Do you have a teen whose room is a disaster? Maybe it’s not their fault. Perhaps they have a small room and too much stuff making it impossible to get it clean and organized. And yes, maybe they’re just lazy.
So, how can we get them to clean up and organize their space? Below are some ideas that may help and motivate them to keep their rooms tidy. And who knows, you may even form a closer relationship in the process.
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Get Your Teen Involved
If you have a reluctant teen, then make sure to include them in as much as possible. They may not like the cleaning very much but they do want to be heard.
And even though it’s your home, their room is their sanctuary. It’s the place they go to relax, blow off steam, and just be themselves.
So a good way to get them motivated is to give them a say in how their room and things should be. Don’t get me wrong. If you absolutely refuse to have black walls then that is your right. It is still your home.
However, try to be open to other suggestions, many of which are temporary and can be removed without destroying the room.
Also, the suggestions I include in this post are meant to be done together with your teen. Make this time a chance to bond with your teen. If both of you are busy, then schedule a night for discussing their ‘room redo’. Get the popcorn out, lay out some of your plans, and make it fun.
Pinterest is such a great way to tap into your teen’s style. Have a kid who is into sports, music, fashion, dance, or steampunk? Then Pinterest has you covered.
Create a board just for your teen and find some pins they may like. After showing some of your picks, ask them to check for other pins they may want to add as well.
On your ‘room redo’ time, go through all the pins you like and pick out doable and acceptable projects that you both like. So if your teen wants black walls, compromise by adding black sheer drapes instead.
Also, don’t get stuck on the gender of your ideas. There are some really cool things in boys’ room that can be copied and modified in your teen girls room and vice versa.
So if your daughter plays the guitar or loves to skateboard check out some of the boys’ rooms for more inspiration with those themes.
If your teen refuses to give up their stuffed dolls, toys, or favorite shirts that don’t fit them anymore consider repurposing them. You can turn those stuffed dolls into a blanket or a backpack if it’s large. Depending on how many Lego pieces they have, you can even create new furniture like a nightstand. Again, Pinterest is the go-to for upcycling ideas.
If your teen has a collection of objects that they treasure, perhaps you can get them to display it rather than let it sit in shoe boxes or worse, scattered among the clutter.
If they collect unique rocks, marbles, or game pieces, try using a shadow box. Mounting magazine holders for comic book fans is a good way to get them off the floor.
For those who have expensive/rare/in the box type of collectibles, consider a display that shows respect for the collection.
For Your Creatives
Got yourself an artist, musician, or photographer whose work, although you love it, just looks like a mess on the walls or floor? Then find them the perfect storage so that it still respects their work and they can easily find it if they want to show it off.
For artists, consider getting them a portfolio bag. Encourage them to use their portfolios to show prospective buyers or heads of art schools who wouldn’t normally access your home to see their work.
As for their art supplies, I love the Recollection Storage from Michaels. However, it can be pricey. So I try to wait until they are on sale AND I have a 20-25% coupon that covers sale items as well. I have a few of their pieces that I bought little by little. If it really isn’t in your budget, then make some homemade storage. Scroll down to read more on creating your own storage.
For musicians, there are a lot of composition journals to choose from but here are a few:
For the photojournalist in your home, a camera bag like the one below is great for protecting their gear on the go.
Don’t forget they can also frame and hang their best work.
Keep Storage Simple
For our laziest and messiest of teens, try to keep organizing and storing very simple. And above all, make sure they have their own hamper. Try a wall of hooks for their shoes. It is so easy for them to just toss their shoes around even if they have those handy over-the-door pocket organizers.
If they have to put away things that they use very often then they will stop putting those things away. Try having them use open shelves and baskets to hold their stuff. It may not be pretty and organized but it will be off the floor.
If they hate making the bed find a large basket or trunk where they can toss their bedding into instead of folding it. It’s not ideal but the bedroom will look a little more put together.
Creating Storage Bins
Now, you don’t have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars to create some great storage bins. You just have to figure out what your teen likes. My son is into that “mustache” thing. So I found some decorative duct tape and used it to make bins out of shoeboxes and other stuff around his room.
You can make magazine holders out of cereal boxes, decorative baskets out of old laundry baskets, and even bins out of old pots. If you or your teen are especially crafty, the possibilities are endless.
Now, I am not one for bribing my kids in order to get better behavior from them. So I don’t recommend the following for kids who just won’t comply with your rules for a clean home. However, if your teen is trying, here are some suggestions for more motivation.
If they have a smallish room, consider giving them a larger one. Perhaps you have a basement, den, or office that is bigger. If some renovations are needed, believe me, they will be on board with helping.
Now, if their room doesn’t provide much privacy, again consider a room change. If it’s one thing teens cherish, it’s their privacy. Perhaps a room at the back of the house offers more privacy (and a place they can play their music a little louder). Again, a basement or (if you live in a warm place), the garage can make a teen’s dream come true (a chance to be somewhat independent).
Let’s Get Organizing
I hope I’ve been able to give you some ideas you can use and perhaps some hope for your teen’s rooms. As I said before, work with your teen in creating a cool but organized space you both can love.
Get to know your teen and use that to not only redo their room but to also form a closer bond in the process. These years will go fast so it’s up to us to encourage, inspire, and support them as they ‘find’ themselves and this project can be the jumping point for that.
Need additional help with certain items in their rooms? Check out the following posts:
- How to Organize Clothing
- How to Organize Books – check out our space-saving book tower
- Free Project Planner – use this with your teen to come up with a plan you both love
- How to Organize Toys and Games
For teen boys:
For teen girls:
- Organize Hair and Beauty Products
- How to Organize Your Jewelry
- Create a Simple Bra Organizer
- How to Organize Your Feminine Products
So, let me know how your project is coming along in the comments below. And if you haven’t yet, join our weekly organizing challenge by signing up below. Take care and good luck!
Want to save this for later? Pin the pic below to your favorite organizing Pinterest board.