Teenager and a messy room...do you let it go?

@Shar11 (419)
United States
October 21, 2008 3:47am CST
I have a teenaged daughter..She's great kid, does well in school and follows all the rules...except one..Her room is a nightmare! You can barely see the floor with all her clothes thrown about. When I've told her she needs to clean it up she tells me she likes it just the way it is and it feels comfortable to her! On one hand I feel like I should let it go...close the door and let it be her space..Like I said she does great in school, obeys her curfew and is kind to other people...These are the more important issues to me.. On the other hand I feel like by letting it go I may be allowing her to believe it's not important to care for her things. I do believe if I really put down my foot and told her she would be grounded if she didnt clean her room..she would clean it.. I have not yet because I am still not sure I am just being too picky. Should I allow her room to be her own space and let her keep it as she sees fit??
8 people like this
29 responses
• United States
21 Oct 08
I really think by letting her room stay messy all the time she is getting the message that this is acceptable.. and what if she gets married and has kids and never picks up? She does well in school, and that is great... but I think teaching her to respect your home is essential.. that her room is part of your house, and by keeping it a total mess is disrespectful. Maybe just tell her that she needs to take care of her things and show some responsibility toward her own upkeep.
2 people like this
@trixyteddy (1072)
• India
25 Oct 08
I guess this is a very difficult situation. My sons, now grown up, used to keep their room messy too. In fact even now I've to tell them to clear things up. Quite frankly, I find such teens more approachable, than the ones who keep their rooms very clean. They are the goody, goody ones. I'm not complaining about them, but then I feel they are missing out on their teenage years. Let you daughter have her way. Just tell her gently that she will have to learn to keep her room neat on her own. In time I am sure that she will do it. Once in a way, just give her a tick off to clear and clean up, but not all the time.
1 person likes this
@rusty2rusty (6762)
• Defiance, Ohio
25 Oct 08
I understand your daughters feelings. But when you make her clean her room. You are teaching her how to keep house for when she is older enough to leave your home and live on her own. Also messy rooms tend to bring in bugs and other nasty unsanitary creatures.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Oct 08
Your daughter sounds like my kids. They are all good kids for the most part. They are kind, loving, respectful....all the things you hope your children will be. They have never kept a clean room and that is partly my fault. I am not the best role model for cleaning. My house is not a disaster, however, some days it may look messy while other days it's spotless. It depends on whether I feel like cleaning that day or not. It comes in spurts for me and that is the way my children are. I used to complain when their rooms got really bad and my husband told me to leave them alone. To let them have their own space. So when company comes over, we close their doors. As they have gotten older I have noticed a change in them. They will go a few days without cleaning their room and then all of a sudden I will see them come through the living room with bags of trash or dirty clothes saying, "I can't stand my room like this anymore." So my advice is to just let her be. I'm sure that after a time, she will get tired of stepping over stuff like my kids did. And if she has friends over, she will (if she's like my kids) not want them to see her room like that and will clean it up.
@ShellyB (5243)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I am in the same situation that you are, I tell my kid to clean her room at least once per week, even if she comfortable with and she is a good kid too, it is part of the things she has to do. Even if does not help with other things, she must try at least to clean her room, do her homework and wash her clothes. I hope this works better for you.
1 person likes this
@candymarie (1368)
• Canada
22 Oct 08
Hrm, I would suggest maybe getting her one of those tall hampers, to at least encourage her. And if you do her laundry, then you can just say, "Just so I know which are the clothes I need to wash." Something like that.
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
22 Oct 08
If she is a teenager the pattern has already been set. To ask her tokeep it clean now after not saying or doing anything about it before will look and feel to her as if you are picking on her. You need to come to a compromise. Mine was no dishes or food in the bedroom, not even a soda. This was to prevent spills and bugs. She was responsible for getting her own laundry to the laundry room on wash day and no laundry was wahsed in the middle of the week because she found her favorite sweater under a pile of books in the corner and wanted to wear it. She eventually started cleaning her room on her own more often. Once a week is a good compromise. You are correct in that the other issues are more important. Good grades, following curfews and kindness to others.
1 person likes this
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I don't have a teenager yet but I'm sure I will have the same problem. I would make my daughter clean her room. Does she ever run out of clothes or does she just put the ones on that are on the floor? I would keep my room kind of messy as a teenager but didn't have clothes everywhere on the floor. My kids are young and they pull out I think ever toy they can fit in their little hands. I call them booby traps. lol They sneak up under your feet while your trying to walk around. I make them help me pick it up so they can learn that their booby traps dont' need to be out.
