Teens might roll their eyes at their parents and seem to heed only what their friends say and do, but parental interaction is still very important to them. Among your many jobs as a parent, you are critical in preparing your teen to launch into college and adulthood. Teaching your teen how to take care of their living space and belongings is an important life skill. Let your teen know (well in advance) that you’d like to spend some time with them spring cleaning (sprucing up, updating) their bedroom. Make an appointment with your teen if you have trouble finding time to work together. If they resist, negotiate with them or offer up a small reward of something they want.
13 Reasons Why Decluttering Your Teen’s Room is Important
- Working together to clean up and organize their bedroom is great quality time with your teen. You may find items that remind both of you of a family trip or a funny event. Keep the mood light, laugh together.
- You are teaching your teen good life skills. Bring a trash bag, a recycling bin, a box for donations, and get started. Start with what seems like the easiest spot, there is no one right way to begin decluttering. Recycle old school assignments. Go through the bookshelf and pull out books your teen no longer wants. Dust as you go.
- Not that we’re spying, but teens have been known to make poor choices once in a while. As you work through every drawer and closet shelf, you will get peace of mind that your teen isn’t hiding anything they shouldn’t have.
- This is a great opportunity to re-visit items your child has saved. Those elementary school art projects don’t always hold up. Ask your teen what keepsakes are important to them, and pack those in a keepsake bin. Use a sharpie to write the date made on the back or bottom of the item.
- Donate unworn clothes. Have a conversation with your teen about what clothing items they would like to replace. Make a plan to go shopping together, it’s more quality time!
- Donate clothes your teen has outgrown. This includes seasonal sports clothes like ski pants and ski jackets.
- As you work through the room, do a little spring cleaning – vacuum under the bed and in the back of the closet.
- Use this time as an opportunity to chat with your teen. For example, reminisce about a camp they attended if you come across the camp t-shirt. Ask your teen what they remember most or their favorite memory.
- Use a clear bin labeled with your child’s name to store their keepsakes. Use a large portfolio for large pieces of art. Store the keepsakes in the back of the closet, in the attic, or in the garage. Art portfolios fit well under the bed.
- Use this decluttering time as an opportunity to plan with your teen how he/she would like to spruce up their bedroom. New bedding makes a huge impact.
- As you work with your teen to declutter and clean you will gain more of an understanding of what items are important to your child and why. Listen to your teens, respect their reality. If your son puts his lacrosse gear in the donate pile, that speaks volumes about how he feels about the sport.
- As you work with your teen, let them be the decision maker about where things go. Cleaning out your teen’s room shows that you care about the quality of their surroundings, but it’s important to respect their personal space.
- Declutter your teen’s room once a year. If you start this ritual when your child is young, they will learn to expect it and won’t have to be bribed into participation. More importantly, they will continue this good habit into adulthood.
Many times teens work better at decluttering with a professional organizer than with mom or dad (who already have plenty on their plate). An appointment with a professional organizer is more likely to stick than an appointment with mom.