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.
In the first step, “clearing the decks” the main areas of function in the student’s room were identified. The next step is to make sure that your child has the room set up and organized to allow these activities to occur to their satisfaction. In other words that they can sleep, work, entertain, groom, etc without worrying about how the room impacts on these things.
Distinct areas work best in most cases, especially for work and sleep. It eliminates distraction and the body comes to expect that activity in those areas. So if at all possible setup areas in the room where those things can happen. For the working area it’s always best to have a desk. Even it is not if it is not used all the time is a reminder of your commitment to the process and gives a focal point for organizing effectively.
Test out what kind of storage will work best for how the student wants to operate. There is no point having a beautifully fitted closet with matching hangers if your child has no intention of hanging things up. It is important at this point to let go of how you want things done. You can discuss the standards you expect, but be realistic and remember the focus is on performance. What tasks does the student carry out in this area, what will make it easier for them? Together, work out the easiest ways to meet both your needs. For example, you may be able to handle them living out of storage boxes of clothes, as long as they are clean and hidden away.
For storing school materials accessibility is key. Clear storage boxes or a file box sitting in the open will be used; a drawer in a filing cabinet will lie forgotten.
The bottom line is that everything must have a home, and be accessible. It has to work with the student’s personality. And you have to be able to live with it! Again, remember the focus is functionality. You’re doing this to make sure your child can be effective, that nothing is holding them back from showing their true potential. Stacked against that, what do our concerns about neatness matter? It is not a reflection of our standards. Help them work it out, offer them ongoing support if they need it…… Then close the door!
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