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how do I correct this situation that I have allowed to happen??


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My 12 year old dd is a TOTAL slob!!!!!!!!!!! It's her room and her adjacent "attic room" aka "her craft room". We clean her room (I say we becasue she does most of it and then I help her fine tune it at the end) and it looks WONDERFUL...but within a couple days it's a total mess again. It doesn't help that it is upstairs and I don't see it until it is too late. (my fault for being lazy, I'm sure)...But she takes the easy way out...instead of putting things away, she shoves it in a corner, or under the dresser or wherever is closest.

 

The big problem is that I have allowed her to have WAY too many things in her room and now I am trying to figure out how to make her part with at least 1/2 of it. It is way too much for her to keep up with and she simply is unable to do it.

 

I don't want to just go in and bull doze the room down (although I am so tired of it all, that is exactly what I want to do), but I don't know how to direct her in the right way to get her to make those choices for herself.

 

please help me!!!

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I have no advice about reducing the amount of stuff since I have a 10 yr dd who loves her crafts. She has too much but I deal.

 

Could you add in a 15 minute clean up each day for her? I do this for my messy dd. I usually add it on to the end of school so it has to be done before she's free for the day. It doesn't always make it perfect but it keeps the mess from getting out of hand.

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When I work with my 13yo to declutter her room the method that works best for us, and causes the least amount of issues between us, is to set a guideline (and we vary it depending on how bad the area) that for every item you keep you have to get rid of one (or 2 or 3 depending on what we are doing). I make it a no judgement time when she can pull everything from under her bed, corners of her closet, and other hiding places with no commentary from me.

 

This method puts the choices in her control, takes the emotion out of it for me and leads to getting the job done. I put three bins in her room one for keep, one for discard and one for things that belong elsewhere in the house. She sorts to the three bins and then I help her organize the keep so that everything has a specific home and nothing has a home on the floor, under the bed or on the bottom of the closet. We go through the discard and divide into trash and donate, and put the bin of things that belong elsewhere away.

 

She still doesn't love cleaning or being organized, but with this method we have found a livable compromise. We have successfully used this method for closet cleaning, books, craft supplies. We now just go through the process twice a year at the beginning of spring and fall and it has gotten much easier.

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When I work with my 13yo to declutter her room the method that works best for us, and causes the least amount of issues between us, is to set a guideline (and we vary it depending on how bad the area) that for every item you keep you have to get rid of one (or 2 or 3 depending on what we are doing). I make it a no judgement time when she can pull everything from under her bed, corners of her closet, and other hiding places with no commentary from me.

 

This method puts the choices in her control, takes the emotion out of it for me and leads to getting the job done. I put three bins in her room one for keep, one for discard and one for things that belong elsewhere in the house. She sorts to the three bins and then I help her organize the keep so that everything has a specific home and nothing has a home on the floor, under the bed or on the bottom of the closet. We go through the discard and divide into trash and donate, and put the bin of things that belong elsewhere away.

 

She still doesn't love cleaning or being organized, but with this method we have found a livable compromise. We have successfully used this method for closet cleaning, books, craft supplies. We now just go through the process twice a year at the beginning of spring and fall and it has gotten much easier.

 

I love the 3 bin idea...but at this stage, there is so much stuff we would have to change it to the 3 refridgerator boxes instead of 3 bins...HOWEVER, that is a great goal for us...to reduce the amount of stuff that 3 bins would do it.

 

Part of the problem is totally me...I let it get so bad and then i get mad at her...it seems so simple to me that when you take your pj's off in the morning that you put them in the drawer...not the floor. That when you are finished with this book, you put it back on the shelf and not under your bed. That when you are finished with this box of crafting items, you close the lid and put it on the shelf instead of just leaving it where it was while you were looking through it. Why do these things NOT make sense to my dd???

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I had to bulldoze out my son's room. We struck a deal -- he loaded up a laundry basket with the must keep items, then I had at it without him. I boxed things up and put them away. We followed a simple rule. We introduced a new box back into his room for every two weeks he kept the room clean. Once he had trouble keeping it up again, we stopped reintroducing his stuff back in. He can trade out a box of items for a new box in the basement whenever he likes. We also have cleanup time every evening and boys' rooms must pass inspection. We rarely inspect my older son's room in practice, because he is neat, but we must inspect my younger one's. In my experience, weekly cleaning just doesn't work and it needs to be nightly.

