A guest post by Rose Morrison

Inside: Learn how to encourage a teenager to keep their room clean using these ten tips!

Many teenagers don’t enjoy cleaning their rooms and often decline any invitation to do so. However, learning how to pick up a mess is an essential lesson in personal hygiene and self-discipline.

Young adults are at a critical growing stage during their teen years, and they need to understand how to take responsibility for their actions, including cleaning their living space.

Each family decides what techniques work best for their household, but it’s also great to find other ideas and thoughts to give guidance. This article outlines ten things that can help teens realize the importance of picking up after themselves.

10 Tips to Help a Teenager Keep Their Room Clean

Use these tips to encourage your teen to declutter, organize, and keep their room clean.

1. Start When They’re Young

If you have younger children, it’s ideal to begin the process of teaching them to clean their room before they reach their teen years.

It’s an easier transition when a child grows up learning to be responsible for their things.

If that ship has already sailed and your kids are all teenagers, never fear. You can still teach your teenager to keep their room clean.

2. Be an Example

If a home is already unorganized, a teenager will likely follow that same trend. Parents shouldn’t expect teens to clean their rooms if other parts of the house are equally messy.

Children often emulate what they see their guardians do. Providing an organized house example to young adults will show them how they can also do the same thing for their own space.

To set your teens up for success, use decluttering habits to maintain your space. Also, include them in the process and let them know that decluttering and cleaning are expected of every member of the household.

3. Set Out a Laundry Basket

Dirty clothes add to the clutter and pile up, causing a mess to grow larger. Consider placing a laundry hamper in a teenager’s room to encourage them to keep their clothes off the floor.

Some baskets are sturdier than others, so try to find one that won’t snag on clothes or crack easily.

Providing a specific place for teens to toss their worn outfits will help reduce stuff on the floor and create the habit of taking care of their things.

teenager keep their room clean

4. Organize the Closet

Closets may not have enough space to hold all of the things placed inside. If there’s a lot of stuff in this space, it’s best to take everything out and decide what goes and what stays.

Teenagers can help this process along by deciding what clothes they want to declutter and what they want to keep.

Installing shelves, shoe racks, or drawers can give teenagers designated places to put their things. Adding more storage encourages young adults to be more organized.

5. Protect a Teen’s Privacy

Teenagers go through a lot as they try to figure out who they are and what they want to become. Ensuring their privacy in the home helps young adults understand the privileges of having their own rooms.

When parents ask their teens to clean their space, it’s best to make sure they allow their children to handle the most personal items. While it’s important to maintain parental priorities, it’s just as vital to respect the privacy of a young adult.

For instance, family members could knock on a teen’s door instead of opening it without permission to promote their privacy. Of course, if there is cause for concern or a potential safety issue, use your best judgment.

A room is a teenager’s domain, and it’s important to treat it as such while also ensuring their safety. Let teens pick up their things without assistance first.

Allowing any child the chance to pick up their mess by themselves encourages them to be responsible for their actions.

6. Let Teenagers Express Creativity

Even though teens don’t own the house, parents can still let their children be part of decorating their room. Give teenagers some freedom in choosing their desired bedsheets, posters, or paint colors when it comes to their space.

Rearranging the furniture in the area is a great way to promote creative expression and cleaning. Give teenagers a chance to move their bed or dresser to match their current style.

Explain to them that decorating their space comes with the expectation of maintaining the space and keeping their room clean. This method can help parents and teens create a solution that works for everyone.

teenager keep their room clean

7. Help Them Start

Sometimes a room can be so unorganized that teens don’t know where to begin. Parents can help their children prioritize what needs picking up first.

Start by tackling individual areas in the room with the teenager to show them how to break up big messes into more manageable sections. Giving teens a push in the right direction can help them figure out how to handle their things properly.

8. Set a Schedule

Between homework, school activities, and hanging out with friends, teenagers have a busy life. It can be hard to fit in cleaning their room with everything else they have going on. Parents can sit down with their kids to decide on a specific time each week to organize their space.

Make sure the decided times are in sync with what happens in the home. Allow some leeway for changing schedules, but stick to the planned setup to practice consistency.

Whether it’s in the morning before breakfast or in the evening after school, a cleaning time can help teenagers maintain their areas.

9. Learning From Their Mess

Sometimes letting a child live in their unorganized room can be the best teacher. Parents can close the doors to a teen’s messy area and allow them to deal with it by themselves entirely.

This tactic may work for some teenagers, as they will eventually grow the desire to live in a clean space.

However, it could take a while for young adults to reach that desire to organize. Exercise patience with teenagers as they come to learn from their mistakes.

It’s also ok to set a deadline for your sake and theirs to help provide guidance and structure as some kids will be less bothered by the mess.

teenager keep their room clean

10. Set Boundaries and Rules

Cleaning a room is a continuous task. Parents and teenagers can talk to each other about what is expected to maintain the organization of a child’s room.

For instance, one rule could be no food inside the space. Having this stipulation in place also prevents insects or mold from coming into the area.

Establishing routines opens successful futures for young adults, and their guardians can help with that by placing healthy boundaries.

Teach a Teenager to Keep Their Room Clean

Having open communication between trusted authority figures and teenagers is an excellent way to maintain the home’s cleanliness. Young adults want to experience freedom and privacy, but they also need to understand that cleaning a room is part of life.

Parents can show their children respect by allowing them to organize their spaces. The decision doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s possible to find a happy compromise that works for both sides.

Teens will be better prepared for college and adulthood when they’ve learned to keep their room clean.

Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers home décor and organization tips. She is also the managing editor of Renovated. You can check out her Twitter to see more of her work.

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  1. Thank you so much for your article. My teen grandchildren are lovely clever girls, except. They are driving their parents crazy with their untidy habits. I’m now going to step in and try to educate them on tidying. I’m going to sit them down, and go through your article with them. Step by step. Nanna’s classroom!

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