Is there a room in your house that resembles the picture? Are you afraid of what you might find in there? So many of us are spending so much more time at home lately with the COVID quarantine; it’s really made some people more aware of their surroundings. It is amazing how a messy room can affect our mental attitude. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the connection between a clean room and how I felt. Clutter affects our minds, our sleep and our stress levels. Chances are that your teen has never really thought about that either.
Talk to them about how you feel when your room is a mess, and ask them if they feel the same way. Does it frustrate them when they can’t find anything? Are the mornings stressful because they have to spend so much time trying to find clean clothes? Often they don’t enjoy living like this, but are so overwhelmed with figuring out how to start the process of decluttering or organizing. Maybe you can ask them if there is anything that you can do that would help them organize and keep their room clean. Maybe you or one of their friends could help them go through one section of the room and put everything into three piles – throw away, relocate to another room, and give away or sell. I know that I have an easier time letting go of my stuff when I have someone who can encourage me to think through why I should keep that shirt that I never wear. They might appreciate you offering to do something to help make their room more cozy and comfortable-something like painting a wall or putting in shelves or a desk.
Do you often clean their room for them? I know lots of parents do this when their teen’s messy room gets so bad, mom can’t take it anymore. But hold on, I want to encourage you to think long-term. They are not going to be living with you for too much longer. What will happen when they graduate? Are you going to follow them to their dorm or their new apartment? I have always told my kids that it is my goal to get my future sons and daughters-in-law to love me. I don’t want my kids to get married and their spouses to be upset because they won’t cook, clean or help out around the house. Sure when they are kids it’s often easier to do it ourselves, but we need to remember that we are raising future men and women that need to be able to live successfully on their own.
Another thing that may motivate your teen to clean that messy room – the green stuff. No, not finding old food under the bed, but cold hard cash. Not only can they get rid of the stuff they don’t use, nowadays it is so easy to sell things that you no longer need on sites like thredUP, Poshmark, or eBay and make money. There are actually quite a number of sites that are doing this now. It’s a great way to make some extra cash. In fact, many people start out doing this, and end up making a business out of buying items at thrift stores and then flipping them for profit. If you have a teen that loves and knows clothes, this might be a side business that they could start.
If you want more on this topic, listen to our podcast episode that we did on decluttering.