together, and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make the process less intimidating and more doable.

Remember that tidying up a messy room is not only about getting rid of clutter, but also about creating a space that reflects your teen’s interests and personality. Offering them ideas and tips to help them organize their belongings in a way that makes sense to them will make the task more enjoyable and allow their individuality to shine through.

By helping your teen downsize and reduce the amount of stuff they have, you’re not only making the tidying process easier, but also teaching them valuable skills for maintaining a neat and organized space.

4 Provide organizers to make the task easier

One effective way to help teenagers organize their messy rooms is to provide them with organizers that make the task easier. Teenagers can often feel overwhelmed by the idea of tidying up, and having the right tools and systems in place can make a big difference in motivating them to keep their rooms neat.

Here are some tips for using organizers to help teenagers organize their rooms:

  1. Offer storage solutions: Provide baskets, bins, and shelves where teenagers can easily store their belongings. This will not only help them keep things in their proper place but also make it easier for them to find what they need.
  2. Implement a clothing organization plan: Teenagers often struggle with keeping their clothes organized. You can help them by offering clothing organizers such as hangers, drawer dividers, and shoe racks. This will make it easier for them to find the clothes they want to wear and prevent them from having a messy pile of clothes on the floor.
  3. Support their individuality: Allow teenagers to express their personal style and individuality through the organizers you provide. For example, offer them different colored storage bins or decorative baskets that match their room decor. This will make the organization process more enjoyable for them.
  4. Create designated spaces: Help teenagers establish a place for everything in their room. This can include a designated spot for books, school supplies, electronics, and personal items. Having specific spaces for their belongings will make it easier for them to stay organized and avoid clutter.
  5. Keep it simple: Teenagers are more likely to maintain an organized room if the system is simple and easy to follow. Avoid complicated organization methods that might overwhelm them. Stick to straightforward solutions that they can easily understand and implement.
  6. Direct them in the right direction: Offer guidance and advice on how to organize their room effectively. Provide them with tips on how to declutter, how to maximize storage space, and how to maintain a neat environment. This will help them develop good habits and prevent the room from becoming untidy again.

By offering organizers and support, you can make the task of tidying up a teenage room much easier and more manageable. Remember that every teenager is different, so find what works best for them and continue to offer your support and guidance along the way.

5 Limit hiding spaces

One way to reduce messiness in a teenager’s room is to limit the number of hiding spaces available. Teenagers often have a lot of belongings, and without designated storage areas, their items can quickly become cluttered.

In the bustling city of London, where many teenagers live in small homes or apartments, finding the best way to organize their rooms can be a challenge. London-based organizer Jane suggests creating specific areas where teenagers might be more inclined to tidy up. For example, providing labeled storage bins for outgrown clothes or items they no longer need can help spark their motivation to sort through and declutter their belongings.

Simple solutions like these can help teenagers see the benefits of having an organized space. When they are able to find what they need easily and have a clear space to spend time in, it can improve their overall well-being and make their bedrooms a more enjoyable place to be.

Jane adds that it is important to consider the conditions and living situations of each teenager. Some teenagers may have limited space, while others may have large bedrooms. Regardless of the size of their rooms, having designated spaces for different belongings can help keep things in order.

Experts also emphasize the importance of offering support and encouragement rather than constantly nagging teenagers to tidy up. Creating a routine and setting aside time each week for tidying can help make the task feel more manageable. Additionally, involving teenagers in the process of organizing their rooms can give them a sense of ownership and make them more likely to maintain the cleanliness of their spaces.

Overall, reducing the number of hiding spaces, providing labeled storage solutions, and offering support and guidance are all effective ways to prevent clutter in a teenager’s room. By implementing these strategies, teenagers can develop good organizational habits that will serve them well into adulthood.

6 Take time to show them your tricks and tips

One effective way to motivate your teenager to tidy their messy room is to take the time to show them your own tricks and tips for staying organized. By sharing your own strategies, you can help them avoid common pitfalls and develop a routine that will make keeping their room tidy easier in the long run.