 

It's a bit messy again but I'm not worrying about it too much because we are doing a surprise room makeover for him this weekend, which will result in more storage for him. We do a yearly clean out every year before the holidays, so I'm just doing it a few weeks early this year!

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No help here, just wanted to commiserate. Maybe it's a preteen thing - my daughter's bedroom is a DISASTER. Like, really, it could probably be condemned.

 

 

I just can't help "looking into the future" and seeing her on Hoarders some day.....UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This is a matter of developing a habit. Make sure each item has its own place. Go into her room with her each evening and sit to watch her put away everything where it belongs. Give her verbal coaching if she needs it, but make her do the work.

 

this is good advice...but the problem at this very minute is that there is way too much stuff to have a place for every item...so we need to drastically downsize for that to happen.

 

I can't even walk into her attic/craft room becasue there is stuff everywhere...and that is where her hanging clothes and shoes go...and if she can't get to those parts, then those items don't get put away and they pile up in her bedroom...it is a vicous cycle!!!

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this is good advice...but the problem at this very minute is that there is way too much stuff to have a place for every item...so we need to drastically downsize for that to happen.

 

I can't even walk into her attic/craft room becasue there is stuff everywhere...and that is where her hanging clothes and shoes go...and if she can't get to those parts, then those items don't get put away and they pile up in her bedroom...it is a vicous cycle!!!

 

Then you really do need to help her downsize. That will require time for you to work together to determine which are her favorite projects, and then box up and donate the rest. It may require some tears during decision making, but it will help her learn that she can live through the stress of making those decisions, and that she will feel better when her space is manageable.

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I love the 3 bin idea...but at this stage, there is so much stuff we would have to change it to the 3 refridgerator boxes instead of 3 bins...HOWEVER, that is a great goal for us...to reduce the amount of stuff that 3 bins would do it.

 

In my experience by using 3 bins you are foced to break the giant job into smaller jobs that allow you to get through it without your tongue bleeding from holding in the commentary. :glare: We NEVER do the whole room at once. We do it in chunks over a weekend with lots of breaks between sections and a glass of wine for Mom at the end of the day.

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it seems so simple to me that when you take your pj's off in the morning that you put them in the drawer...not the floor. That when you are finished with this book, you put it back on the shelf and not under your bed. That when you are finished with this box of crafting items, you close the lid and put it on the shelf instead of just leaving it where it was while you were looking through it. Why do these things NOT make sense to my dd???

 

These things don't make sense to me - and I'm neither messy nor 12yo.

 

I clean during clean up time. I toss my pajamas on the bed if I'm going to wear them again (just to avoid dog hair). I set books down in various places when I'm done and put them away when I clean up. Even when I cook, I don't clean up/put away the supplies until the end. It's just a different way of doing it.

 

The secret to keeping things tidy at our house is daily clean up times. Help your DD to weed things down to a managable level of "stuff" and then she will be able to get away with a daily tidy-up.

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:grouphug:

 

i think its several different stages, and each stage will have its own method.

 

stage 1:

getting it so that you can walk around the room

 

stage 2:

getting it under control

 

stage 3:

keeping it under control

 

stage 1 things that might work:

day 1: have a "game rule" that every time you or she walks into the room, you pick up five things. do that for today. make sure that you walk into her room at least once an hour. that means that at the end of the day, you will have "dealt with" forty things. she will have hopefully dealt with forty more. if you add to your own game rule that you pick up big things, then it will seem way more manageable at the end of today. you may need to have three boxes as suggested above to put the things into. then before dinner, you could throw out the box of things that can go, and box up the things that aren't going back in right away.

 

day 2: tomorrow, you can each take a garbage bag and try to pick up 25 pieces of garbage each. make it a race. then, pick up all the dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. have a treat at the end. if the picking up five things worked well, do it again today.

 

b) as you wash her clothes, keep them in the family room or your room. at the end of five days, you will have a pretty good idea of the clothes she owns that she likes and wears. at that point, go thru her closet and her drawers, and put things into the three boxes again. you may want to have developed guidelines at this point. eg. each person only needs 1/2/3/4 pairs of jeans. pick the favourite ones. put them away. it helps all of us to imagine that we are blessing someone else by donating the others. ie. we have winter coats in our closet while someone else goes cold. by keeping one and donating the others, then we're all warm.

 

or

 

divide the room up into five sections:

a) the doorway and beside her bed, and a path in between. (so you can get in the room, and she can get in and out of bed)

 

b-e, quadrants in the room. use the 3 box method, and do a quadrant a day.

