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How to Clean Your Room: A Guide For Teens

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Time to clean up your untidy bedroom, teens! (CC BY 2.0)

Time to clean up your untidy bedroom, teens! (CC BY 2.0)

Some teens are naturally well-organized and tidy. They hate to have their room in a mess. However, this article is not for them – it's for the countless teenagers, worldwide, who incur the wrath of their parents by living in a... well... let's be polite and just call it a messy room. It's time to clean your room, guys. Here's how.

Supplies needed to clean your room

  • Paper & pen
  • Music
  • Kitchen timer (or timer app on phone, tablet or laptop)
  • Trash bags
  • Duster (feather is best)
  • Clean cloths (microfiber is best as you don't need any cleaning solution)
  • Spray cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner

Cleaning To-Do List

Make a list -- do it now!

Make a list -- do it now!

Step 1 – Get Organized

Grab all the things you need as per the list above. Take a few minutes to look around your messy room. Decide what needs to be done. For example: make bed, pick up clothes, get rid of trash, tidy books and CDs, clean surfaces, vacuum. Make a list of all the things that occur to you. You can add more as you go along if necessary. Pin or tape the list on your door or somewhere you can see it. You will cross things off the list as they get done. It may sound silly, but there is a real feeling of accomplishment as you do this.

Play some loud, upbeat music to help you get going. It is amazing how a boring job can feel brighter and lighter if you have some great music going on. Here's where the timer comes in. Each task you do, you are in a competition with the timer. Most of these will take about 10 minutes, so before starting a task, set the timer. You won't believe how quickly you will get your room clean with it.

Step 2 – Prioritize: Clothing First

You need to prioritize your tasks. For instance, you can't make the bed first if it is covered in clothes. Set the timer for 10 minutes and pick up your clothes first – sort them into clean and dirty. Don't forget to grab the ones from under the bed. Hang or fold the clean items and put the rest in the laundry. I definitely do not advise you to take a short-cut and sling the lot into the laundry – your parent will go nuts if s/he sees what was an empty laundry basket now overflowing! Don't forget your shoes. Cross off “pick up clothes” from the list.

Step 3 – Make the Bed

Set the timer for 10 minutes. Make your bed. If the bedding needs changing (if it hasn't been washed in two weeks, it definitely needs changing) then do it. You might need longer on the timer for this, but not more than 15 minutes. Here's a quick step-by-step to help you:

  • Strip the sheet off the bed, pull the duvet/comforter cover off and take pillows out of their pillowcases. Put them in the laundry.
  • Lift up your mattress and turn it over.
  • Turn the fresh duvet cover inside out, push your arms into it and into the furthest two corners.
  • Grab two corresponding corners of the duvet. Pull and shake them through to the right way round.
  • Put the two corners into one hand, hold them up as high as you can, and pull the cover down with the other hand.
  • Let go the first corners and tuck the other two into place.
  • Give the duvet a shake down.
  • Fasten the poppers or buttons.
  • Put a clean bottom sheet on the bed and tuck in all round under the mattress.
  • Shove the pillows into clean pillowcases and put on bed.
  • Lay a top sheet on, if you use one.Tuck in sides and bottom.
  • Throw the duvet on top and it's done. Don't forget to cross it off the list.


Step 4 – Pick up Trash

Grab a trash bag, set your timer for 10 minutes and empty your overflowing trash bin into it. Pick up all other rubbish from the floor, bedside table and other surfaces. Pick up any dirty plates and mugs and take them to the kitchen. Extra brownie points if you wash them there and then. Put your trash bag with the household waste. Mark off the list.

Video: Overview - How to Clean Your Room

Step 5 – Detailed Cleaning: Focus on One Area

Now you have got the worst of it done, it is time to work in one area at a time. 10 minutes each area. You decide where to start. It could be your computer desk, dressing table or a corner of your room. Set the timer. Tidy items away, clean the surface with a damp cloth. If you are using microfiber, you don't need any cleaning solution. If you are using plain old rags, then dampen them with a squirt of a mild cleaner. Throw away, or put aside for recycling, anything you don't want or need.

Step 6 – Vacuum & Final Polish

It's looking great now, isn't it? Set the timer and vacuum the floor. Use the brush attachment to go round the baseboards/skirting boards. Check the light fitting and ceiling for cobwebs and vaccum them too. Once your done, cross it off the list. Set your timer for a final 10 minutes and use a clean cloth to polish your mirrors and any other surfaces that need doing, such as your computer screen. Oh, and while you're at it, wipe down the tops of your closet. That's it. You're done. Your room will feel lighter and more energized and you can look forward to sleeping in a lovely fresh bed tonight. Sweet dreams.

© 2013 Bev G

How Do You Get a Teen to Clean Their Room?

Sakina Nasir from Kuwait on December 16, 2016:

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Haha! Its okay :)

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on December 16, 2016:

Thanks - urgh, I wish I was more organised! Lists are my friend :)

Sakina Nasir from Kuwait on December 15, 2016:

Nice hub Bev! I enjoyed reading it. I have always been the organised type. But this will help anyone who needs cleaning done faster. ☺

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on October 26, 2013:

Confession, ElleBee... half our large bedroom has to accommodate my 'art studio'. It couldn't be worse right now :/ I have no right to yell at my kids!

ElleBee on October 26, 2013:

i'm not a teenager, but if you saw my room you'd probably think so. I do have to get on that soon! I am taking some items to the consignment shop, and the thought of getting a bit of money for the things I am getting rid of is making me a bit more motivated.

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on March 04, 2013:

Oh dear :( That's not exactly cheering - mine are 14 and 11. I have a 30 year old, who is pretty good... or so I'm led to believe :D He used to let his room get messy for weeks and then would suddenly get the urge to clean and go at it until it was done.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on March 04, 2013:

My kids still don't clean their own rooms (except my daughter). And they are all past the age of 30 so they are definitely not teens!

Bev G (author) from Wales, UK on March 04, 2013:

Thanks Carol, I'm sending this to my kids on Facebook. I am pretty sure they'll ignore it :D

carol stanley from Arizona on March 04, 2013:

Step by step is the best when the room is overwhelming....It is hard to keep certain rooms neat and clean as they are used daily. Good job.

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