Monday, 11 November 2013

Anatomy of a teenage bedroom...

I have a teenager now.
My eldest, Indiana, is officially 13 going on 17.
My daughter has always been my testing ground given that she was the first of my babies; my introduction to motherhood.

Indiana dressed as a Zombie, Halloween 2013.
 Zombies are her current obsession
When she was little, I was very much a control freak. If she made a mess of her toys, my blood would secretly and quietly boil while I kept a happy exterior. I would gently coerce her to clean up and failing that approach, I would suggest, then bribe and in (failing) extremes, get angry until the offending mess was restored.
I really hate mess and always have.
In hindsight, I wonder why her untidy things made me feel so stressed.
At least it was clean mess!
She was never a very tidy kid. She would empty boxes and baskets and forget the game she started out playing. Eventually the mess would distract and then overwhelm her and she would simply walk away and forget about it.
Fast forward that same trait to now and apply it to a teen and it's a whole new experience altogether.
Mess is no longer messy. It borders on filthy!
I took these shots of her bedroom floor a few weeks ago before she finally caved in and cleaned it. I think the lack of area to walk, sit or even get dressed was the catalyst for change.
I thought it might make a fun post for those of you who have very young kids who think times may be tough now! I am certain there are many of you who have much older kids who will think this is equally the least of my cares compared with what lies ahead!
Whatever stage you are at with your kids, let's have a fun pick-over of my daughter's bedroom floor.
(Help us IKEA)!

1) Discarded schoolbag.
2) Cushions
3) Dirty bowl! There's a 'no food upstairs' rule in my home. Somehow these appear in her room at regular intervals.
4) Clean clothing. Once clothing is cleaned, folded or hung, teenage girls get the urge to try their clothes on for no apparent reason. Often they change outfits several times a day. The discarded clothing ends up screwed-up and on the floor.
5) Upturned pencil box.
6) Jewellery mannequin (minus most of the jewellery).
7) Folded, clean clothing that she was meant to hang in her wardrobe or place in her drawers.
8) The waste paper bin. Either always empty (as the mess surrounds it) or never emptied.
9) Various items of clothing from the trying-on phases.
10) Paper items such as school notices, homework, drawings.

1) Wet towel. Usually several.
2) Power board - precariously placed and often overloaded!
3) Precious standing room!

If there were a fourth picture here, it would feature the upstairs landing outside her bedroom. More towels, underwear, clothing and school uniform - all thrown on the floor every day.
In case you are wondering why I don't clean it up (and I used to)...I raise my kids to be independent! A 13 year old is old enough to learn to care for her own possessions. Nagging and bribery work well on this age group! If she wants something, she works for it.
Perhaps one day she will be taking this same picture of her own child's room.

Do you have a teenager who lives like this? Tell me your story!
Are you dreading teenage mess if you are a parent of younger kids?
If you had teenagers long ago - tell me when it gets better!
All comments are appreciated!


  1. My future lol. I have two girls almost 9 & 10 1/2 My oldest takes after me and sounds like your daughter. As an adult I manage it better (ie neat piles vs strewn everywhere) but te 10yo drops things all over her room already. She will get an urge and completely reorganise her room and desk and two hours later it falls apart again (it is only n those reorganise days that her desk surface bus clear lol)

  2. My teens are actually tidier than me, but that isn't hard.

    1. It's odd how kids become the opposite of their parents. I bet if I were really messy, they'd all be super tidy.

  3. I have a 21yo and I land up closing the bedroom door on her 'floor robe' - she has more clothes on the floor than in her cupboard. I used to let it worry me then I realised that it was stressing me out and she didn't give a rats ! So I started just closing her door. She normally tidies it every couple of weeks when it's time to clean - but if she is happy living in a mess, who am I to complain so long as i don't have to live in the same mess !
    Good luck !

    1. It used to kill me every day spending an hour in there so I quit about a year ago. It's devastating when they trash it after you have put in so much effort. I think we can officially retreat from teen clean when they reach high school. It's on them to be tidy from there on!

  4. OMG yes yes YES! Miss Almost-17's room is just as bad. We gave it a makeover and let her decorate it nicely, thinking that would inspire her to keep it tidy. Nope. Nowadays I just kick the stuff left out in the hall into her room, and shut the door.

    Visiting today from #TeamIBOT xxx

    1. Lol! Janet, I do the same - the kicking of the stuff back into the room and shutting the door! There's only so much cleaning we can fit into a day and that is just no longer my domain!

  5. My kids are 5, 3 and 2 and are already like that, I'm screwed. Shut the door, take a deep breath and pick your battles xx

  6. Oooh, a great lesson I'll keep in mind for the future. Scary. I used to pay my brothers to clean my room every couple of weeks - it worked, too. They got money and I got to do nothing.

  7. My three are already so very, very messy... I am afraid! x

  8. A bad word entered my head when I saw those pictures. My two are still little. Thanks for the heads up to their future years...

  9. I have two boys and let me tell you there are times i wish that i had a hazmat suit!

  10. I promise you I was and am your daughter. I get overwhelmed by mess, but I can't seem to put things where they should go before things become a mess. My mind moves so fast that my body must follow. So I hired a cleaning lady :D

  11. My three boys could make your daughter's room look VERY clean! I've often thought someone should have a linky party where we all linked up our kids rooms! When smells start coming from it...I start getting a little loud.

  12. Indiana dressed as a Zombie, Halloween 2013. Zombies ...


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