Teen clutter seems to proliferate faster than a hot You-Tube
video goes viral. Stop the runaway mess before it engulfs your home (or your
teen's room) with a few simple steps.
Make your teen a partner in clutter control. Teens crave privacy
and self-determination so consider letting them have more leeway in deciding
how clean to keep their own rooms. For example, clutter may be off-limits in
the family room, but permitted within reason in their bedrooms. When you enlist
your teen as a partner, and respect their growing ability and need for
self-determination, you better the odds of harmonious cohabitation.
Determine your own clutter threshold for the household and lay
down clear ground rules. Examples might include a "no food" policy for bedrooms,
requiring a clear exit path between the bed and the door for safety reasons,
and a rule that if any bad smells come from a bedroom, it then needs a thorough
cleaning by the teen. If these conditions are all met, grit your teeth about
the piles of laundry and other annoyances.
Everything in its
Place: Take time to evaluate your teen's room to determine if
they have the needed tools for neatness. Do they have adequate storage? If not,
consider investing in inexpensive shelving such as Ikea's Expedit units which can easily hold files for school papers and baskets and
bins for corralling small items and clothing. Work with, not against your teen:
if they don't fold and store clothes neatly, buy bins to hold clothing piles and
install a rack of pegs or hooks to easily capture garments.
Less is More: If the room is overstuffed with toys and clothes, encourage a
purge. Donating or selling the unused items can net your teen some money and
creates a more manageable set of belongings. Maintain order by doing a big
purge at least twice a year. Good times for purging are after major gift events
such as Christmas or birthdays.
House Rules: While teens may have leeway in their rooms, parents have every
right to set conditions about how shared rooms are managed. Rather than nag
constantly, assign every family member a chore that keeps order in shared
rooms. And give family members a designated basket or bin to be kept in the
mudroom or family room. Odds and ends can be tossed in the bins during nightly
clean up and emptied on the weekends.
I finally found someone blogged about this! Exactly what I needed tips on: clutter, teens & organizing. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Thanks!
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.