Helping Your Teen Outgrow Their Sloppy Bedroom Years

When your kids are young, they don’t seem to have much of a problem with how their bedroom looks and Mommies and Dads have a grand time decorating for them.  But as they become teenagers and start to establish their own identity, they want to have more of a say in how their now private space is decorated. Parents may feel as if they are at the end of their wits trying to let their teenager have their own style while not letting that style look sloppy. It’s times like these that sometimes are best for turning to creative resources and unexpected responses for assistance.

battling your teen for a clean room

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Space Planning Survival

Often a teenager’s room becomes their oasis. They not only sleep there, but study, eat, play and entertain. In order to make sure that their room stays organized, make sure that everything in it serves a purpose and can easily be found. For easy storage, footlockers, old luggage, shelving units and plastic bins are a great option.

Decoration By Committee

Rather than have posters tacked and taped all over the walls, you could suggest framed artwork and art statues for your teen to display their personality.  Expose them to classic movie posters, statue candle holders and other framed artwork that they may like. Not only will you be introducing them to something new, but finding wholesale framed art prints that you both like won’t break the bank, and they’ll see that those and well-placed, whimsical statues look much better than sloppy, slapped-up posters of pop stars and teen actors.

Recycle and Donate

One of the biggest sources of clutter is old games, toys and sports equipment that teenagers no longer use. If your child doesn’t want to throw them away or give them to charity, strike a deal and agree to put them in storage for a few months before revisiting the idea of getting rid of them. This will not only reduce clutter, but also offer your teenager a lesson in compromising.

Closet Space Creativity

Closets are another notorious space for clutter. Utilize over-the-door shoe organizers, cap racks, storage boxes and wardrobe compartments to keep your teen’s closet clear and organized. Since they’re growing, you and your child may want to go through their clothes every six months to make sure that they aren’t hanging on to clothes that no longer fit them, which takes up space. Another good idea is to have clothes organized according to season and function. This will keep your teen from having to dig through clothes for a particular item of clothing.

Days Of Doing

Get teens in the habit of organizing by assigning different tasks to different days. Monday they can organize under the bed, Tuesday they can organize their closet, Wednesday they can organize their desk and Thursday they can organize their dresser. Doing this will get them in the habit of keeping their room clean, and will only take them a few minutes each day if they are consistent.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your teenager’s room is their room. While you can offer them suggestions, you’ll want them to have the final say in the matter. Let them paint their dresser or decorate it if they want. Forcing them to make a decision or deciding for them won’t do them or you any good and will be met with a great gnashing of teeth. Allow your teenager to explore their unique style while you explore your inner mediator.

Ann Bailey is a mother of two and constantly struggles with the organization of teens.  She contributes various articles for the art supplier Artismo, an online home image company offering teen-friendly wholesale framed art prints, guaranteeing a simpler job for parents helping their teens become more mature art lovers and neater bedroom advocates.


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Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

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