 

or

 

decide you will spend so many minutes a day working on it, and when that time is finished, you stop. do this until you are done.

 

or

 

devote an entire day to it.

each hour, spend 15 minutes picking up "stuff" and putting it in the three boxes, 15 minutes picking up clothes, five minutes picking up garbage, 10 minutes dealing with the three boxes (ie actually throwing out the stuff, boxing up the stuff, putting the stuff that will go back in somewhere to wait until its time). then spend fifteen minutes doing school, reading, computer time, etc. do this every hour, all day long. i actually have one daughter out of four who prefers this method. it baffles me, but it works for her.

 

then hopefully next monday before you leave, you can put everything back in. when you get back will be the time to work on habits. EXCEPT i would add in the fifteen minutes making the bed, picking up the pjs, bringing out the garbage now.... we do that right after breakfast, but you can think of a time to add it in. then you can add in the "putting things you got out today back" before bed.

 

good luck!

ann

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you have gotten some good suggestions but I just want to let you know my experience with my dd. She used to be a huge slob with her room as in could not see the floor. Suddenly one day when she was about 15 she totally cleaned out her room, tons of trash bags were used and now it is 2 years later and she still keeps her room spotless. In fact, yesterday she tossed out some extra stuff that she no longer wanted. I never thought that her room would be so clean for 2 years running. So there may be hope in the future with your dd and her room.

 

Now my son, age 15, if I tell him to clean his room, he just stands there and can not get started. But if I go in there with recyling and trash bags, the 2 of us can get it done, he just needs me to help him.

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Our family rule (OK, it's really my rule, but I'm the boss of these things :001_smile:) is that you can only have as much stuff as you have room to put away easily. All things must have a home - a shelf, a drawer, somewhere to hang. All of these homes must be uncluttered to the point where it is easy to put things away, and dresser drawers must be no more than 1/2 full. If we had any hanging clothes, the hanging area would have to be easy to maneuver through. No hangers getting stuck or clothes falling on the floor.

 

A daily or twice daily pick-up is necessary to keep things under control. I also seriously declutter before Christmas and between seasons.

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This is a matter of developing a habit. Make sure each item has its own place. Go into her room with her each evening and sit to watch her put away everything where it belongs. Give her verbal coaching if she needs it, but make her do the work.

 

 

I wouldn't do this with a 12 year old. This age tends to be very sentimental. I would make sure your own agenda isn't messing with her head. Help her get rid of the stuff she doesn't want, but otherwise, I would close her door.

 

I think 'decluttering' can become an obsession. Let your kid have her stuff. Every now and again go through the items together and ask what is to be saved, what is to be pitched, and what is to be donated.

 

She's 12. I had items in my room at that age that looked like dumb stuff, but was important to me. I am not a hoarder, and like to organize. At 12, I was very emotional.

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I agree. It sounds likes micromanaging. She is 12. Give her some space.

 

You could pick 4 or so times a year or so when you both work together to help her purge.

 

 

 

 

These things don't make sense to me - and I'm neither messy nor 12yo.

 

I clean during clean up time. I toss my pajamas on the bed if I'm going to wear them again (just to avoid dog hair). I set books down in various places when I'm done and put them away when I clean up. Even when I cook, I don't clean up/put away the supplies until the end. It's just a different way of doing it.

 

The secret to keeping things tidy at our house is daily clean up times. Help your DD to weed things down to a managable level of "stuff" and then she will be able to get away with a daily tidy-up.

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Well, I can tell you what worked for me at that age. My bedroom was the attic that had been remodeled and converted to a bedroom when we moved in (the house was owned by the church--my dad was the music minister). One time we had a couple come to give a concert at the church. They had been coming every year for a while and knew the church pretty well (may have been a family connection), so they were interested in all the improvements the church had made to the house. My parents brought them over, and my room was TRASHED. Literally could not see the floor. My parents were embarrassed, I was *mortified* (not to mention in serious trouble!), and I finally "got" the idea of wanting your home to be presentable for company. I'm still not the neatest person in the world, but I never let things get that bad again.

 

But since you would probably prefer to avoid the humiliation aspect (;)), I agree with the two-pronged approach of decluttering and more supervision. Once you & she get her space to an acceptable state, she needs to keep up with it *daily* so it doesn't get out of control. And you'll need to stay on top of her to remind her to do that. Try to work it into your/her daily routine--maybe have a 15-minute quick room pick up time for everyone just before bed or something.

