Enter at your own risk

Avery Illustration - Kids rooms - 300dpi

If you have teenagers and their bedrooms could feature on a double page spread in a glossy home magazine I say bravo…and how do you do it?

Once upon a time when my ‘man boys’ were chubby cheeked, dungaree wearing, Toy Story fanatics we had kids bedrooms that were ordered and cute. You know the kind, shelves lined with books and trophies, baskets of toys and co-ordinated everything.

Yes, I was a totally organised and together mumma who exhaled in delight at the sight of a tidy and ordered bedroom. Please don’t hold that against me.

I don’t know how it happens but I can tell you that somewhere between 14 and 16 my boys’ bedrooms morphed into respective versions of the TV series Hoarders, on steroids, and a rubbish tip! One is clean but messy and the other is to be avoided at all costs. Seriously, enter at your own risk!

I used to be crazy house proud (driving my family crazy in the process) and everything was ordered, in its place and styled to the max. Then a couple of years ago I found myself going through chemotherapy.

It turns out, chemo has a way of knocking the stuffing out of you, so as you can imagine housework became less important and like Elsa from Frozen I had to find a way to ‘let it go’.

This was also around the same time the boys rooms were producing glasses and cereal bowls resembling science experiments, and towels suddenly became the floor covering of choice.

It wasn’t pretty and I’d often lose my mind trying to reconcile how the cute dungaree wearing kid morphed into a man boy who seemed to enjoy chillaxin amongst chaos in his bedroom.

As parents we can rant, lecture or bribe our teens to tidy their rooms or we can close the door and ‘let it go’. Can you guess which path I choose?

Well with one son the bedroom the door remains firmly closed, but son number two shows signs of reform, so there’s a glimmer of hope. It’s ever so slim but I’m grabbing it firmly.

This is the kid at whom we throw all our best organisational tools, so for the love of IKEA here’s my seven tidy teen room tips…not guaranteed to work, but give them a crack anyway.

  1. Hampers are your only chance of being able to see the floor coverings. Have a hamper for dirty clothes and one for clean clothes waiting to be put away. Yup, that’s right, teach them to fold and hang their own clothes.
  2. Hooks for hats, jackets and bags. Worked when they were two didn’t it? Enough said!
  3. Whiteboards are an absolute gift for keeping track of dates, deadlines and reminders. We keep one in the bedroom which saves nagging, and we hope being organised will rub off into other areas of your teen’s life, like order in the bedroom.
  4. Ditch blankets and go for a simple doona, making the bed will be quick and easy, even for the laziest of teens..no excuses.
  5. We have powerpoints installed inside the built-in wardrobe for charging computers and phones, this keeps cords and chargers neatly tucked away.
  6. NO food in the bedroom. I know to a teen a bed can look remarkably like a dining table and in my home the breakfast bowls go missing only to reappear days later from the depths of the bedroom. Keeping food out of the bedroom means your dinner set stays together and teens will mingle more often with the family…even if it is just for food.
  7. Remember, your teen’s bedroom is not a reflection of your skills as a parent. This is a time in their life where they are muddled, soul searching, angst ridden, lazy, under pressure, busy, tired and in no mood for lectures…so let it go. It’s just a phase and won’t last forever. Choose your battles – there’s more pressing issues we need to tackle with teens than the state of their bedroom. I’m not saying ‘give up’ just ‘rest up’!

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