Teenagers rooms are often a bone of contention. If your teenager is feeling overwhelmed, struggles to hand in assignments or homework, or seems to spend way too long on schoolwork, then their organization strategies may need to be considered. Tackling the room, however is fraught with danger! Of both the physical and emotional sort. But there are tactics to make it easier. Today I want to share the first step along the way. And remember – take the before and after pictures! I may even publish some if you are brave enough!!
Step one: Clear the decks
- Arm yourselves with a stack of large trash bags.
- Agree a set of guidelines as to how you will approach the clear out, who gets to decide for what stays and what goes. A hint…let the student decide! Much less fighting and much more buy in! You can always go through the process again a later date.
- Agree how long you will spend, what areas you will tackle. Don’t try to do too much all at once, you will both get overwhelmed and that is when tempers get frayed.
- Acknowledge that it will look worse before it gets better, but that you will keep going till you see success in at least one area.
- Do not leave the room during the process. Have a box for things that belong elsewhere or pile them outside the door. Don’t get distracted by going into another room.
- Remain focused on the task – guard against judgment on how it got to that state in the first place! Even if you find expensive things ruined because they have been mistreated!
- Identify which areas of the room are used for what purpose, and consider how the student would like to use this space for those activities in the future. Usually there’s an area for sleeping, working, grooming, entertaining, and storing collections. In the before state, these may be all mixed together. Get your child to think about how they could be more separate so things can be found more easily and work can be done with fewer distractions.
- Have a box for things that can be donated. It is much easier to let something go to someone else and to accept that what was once a prize possession is now trash.
- Clean each area thoroughly as it is cleared. This is a good time to demonstrate the standards of cleanliness you expect, and to show your child how to do certain tasks you want them to do.
By the end of this part of the process the room will be pulled apart, but now it is clean; only the stuff that belongs in the room is there and you have a clear view of what areas need to be set up to make it super functional.
Check back in the next few days as a next few posts will cover the next steps to the cleaning the teenage bedroom and setting up for success