The secret to student cleanliness: How to keep teenagers’ rooms under control
A constant and challenging bone of contention between parents and teenage offspring is that of maintaining a tidy bedroom. As a parent, you may be blessed with a child who keeps their bedroom under control. Chances are, however, that like many others the inter-generational row over acceptable levels of order rages in your home too.
Relieve the pressure
Why not consider reducing the stress of your differing standards by taking a step back from your situation? Try to think back to when you were younger. Was your teenage bedroom in tip top condition or did parental pressure to keep your room spotlessly tidy engender a pain in your proverbial too? A little reflection may make you realise that it’s not quite as important as you think to keep the whole house totally tidy. In any case, a teenager’s tendency to live in an untidy bedroom certainly doesn’t reflect on your capabilities as a parent.
Relinquishing control may be one way to go. After all, out of sight is indeed out of mind. If you don’t set foot over the threshold, the onus is on your offspring to manage their own household affairs. For example, sorting out their own laundry system is critical if they expect to enjoy clean clothes. The washing fairy would be unlikely to forage on the floor for discarded items of dirty clothing if the door is kept firmly closed.
Sort out bedroom storage
Whether you decide to tackle the tidying together or to pass the task to your teenager, it’s important that there is sufficient storage to meet their needs. From wardrobes to bedroom desks, the capability to compartmentalize helps to make maintaining bedroom tidiness much less of a chore. Everyday items can be kept close to hand, whereas less essential items can be stowed elsewhere. Stash shoes in stacking boxes and make the most of available storage space such as under the bed.
Create ground rules for your teenager’s chamber
If you do go down the route of relinquishing responsibility for their room, it’s still worth instilling values of respect and consideration in your children. Set a few simple ground rules to ensure your offspring know they can’t treat the family home like a pigsty. This will allow for much-needed privacy and space in which to study, yet will also engender a sense of respect for the family home. You may wish to completely rule out food within their four walls for example, but failing that, at least insist that used crockery is returned to the kitchen. One such simple compromise can smooth the way for future familial negotiations.