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5 ways to (sort of) organise your teen's stuff
Most parents know the mix of dread, shame and horror that comes when you force open your teenager's bedroom door. It's OK, you're not alone. Teenagers and messy bedrooms go together like coconut and lamingtons. But there are ways you can help them keep their stuff under control as much as possible. Let's get started.
1. Get tough on stuff
Start with quick wins first (obvious rubbish should be easy to spot!), then tackle one category at a time. 'Lost' library books, plates, your favourite jacket - everything that belongs someplace else should be returned there. Too-small clothes with life left in them? Recycle them and reclaim wardrobe (or floor) space. Desk covered in last year's schoolwork? Keep anything special and chuck the rest.
2. Avoid wardrobe malfunctions
Lots of teens rely on 'floordrobes', believing in the magical powers of the floor to clean their clothes. One of this method's many downsides is that it's often impossible to find anything (neither yelling nor being late are great ways to start the school day). If your teenager prefers to pile clothes on the ground, ask why. Is it because there's no space in the real wardrobe? A funky coat stand or some wall hooks could be an answer - they look cool, they don't take up much room, and they're a gateway to hanging stuff up properly.
3. Make a study space
If your teen's desk is covered with chip packets, mugs and unfinished craft projects, it's no wonder they claim it's easier to study in front of the telly. Handling homework gets a lot simpler if there's somewhere orderly to do it. Make their study space inviting and clutter-free. Have somewhere to stick pens and chargers, and mark out permanent room for textbooks and laptops. Hang a pinboard above the desk as a way to keep those important bits of paper (like exam schedules and school notices) under control.
4. Storing isn't boring
There's not much point telling a teenager to put things away if there's nowhere for them to go. Having designated places to store stuff goes a long way towards maintaining order. Help your teen work out logical homes for their belongings. Simple is best, rather than elaborate storage that's a hassle to set up or use. Stash seldom-used or seasonal stuff like winter sports kit in underbed storage tubs. Hang a few hooks on the back of a bedroom or wardrobe door for school bags, coats and hats.
5. Remember it's their room
Sometimes that angst parents feel about their teenagers' bedrooms is less about the mess and more about their baby growing up. Eventually, they'll be living in their own space (and you might just get that craft room you've always wanted). In the meantime, let them own their room while showing them that keeping it pleasant to be in is a valuable life skill. You might have to accept that their design style bears no resemblance to anything on Pinterest. But if they keep it reasonably clean and tidy, the compromise might just be worth it.
Video: Watch Lulu's bedroom makeover: See how Lulu and her dad pulled together our fun design for her new "grown-up" bedroom look.
Get inspired with Lulu's bedroom makeover: Have a closer look at Lulu's final bedroom look, plus all the products and ideas we used to style her new space.
These DIY flower dangles are super pretty and easy to make: Inspired by Lulu's cute new flower wall? Find out how to make your own (it's surprisingly simple!)
Decorating with teens: How to style a bedroom you'll both love: Learn how to collaborate with the teen in your life (and not end up with all your walls painted black).
Lara Jean, Claudia Kishi or Regina George: which fictional teen's bedroom is your design crush?: Need more teen bedroom makeover inspiration? Find it in some of pop culture's iconic teen girl bedrooms.