How to Get Your Teenager to Organize Their Bedroom

How to Get Your Teenager to Organize Their Bedroom

This is a transcription of an interview that I had with a client part way through our organizing process. This was recorded during a shining moment when her teenage daughter had also decided to get help getting her room organized after watching the progress we were making in her mom’s closet. I always say, “be the change you want to see” and this time it caused the ripple effect even before we were done with mom’s project. This conversation took place as we were standing in her daughter’s room and enjoying our accomplishments!

Client: The reason I called you in the beginning was because I just basically lost hope about this room and about every finding a way to create some kind of a system for my teenager.  It was just always so unpleasant every time we would get in here. It was about more than the clutter, and it was about much more than what to keep and what to get rid of and how to organize it.

And so I think we started avoiding it. What finally made the difference was beginning to work with you and begin to do it for myself. I was learning how to create systems and how to find organization and order for my life and my things. My daughter must have been watching that and wanting to do it to because she one day just began after watching me. And it was the most amazing journey for me to see that my modeling of that helped her to want to do that for herself.

Kathi: She totally wanted it, she’s like, “I want to sort my clothes by colors like Mom,”….

Client: Yeah…and then she got so excited. She got into it after that because it was joyful rather than feeling oppressive and not fun. It used to be like OK, we’re going to do this and then it would always be, “And we’re going to do it all in 8 hours! We’re going to do it in one day!” And it never worked. It never stayed because it wasn’t from a place of carefully weighing and understanding why you were keeping this thing, and getting rid of that thing.

And I think it has to be the strategy you taught us for it to work, it has to be an outgrowth of who you are and who you want to be in the world.

Kathi: That’s nice.

Client: That’s my truth.

Kathi: And so now I think she can make these decisions easier, and if you ever can’t make a decision,  then you just call me and I’ll get you unstuck. And it won’t take much….

Client: No but you have been amazing, and how I think you’ve helped most is every time we would hold something up and say, “But I can’t get rid of this!” you would say, “But it’s the memory that you have, you don’t need the thing anymore, or take a picture of it or do something but let go of the thing,” and also the idea that you’re moving it forward for somebody else who can use it and probably needs it….very powerful.

Kathi: I love that.

Client: I do too.

Kathi: Pass on your good. Move it forward, out into the world. Well, thank you.

Client: It’s been a joy to work with you.

Kathi: And you too. Ditto, we’re fans.

Client: We are. Fans of each other!

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