Organising your chaotic teenager: 2 simple steps

Every parent that has a teenager at home knows how frustrating it can be to see their environment constantly in chaos. One of our goals, as parents, is to teach teenagers to be responsible and organised.

That is easier said than done, as some teenagers seem to have difficulties to follow instructions. So here are a few ideas to teach your teens valuable skills for their future and have a less chaotic home.

1. Divide the tasks into blocks

The biggest challenge for many teenagers is to keep their rooms clean. They need not only to have a neat bedroom but also be able to track their documents, wallets, phones, laptops, and homework. It can look like an overwhelming task at first, but dividing the task into blocks will make it much easier.

First, spot the items that belong in the room, like school books, clothes, etc. Then, take away those that do not belong in their bedroom like food, trash, etc. All the items that belong in the bedroom should have a place: clothes in the closet, and school papers on the desk. Easy!

2. Make a visual plan

In case your teenager does not seem to catch up to the order, you can also list the cleaning steps on a writing board and hang it in their room. It will be visually effective in turning the tasks into steps for example:

  1. Pick up your clothes,
  2. Remove everything that does not belong in the room,
  3. Clean desk, and
  4. Throw out the trash.

If your teenager struggles with organising schoolwork, another good idea is to set up tabs in a binder to identify the subjects and make sure that papers end up in the correct spot.

By teaching them to give everything a place is also the first step to making time management effective, an important skill to guarantee that they can take on a project from start to finish. More info here in this great book!

One of the things that worked in our house to reinforce the concept of deadlines was to engage them in family responsibilities such as doing laundry, taking the trash outside, cooking meals, etc. Have a look here at some meals your teen easily can cook.

Parents know that teaching a teenager is not always easy, so it’s important to set expectations in a way that allows them to make mistakes on their way toward their independence, without feeling pressured or frustrated. Most of those ideas can be also applied to younger children, by setting lower expectations.

Start by setting consistent expectations and stay persistent. Good results will be seen in a short time!



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