Here are some simple steps you can take to show them your tricks and tips:

  1. Set a good example: Show your teenager that you practice what you preach by keeping your own spaces tidy. Lead by example and let them see how a clutter-free environment can contribute to a more peaceful and productive home.
  2. Start with small tasks: Break the tidying process down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, suggest starting with organizing their desk or clearing out their closet. This will help them feel less overwhelmed and more ready to tackle the larger task of tidying their whole room.
  3. Provide the right tools: Make sure your teenager has the necessary tools to keep their room organized. This could include organizers, baskets, or shelves for storage. Show them how to use these tools effectively to keep their belongings in order.
  4. Show them where things belong: Sometimes, teenagers may struggle with keeping their room tidy simply because they don’t know where things should go. Take the time to explain where items should be returned to after use, such as their dirty clothes in the hamper or their books on the shelf.
  5. Offer support and guidance: Be there to support your teenager as they work on tidying their room. Offer encouragement and praise for small victories, and be available to answer any questions or provide guidance as needed. Let them know that you’re there to help and that they’re not alone in this task.
  6. Make it a collective effort: Involve your teenager in the decision-making process when it comes to organizing their room. Let them have a say in where things should go and how their space should be arranged. By making it a collective effort, they will feel more invested in keeping their room tidy.

By taking the time to show your teenager your own tricks and tips for staying organized, you can help reduce their messiness and create a more orderly environment for them to thrive in. Remember, it’s a process, and your support and guidance will be crucial in helping them develop good tidying habits.

Why do teenagers not clean their room?

Teenagers and messy rooms seem to go hand in hand. It’s a common complaint among parents that their teenagers do not keep their rooms tidy. But why is this the case? Here are some thoughts on why teenagers might not clean their rooms:

Lack of motivation

Teenagers are often focused on other things, such as school, extracurricular activities, or spending time with friends. Cleaning their room may not be a priority for them, and they may not see the immediate benefits of having a clean and organized space.


Teenagers have a lot going on in their lives, and cleaning their room can feel like just another task added to their already busy schedule. They may feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have and not know where to start or how to organize it all.

Lack of organization skills

Some teenagers simply may not have developed good organizational skills yet. They may not know how to sort and categorize their belongings or come up with a system for keeping their room tidy. Without these skills, it can be difficult to maintain a clean and orderly space.

Resistance to authority

Teenagers are going through a phase of asserting their independence, and this can sometimes manifest as resistance to authority or rules. Cleaning their room may be viewed as something their parents want them to do, which can make them less inclined to do it.

Preference for a certain level of chaos

Many teenagers actually prefer to have some level of messiness in their rooms. It’s their own personal space, and having things a bit disorganized can feel more comfortable and free than a perfectly neat and tidy room.

Peer influence

Teenagers are influenced by their peers, and if their friends also have messy rooms, they may feel less pressure to keep their own space clean. Peer pressure can play a big role in shaping a teenager’s behavior and attitudes towards tidiness.

Overall, there can be a variety of reasons why teenagers do not clean their rooms. It’s important for parents and caregivers to understand these factors and find ways to motivate their teenagers to take responsibility for their living space.

Should I force my teen to clean their room

When it comes to teenage behavior, messy rooms are often one of the most common issues parents face. While it can be frustrating to constantly see their room in disarray, forcing a teenager to clean their room may not always be the best approach. Here are some thoughts, tips, and ideas to consider:

The importance of having a clean room

Having a tidy and organized room is important for several reasons. It can help teenagers stay focused and concentrate on their schoolwork, provide a sense of order and structure, and create a positive living environment. It can also be an opportunity to teach responsibility, discipline, and the importance of taking care of their personal space.

Offer guidance and support

Instead of forcing your teen to clean their room, offer guidance and support. Help them come up with a plan and create a clear system for organizing their belongings. Offer suggestions on how to declutter and create storage solutions. Show them the positive effects of having a clean room, such as being able to find things easily and having a more peaceful and relaxing space.

Set an example

Lead by example and keep your own living space tidy and organized. Your teenager is more likely to follow your lead if they see you practicing what you preach. Show them the benefits of staying organized and the effort it takes to maintain a clean space.

Avoid nagging

Constantly nagging your teenager to clean their room can create tension and resistance. Instead, find ways to motivate them without resorting to constant reminders. Offer rewards or incentives for keeping their room clean and tidy, or create a schedule where they are responsible for specific tasks on certain days.

Involve your teenager

Involve your teenager

Get your teenager directly involved in the organizing process. Let them make decisions on how to arrange their belongings, choose storage solutions, and find ways to personalize their space. This way, they will feel more ownership over their room and be more motivated to keep it clean.

Provide appropriate tools and storage options

Ensure that your teenager has the necessary tools and storage options to keep their room organized. Provide them with boxes, baskets, shelves, and other containers to store their belongings. Labeling items and creating designated spaces for specific things can also help in keeping the room tidy.

To conclude, while it is important for teenagers to maintain a clean and organized room, forcing them to clean it may not always be the best approach. Instead, offer guidance, support, and motivation to help them develop good habits and take pride in their personal space. Remember, organizing their room is not only about cleanliness but also about teaching them valuable life skills.


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