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I think the real question is: how does SHE view this situation? Does she know/believe that she needs a better way, or is she ok with the mess?

 

If she is ok with the mess, then you will have to decide how far you want to push this situation. Different people have different values in this regard. Some people insist: "their home, their rules", others: "shut the door". I tend to toward the middle, which means some specific standards have to be met. For me, they are:

 

1.I need to be able to open your closet without stuff falling on me.

2.You need to be able to locate decent clothes (meaning cleaning and reasonably unwrinkled) to go out at a moments notice if I so choose.

3.I need a walk way to take things to your room that leaves my feet unscathed by rogue legos.

4.There is to be absolutely no eating or drinking in the bedroom.

 

You will note that these standards address the issues that are important to me and how the room affects me, not the child. They are also specific and measurable. While these don't need to be your standards, you might consider adopting something like it, that addresses the issues that are most important to YOU.

 

IF she does see that her situation is out of control, then I think you need to help her purge, in a modified manner. Until a lot of purging is done,

I wouldn't even think of attempting to clean. I would modify the 3 bin method down to 2 (donate, trash), and I would make it a shoebox size container for donate and a walmart sized bag for trash. I would ask her to fill them both each day until there is a reasonable amount of stuff out of the room. You are NOT going to be there while she is selecting stuff. She needs time and mental space to make her selections. Your presence will hinder that. Yes, it will take quite some time, maybe even a couple of months. But if she has pack-rat tendencies, it might help to keep her from getting overwhelmed to only have to fill a small container. The goal isn't going to be to hurry up and get the room clean. The goal is going to be to build life long skill.

 

You will also institute the 1 in 1 out rule. She brings ANYTHING new in, she must bring something else out. This rule stays forever.

 

While this purging is going on, don't even think of cleaning or putting anything away. You are JUST getting rid of stuff.

 

Once you have it down to a manageable level, talk to her about how she uses things. Help her think about what systems make sense to her way of thinking and help her put that those in place. And think yourself about what is really and truly important to you. Think about what level of cleanliness you reallllly need, down to it's simplest level, and give her specific, measurable instructions about those. Then institute the discipline, but just about those things, be blind to all other things. If you want her to have unwrinkled clothes when you go out and she doesn't, that's something to discipline her about. But if she does have unwrinkled clothes when you want to go out, then turn a blind eye to the other clothes on the floor.

 

Anyhoo, that's my idea. Good luck! She'll be out of the house soon and it will all be her problem!

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Well, with my dd I have her pick up her room before bedtime. I always kiss her goodnight so I know if the room is tidy or not.

 

My other suggestion is multifaceted,

 

1. Clean the rooms, one a day. Take out the trash, put things where it's suppose to be and so on.

 

2. A week later, go through the stuff and get rid of what she no longer likes or plays with. Sounds so easy, is actually very hard. Generally if a toy hs dust on it it is time to go IMO.

 

3. Keep in mind that at this age (preteens and sometimes teens) their stuff literally defines who they are in their minds. My dd has never, not once, played with the Monster High dolls I have bought her. She hasn't played with her wooden instruments since she was about six. However, she thinks of herself as a Monster High fan and a musician so those toys are still around.

 

4. In the end, they will grow up and move out and live in a tiny apartment that will greatly restrict their ability to have a bunch of stuff, so hoarding is unlikely.

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update:

 

dd and I worked most of the day in her two spaces. they both look MUCH better now. We took out 5 tall kitchen garbage bags out to the trash...and that alone made a lot of room. There is actually space enough for all of her stuff....IF she puts it there...and that is the crux of the problem.

 

You all have given me many good ideas and I greatly appreicate it....I also appreciate the reminder that kids her age are sentimental and their stufff does define them...and her craft stuff is my daughter through and through and that is why I don't have the heart to make her get rid of stuff that is important to her...HOWEVER, the big wadded up mess of yarn that would have taken years to detangle went in the trash...even with some tears...but I explained to her, that if it was really THAT important, she would have taken better care of it in the beginning.

 

I hope we can both stay on top of it this time.

 

thanks again.

 

now off the more Disney planning...plane leaves 11 am Tuesday morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It's great that you made progress!

 

I have to disagree with allowing it to get bad because of age. My dd would much prefer her room be trashed, but i can't allow it for health reasons. She has a dustmite allergy so severe, she's needed oral steroids twice in 2012. The second reaction and asthma attack is when i realized what her allergy was and how severe it is. "Stuff" is not really an option for her. Clean clothing MUST be put away. Dirty clothing MUST be put in the hamper in the bathroom. Her floor (carpet that i cant do anything about) MUST be vacuumed a couple times per week. I cant vacuum if i cant get in there.