1 person likes this
@krissy32 (205)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I was once a teen myself and hated to clean my room, so my mom wouldn't clean it for me, she let me leave it until I needed something and didn't know where it was, she would say " look in all the clothes on the floor". As long as she is obeying your other important rules like curfew and doing well in school, then let it go is best advice that I can give, she will get the cleanliness and the being able to find things easily concept if she isn't nagged about it.:) This too shall pass.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
22 Oct 08
in a single word? yes.. it IS her space, and she should be allowed to keep it the way she wishes to.
1 person likes this
@penny64 (1106)
• Australia
22 Oct 08
Your daughter sounds exactly like I was as a teenager. My room was terrible. I think the problem was that I had no idea how to be organised, and even today I have problems with organisation. Maybe if you help her by showing her fun ways to store and sort her stuff, it will give her something positive for the future. By the way, I pay for it now ... my husband is the most untidy, lazy person I've ever met! On the other hand, my young daughter is quite tidy because I have taught her how to keep it under control and the positive side of having a tidy room. I know it's hard ... I used to HATE people coming into my room, but it was mainly because I was embarrassed. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@sylvia13 (1851)
• Nelson Bay, Australia
22 Oct 08
I also have a teenage daughter and I would say that you just have to let her be. In a way it is a kind of self expression. Judging from my experience, I think you might find that one day, out of the blue, she will just come and put some order in her room! If she is doing well in school, then there is nothing to worry about.
@tikei18 (359)
• Philippines
22 Oct 08
I am a teenager and my room is also like that. I just feel comfortable and I feel more teenager when my things is scattered. That just the way to be a teenager. Don't worry I believe that when we grow up and matured enough, things will change and our attitude will change. Someday her room will be clean, neat and arrange just the way you want to be. Good thing we have maid that always fixes my room everyday. Sometimes I don't want it to be fix because I can't find my things. My auntie always tells me to fix my things. But nothing change. My room will always be my room. And I want it the way I want.
1 person likes this
• India
22 Oct 08
All teenagers are like that. I have come across very few who are really neat and tidy. My younger daughter was one of them. She was very systematic. her room was alwasy spi*c and span. She would lay out everything neatly in her cupboard. The table was always clean and books back on the shelf. Elder one was a mess. When they shared a room they fought so i gave them separate rooms and they became really thick friends.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Oct 08
Teenagers are at a period in life when they are going through many changes and perhaps messy rooms are a way of having a bit of control over their little section of the world. I think rather then nag them about her messiness perhaps do things to encourage them to clean their room.. Say like after your room today we can go out and to...""" Don't nag though..at their age ..they are gong through many things.
@Hatley (164354)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Oct 08
hi Shar I didnt have a teenaged daughter but i did have a teenaged son, believe me his bedroom was a mess, a total mess but he was such a good kid otherwise, did well in school, way ahead of his class, and always followed the rules go I just said close the door. Now he is forty nine and sometimes his room looks like it did when he was fourteen but then he goes on a cleaning jag and its spotless, now I am 82 and dont think its my job to chastise him about his room anymore. lol lol lol.
@redhotpogo (4433)
• United States
21 Oct 08
Is the messy room hurting you in some way? It is a comfort issue. Teens are pretty busy people. With lots on their minds. They like things within arms length, to take as they please, so they don't need to wonder around getting things. That wastes time, they could be using to chat with friends, or get a homework project done. Forcing someone to clean their room Burt (sesame street) style, does no one any good. Just tell her it would be a good idea to have dedicated locations for dirty clothes, and important items, so that she can find them when she needs them.
@jackiew (915)
• Canada
21 Oct 08
I have a son who is 20 and he has to keep his room up to par.If i find the room is getting neglected i will tell him to get it cleaned,and that is polishing,glass cleaner ,broom,mop,etc.If i have to ask more than 2 times then i raise the voice and tell him that i want it done now and no more waiting.When i raise the voice a little he knows i mean business.The room now gets done. happy mylotting
1 person likes this
@Jul14nch0 (1414)
• Argentina
21 Oct 08
LOL, im 15 and my room is a nightmare for my mom too, but she will never consider letting it be my own space, and have it messy like i want it to be . So i know how your daughter must feel so i would tell you to let she do whatever with his room. And if you don't like it bkeep out!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Oct 08
i actually used to be the same way lol it was more easy to find things. However i never really knew what was clean or dirty so i finally got out of that and now i actually am very picky about everything to the point i colorized my closet and for the most part everything is from A-Z in my closet now which is a bit overboard as everyone says but i find it easy to find something if i know where exactly it is.however i do beleive she would need to know she has to take care of things and not everything comes cheap anymore so i would let it be known to clean the room or have something she loves taken until she cleans it maybe thats not a good thing to a lot of people but yet it would show her that she need to take care of her things.
1 person likes this