arrow14 Comments
  1. Janice
    Sep 15 - 9:05 pm

    Wow – Jessica that was great! :) You included some really helpful information.

    I like how you highlight how overwhelming cleaning a room can be. Where does a teen start? I am an adult and I still want to sit down and cry and call my mom to come help me when I face a huge organizing mess. Organizing isn’t my gifting and I get overwhelmed. But I know from experience I just have to pick a few task to start with and get moving. A teen may not be able to do that.

    BUT as you pointed out – we can’t just come in and do it for them because a) they won’t learn and b) they don’t care when they mess it up cause they know you will come clean it up again.

    So helpful – and thanks for all the extra links and tips too!

  2. Great Article Jessica!!! Bravo!!!!

  3. Susanne
    Sep 16 - 9:42 am

    Wow, this really helps me out a lot! I fall into the category of being very frustrated with the messy rooms. I’m going to give that closed door policy a try. Wish me luck!

  4. Linda
    Sep 16 - 9:45 am

    I am fairly new to blogging, and this is my first visit to your blog. What an amazing site!! You have so much to offer. I’ll have to spend a little time getting caught up.

  5. gr8face
    Sep 16 - 5:25 pm

    I know what I’m getting my nieces for Christmas. Thanks!

  6. Meg
    Sep 16 - 6:15 pm

    Ditto Janice, although my mom isn’t the one I wish for… she’s a little more uh, challenged than I am in this area… not a good thing! I need a pro, for sure.
    Great stuff!
    Career Mom Radio

  7. Tasra Dawson
    Sep 17 - 5:18 pm

    Excellent advice. It’s so easy to forget that some things just aren’t worth the battle and others are. A messy room falls pretty low on the list…thanks for the reminder.

  8. Mira
    Sep 17 - 7:56 pm

    Thanks Jessica. I am going to try to implement some of your strategies (especially the closed door) and see if I can reduce MY level of stress. I believe you are probably right in that she may never outgrow this until she has a place of her own, I guess at this point the best I can hope for is to set a reasonable example of tidiness and just go from there. Thanks for answering my question.

  9. eph2810
    Sep 17 - 10:20 pm

    I have to totally agree. When I was nagging our son to keep his room clean, he didn’t hear me. Than I just gave up. I let him be, have his dirty cloth in the hamper (at least he did that) and the rest was his responsibility ~ with his door closed. It came to the point when he wanted to have friends over and he started to pick-up. Now, he still lives at home, he is 21 and he even cleans his own bathroom…No nagging was for us the best solution.

  10. e-Mom
    Oct 02 - 1:09 am

    Wonderful and timely advice. I’m going to link to you tonight. Thanks!

  11. Karen Wallace
    Oct 23 - 7:08 am

    As the mother of a 16 yo son, and a 13 yo daughter (and the 8 yo, but he’s still at that delightful age!) I can relate so well to this! Thank you.

    I have left my daughter to her own devices sooo long, whilst secretly (and not so secretly) despairing of her mess… then a couple of weeks ago she wanted to have a friend over – and I told her Yes, if you’re room is tidy! Voila! AND it’s been ‘almost’ door-openable ever since!!

    My 16yo son, however, is another matter. He’s been a tidy boy for years now, puts me to shame with his wardrobe clean outs (clothes dont fit? out they go! Toys outgrown? into little brothers room!) HOW did I breed THIS one?? He MUST be his Father’s son – and if that is the case, then it really IS all in the gene’s!!!

    Thanks Jessica for sharing this with us all – and thanks Susan and Janice for inviting her.

  12. Scott
    Apr 13 - 10:35 pm

    That’s about the worst advice I’ve ever read!

    Culminating with, “I’d rather be my daughter’s friend, than….” what? Be her parent? Teach her to be responsible? Typical modern parenting advice, to base our decisions on “how we feel” rather than teach our children life lessons.

  13. TeenXD
    Apr 24 - 1:50 am

    This was JUST was i was looking for – for my mum!! I CAN clean my room, i just:

    a) dont know where to start OR
    b) cant be bothered!

    Parents just dont get the fact that we need to be independant!

    I wish my mom would stop nagging me! Deep down i probably dont clean my room just to infuriate my mom!

    Well, i’ll be showing this site to her – maybe THEN she’ll get it!


  14. Myah
    Feb 06 - 12:22 pm

    This was okay advice yet didn’t hit harder cases such as mine. My daughter refuses all . I remember when I would simply ask to just see the floor so I could make it in to vaccum and dust ect, now, she will literally take clothing Ive folded and put on her bed and chuck it to the other side iof the room ..I dont notice as I cant see that side unless I walk in and around the bed- Then I noticed her new puppy had pee’d 3 x in her bed and she refused to change the sheet! Capri sun and soda cans you name it total filth! I went in and took sheets off of course and began to sanitize and literally I was over welmed after that- The laundry, even new clothing with tags in with wet towels from her morning shower!She is 17 and has only became worse. I tried the door method long ago- I tried organizing with her long ago- Her own father has tried the organizing with her..Somethings go deeper I think- The question is what!?

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