 

We're still working on these new habits daily, but we have no choice.

 

Allergies or not, i dont see much wrong with requiring a level of clean be maintained.

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My 12 year old dd is a TOTAL slob!!!!!!!!!!! It's her room and her adjacent "attic room" aka "her craft room". We clean her room (I say we becasue she does most of it and then I help her fine tune it at the end) and it looks WONDERFUL...but within a couple days it's a total mess again. It doesn't help that it is upstairs and I don't see it until it is too late. (my fault for being lazy, I'm sure)...But she takes the easy way out...instead of putting things away, she shoves it in a corner, or under the dresser or wherever is closest.

 

The big problem is that I have allowed her to have WAY too many things in her room and now I am trying to figure out how to make her part with at least 1/2 of it. It is way too much for her to keep up with and she simply is unable to do it.

 

I don't want to just go in and bull doze the room down (although I am so tired of it all, that is exactly what I want to do), but I don't know how to direct her in the right way to get her to make those choices for herself.

 

please help me!!!

 

How about a Modified FlyLady schedule, tailored just for her? Sounds like she needs "routines," but not big complicated ones.

 

:grouphug:

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Have you talked to your daughter about getting rid of stuff?

 

My boys were having trouble cleaning their playroom. It was overwhelming. I told them, "You can't keep it clean, because it's just too much."

 

I expected arguments and tears, but they agreed with me. They were just as sick of trying to clean it as I was.

 

We sorted the tosy, I bought plastic containers (yes, I did--and I normally don't buy stuff like that) and we put the toys they rarely played with in the containers in the attic. And over the past few months, we sometimes get rid of the stuff in the containers--when they're ready. We still have other stuff in there, in case they want to play with it later.

 

Find out if your daughter is just as irritated with all the stuff as you are. See if she's willing to box it up for awhile before getting rid of it.

 

ETA: Oops--I didn't read your update that you've already decluttered a lot.

Edited by Garga
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you have gotten some good suggestions but I just want to let you know my experience with my dd. She used to be a huge slob with her room as in could not see the floor. Suddenly one day when she was about 15 she totally cleaned out her room, tons of trash bags were used and now it is 2 years later and she still keeps her room spotless. In fact, yesterday she tossed out some extra stuff that she no longer wanted. I never thought that her room would be so clean for 2 years running. So there may be hope in the future with your dd and her room.

 

:iagree: My sons room at 12 was terrible but now he is very neat, his sister was neat at 12 and now it quite a bit messy. When it gets really bad I help them. If they complain about helping I offer to do it for them......when they see the pile of garbage bags and my way of doing it for them, helping seems like a great idea. I have also given them a certain amount of time to get it cleaned up after which time I come in with garbage bags. I have only had to do that once with each child. Now when I say clean it up and whatever you leave is mine they get busy. It is amazing what mom found under beds and such when they thought they had gotten all their treasures picked up.

 

I reserve the right to not throw things away....such as jackets and tennis shoes or a prized stuffed animal they did not realize brother had in his room that was being given the ultimatum....although she thought I had thrown it away for months.

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Have you heard of FLYLADY? She is an online house cleaning guru...well she coaches on how to keep it clean in easy 15 min a day ideas.I know sometimes you must just dive in an tackle the area....a threat con clean up/out. After that is done though these have helped us keep it from getting bad again.:)

 

We have found 3 to be really helpful.

 

27 fling boogie - you grab a bag and find 27 things to throw away. That takes care of trash and can be done really quickly. Big pat on the back when its done.:auto:

 

Hot Spot Pick Up - identify those areas that things clutter or gather...on floor, dresser, bed, kitchen counter ...now run though house and make those areas straight or clean. DING time is up....did you beat the clock? Pat on the back :)

 

"Bless our home hour" - I just love the sound of that. It makes it feel better to know we are going to be blessing our home and ourselves as we clean. I try to keep it to 15 minute times..( (15 minutes in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom). 15 minutes a day everyday will eventually get any messy area in order. Another idea is only pull out what you can accomplish in an hour. Do that....pat on the back. You can always take it another hour at a time later. :)

 

I have found these ideas encourage me and help me celebrate accomplishments even when the accomplishment is not "perfect".:tongue_smilie:.

:tongue_smilie:

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