Day 1 of Cleaning a Teen’s Room

I have a daughter who thinks that if she spreads everything all over her floor people will stay out of her room. She also has a hoarding problem. Not only does she mix her dirty and clean laundry in the floor, she never throws things away. Her nice stuff, favorite drawings and such, often get destroyed because there were in the floor and get trampled. It’s sad and I’ll take unsolicited psychological advice on getting a teen to change her ways.

But here is what I’m doing about it on the practical de-junking the room methodology. I told her that I was going to move her stuff out of her room to clean it while she is away at camp. I gave her two months warning and she still chose not to do any cleaning. Right before she packed for camp, she picked up 4 loads of laundry and 5 bags of trash and you could still barely see the carpet in a path to the bed and closet.

Today is Monday, my son and I removed 4 more loads of laundry and 4 more bags of trash, just scraps of paper in the floor and under the bed. We just pulled everything off the floor, from under the bed, and from the bottom of the closet. We also pulled everything off the tops of the dressers and shelves. Believe me, that was a lot of stuff. We sorted these items into the following boxes and bins:

  • make-up
  • hair items
  • jewelry, silly bands, and bracelets
  • toys
  • Little Pet Shop
  • arts and crafts supplies
  • sewing items
  • duct tape
  • yugioh cards
  • accessories, hats, scarfs, gloves
  • Hawaiian leis
  • plastic animal collection
  • bags and purses
  • sporting goods
  • treasures
  • bouncy ball collection

I plan to do some more cleaning tomorrow. My plan is to remove everything from the room and clean it. Then put back her clothes and a few favorite items. It will be clean, neat, and have many empty places left for putting things away. I will store the items in boxes for up to one year. She’ll need to ask for specific items back and have a place to put them away, or else she doesn’t really need those things anymore.


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