To help our teen to clean his own room here are some steps that can be taken to help motivate him.
THROW OUT ITEMS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN TOUCHED FOR A YEAR.
In our case, an overhaul of the room was definitely in order. He had toys and books in his closet from when he was in elementary school and clothes that he has grown out of. We made took everything out of his closet and drawers and placed them in several piles. One pile was items that he wanted to keep. One pile was for toys and books that were in good condition but were no longer used. This pile we donated to a charitable organization. The other pile was for trash.
ORGANIZE THE ITEMS IN THE “KEEP” PILE.
The idea behind this step is that when a room is organized, it is a lot less overwhelming to tidy up and clean. Once the items not being used were gone, I let my son decide where and how he wanted his room organized. He placed his clothes how he wanted them in his drawers or hung in the closet. Storage organizers were purchased to place games, electronics, models, hobbies and whatever else was saved. I already had a bookshelf in place so that all his books could be compiled so that he could easily read the titles and retreive them when he wanted.
UPDATE THE ROOM IF NECESSARY.
We also took this opportunity to update his room from a child’s room to a teenager’s room. I thought that if he was happy with the room and had a hand at decorating it the way he wanted, that he would also take care of it. People want to take care of things that they are proud of.
SET EXPECTATIONS FOR WHAT HE AND YOU EXPECT.
Since cleanliness to me and cleanliness to my son meant different things. We had a discussion about what a “clean room” meant to him and what I thought of when I talked about a “clean room”. You would be surprised at how different these two definitions can be.
We compromised on the actions that it would take to keep the room at the agreed upon cleanliness level. We decided what steps he would take to maintain this level and what steps I would take to maintain it. We also decided on how many times a week these actions would take place and a deadline during the day when these actions would need to be done. Finally, we agreed that if the actions were not done at the agreed upon time, that I as the parent reserved the right to change the rules or impose a suitable punishment. One example of a suitable punishement that seems to be effective for my son is that he would have to pay me a quarter if he did not have his bed made and the dirty clothes in the laundry room by the time he left for school in the morning. I figure, if I had to go behind him and do his work, then I he needed to pay for the maid service.