We frequently hear from parents that they are concerned about their teen’s messy bedrooms: towels get thrown on the floor, clothes never seem to make it all the way into drawers, and it’s the rare adolescent that doesn’t have a discarded dish (or five) lying about. While the disorganization teenagers display may be totally normal, they also need to begin to learn and implement systems to keep themselves on track. The good news is, making a teen’s room a stand-out space can help! Creating custom closets Dallas teens can keep clean is an everyday facet of our work here at Dallas Custom Closets, and today we’re sharing our top ten tips for streamlining your teen’s messy room.
1. Stay Positive
As you continue working to develop positive tidying habits in your teenager, it’s important to phrase things positively. For example, saying, “Please gather your laundry and place it in the laundry basket,” even if it’s the tenth week in a row you’ve had to ask, is more likely to help create positive patterns than a stern scolding.
Most parents find it tough to be patient, but keeping your focus on your long-term relationship with your child may help. When you see your teenager making an effort and reaping positive results, take time to connect by expressing gratitude. Keep your tone upbeat and warm, and be generous with praise and encouragement.
Above all, continue to be an excellent role model for your child. Foster organization in your own life, and resist the urge to hang onto items that are cramping your lifestyle.
2. Provide Encouragement to Downsize
If your teenager is constantly struggling to keep a tidy bedroom, even for a week or two, pause and ask yourself: "Does my kid have too much stuff?" With each passing birthday and holiday season, many modern day children and teens face a similar battle: an influx of new items, but no plan to remove items to make space.
Consider implementing a routine that allows your teenager to take stock of their belongings before each wave of gifts. Saying something like, “Wow, another birthday is just around the corner! How exciting. I think this is the time to start creating space for the gifts you’re expecting.”
If you meet with resistance, it may be time to create a boundary: let them know that you'll be holding onto all (new) gifts until your teen has created ample space for them. Donating some of their now unused items to children in need can also be a great way to spur youngsters to purge. Again, your attitude is important as well: stay positive, but be clear on the reality of the situation—your teen does not have unlimited space.
3. Map Out the New Bedroom by Activity Zones
Once your child has helped downsize their possessions to a level you both agree suits the size of his or her bedroom, ask them to consider the activities they would like to prioritize in their room. If your teen imagines creating a room with a new (more mature) feel, how do they imagine that space could look? Ask your child to map out activity spaces. Popular choices include:
- Sleep Zone
- Clothing/Style Zone
- Study Zone
- Entertainment Zone
- Reading Zone
Even if there’s not enough room to fit everything your child initially envisions, this process can encourage prioritization and open dialog between the two of you.
4. Embrace Simplicity
By keeping study zones and clothing zones streamlined and simple, teens will have less to pull their minds away from important tasks. Realistically: comfortable seating, writing accessory storage, and space to open textbooks and a laptop is all most teenagers need to complete their homework.
Items like backpacks that are used every day should be easy to reach, but should have a designated spot that does not take up space in a walkway.
5. Envision Custom Displays
Whether your teen treasures shoes or chess club trophies, there’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing the things you love beautifully displayed. Our custom closet designs allow teens to choose lit shelves that are custom-selected to securely hold their favorite collections.
6. Shelves, Cubbies, and Adjustable Hanging Rods
Usually, even the messiest of closets can be transformed by embracing the organizational power of thoughtful compartmentalization. While old-fashioned walk-in closets were typically divided into only two zones—one long hanging rod suspended beneath a high storage shelf—most of our clients today have fallen in love with the newer concepts of customized compartments.
In contrast to items they want to display, most teens enjoy the privacy of a few closed drawers. After all, a kid needs somewhere to stash a mess when the pressure is on and time is short, and the options for drawer organizers are nearly endless. Our consultant will suggest options tailored to your teen’s personality and interests.
8. Enhance Customizations with a Splash of Color
Most of us experience a quick mood boost when we enter a space that heavily features a color we love, but teenagers take their love of color to another level. Show off your teen’s new closet—and encourage them to love the space they’re in—by adding their favorite hue to the picture.
9. Stick to a Simple Laundry System
If there’s one consistent complaint we hear from guardians of teens, it’s that their child just does not consistently take care of laundry. Piles of clothing become a huge problem quickly, discouraging teens and leading to a downward spiral of untidiness that can sabotage weeks of effort.
Helping your teen create and stick with a simple laundry routine can reverse habits like tossing clothes on the floor. Our built-in laundry hampers are sturdy, easy-to-use, and downright nice to look at.
Using our hampers in concert with hanging rods and a laundry valet system could be the miraculous trifecta that transforms your teen’s relationship to clothing.
10. Reach Out to a Dallas Custom Closets Consultant
Once your teen has downsized, organized, and has become motivated to progress with installing a custom closet design, contact one of our skilled consultants to schedule a complimentary home consultation. Let us draft visual representations of potential closet designs for your teen; once you’ve selected the options you love, we will schedule your closet system installation!
One final note for parents of tweens: this transition period can be a great time to encourage your child to let go of childhood items to make room for their teenage years. The messiest teen rooms are often a result of attempting to hang on to childhood memorabilia beyond this developmental milestone; the resulting excess of stuff can be impossible for teens to manage.
Prevent stress and conflict down the line by working together to create a harmonious bedroom you both can love.