My Teen Daughter Is a Slob

Updated on March 15, 2008
T.H. asks from Jersey City, NJ
7 answers

I have a 15 year old daughter who will not clean her room. Its not just a little messy it is dirty and a little smelly. She also is unable to put anything back where she found it and its driving me nuts! I feel like I'm constantly cleaning up after her all over the house. Of course when she goes to school she is as well put together and fabulous uniform and all.How do I get her to understand that cleanliness is a good thing and mom is tired of having to remind her wet towels go back in the bathroom not her bed for 3 days?

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So What Happened?

Well ladies thanks for all your help. After I made the announcement (and I went a step forward by posting my intentions on her closet door mirror. I knew she would see it there as vain as she is) I waited 48 hours & sure enough nothing got cleaned. I went in the room armed with the garbage bags and went to work.I thought she would go into cardiac arrest when I started putting all her clothes and sneakers in them. That was Wednesday. Today I went in her room & saw a wet towel on her floor. I said to her do I need to clean in here again? The towel is in the bathroom hamper. I figure I will give her stuff back in another two or there weeks LOL!

More Answers



answers from New York on

I ABSOLUTELY agree with Sydney. My mom did that, and after one or two times of finding my things in the trash, you better believe I was cleaning up my stuff. :~)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi T.
With all the love in your heart, tell her that you will give her 2 days to clean her room.....give her all she will need, cleaning fluids, rags, vacuum/mop...whatever she will need to do the job and then tell her that if the room is not clean in those 2 days, you will gladly clean it for her and that if you are doing the cleaning, she can kiss all her stuff goodbye. She probably won't believe you and on the 3rd day, after you have given her the chance to do it herself and she doesn't, take everything and I do mean everything that is not in it's place, put it in a garbage bag/bags and hide it. She will think you disposed of it. Let her sweat it out. After a time you see fit, give her back her things and say, the next time, I will throw it out, now please put your things away. It worked wonders on my son when he went through his slob phase. He didn't like that half his stuff went into the "garbage" for a few days....(smiles). Good luck!



answers from New York on

Hi T.,

Your daughter sounds like mine when she was that age and older. I tried so many things that seemed to only work for a little while. As far as 'all over the house', that one is easy..... anything of hers that isn't put in her room or put away, just put into a bag or basket, and then hide it for a certain amount of time. Tell her that if she is good at not leaving things out all over the house for 2 days straight....(or one day, you chose the time) then you will return them to her. And most important is that you STICK to what you say, matter matter how important those things are! far as her room goes......Nothing I did I just closed her door.

But....T., there is light at the end of the tunnel!! My daugher is now 23 and she lives in her own place, and she does really well with taking care if it. At first it was a little messy here and there, but she got better and better at picking up after herself daily, and now anytime I pop in, her home is always presentable. (When she was younger,.....I never would have thought it was possible!)

Hope I've helped!~




answers from New York on

Talk off her door if she is unable to follow your rules of keeping her room clean. It worked for me.



answers from New York on

I'm 23.. i used to never clean up anything bc my mother always did it for me. Now I have 2 children, and we own a home.. a dog and cat!!! It is not an easy task cleaning up after everyone!!! what i found is that bc my mother did everything ( although she screamed at me to do it.. i didn't listen) i have a tough time now.

i think you need to sit down with your daughter in her room, and explain that the things that are in there are gifts from you..and need to be taken care of.. and since she can't take care of them she shouldnt have them. I would take a garbage bag and everything on her floor she wont pick up "pretend" to throw away... Including her favorite clothes or make up (if he has any. what she leaves laying around the house put in her bedroom.

I never used to like to clean up after i would make myself something to eat... my mom could no longer take the mess i'd leave in ther kitchen so she started putting the pots and bowls on my bed. although it took two weeks.. i got that point. Now i clean every pot when i am finished with it.

it might seem gross.. but remember you have to gross someone out who doesnt think their life style is gross.

if i didn't c;ean up the bathroom when i was finished (example..toothbrush not put away, hair products... towels...)
my mom with throw it away... i went three days w.o a tooth brush and my mom made me do chores around the house to pay for a new one..

your daughter is 15 not 7.. so you need to take a differnt approuch... in 3 years she COULD move out..and she has to be ready for that!!



answers from New York on

I agree with the other posters that responded to giving them a time limit.. But it seems you may have let it get out of hand, and they may not know where to begin. break down a schedule of what you expect done every night until it get 100% completed. Lend a hand if they need it but dont take over, encourage them and praise them if they do a good job, teens are just like toddlers when they hear they are doing good and pleasing there parent it make them happy, and more willingness to comply. Then when everything is done, prepare a schedule of chores that you expect them to do daily, and bigger ones on weekends. This way there room may get cluttered but never to the point it is now.. The biggest thing to do is be consistent. Dont let it get that way, and be the warden if you have to.. but if you go back and forth with your expectations it sends a message to them that its not that important.. They are in they're last stages of childhood and you have to make a huge impression of how you want them to be as woman. Good luck! I think that you can whip them into shape!! M.



answers from New York on

I taught my daughters to keep their things is some semblence of order by giving them 2 days to get their room cleaned or I would do it, which meant breaking out the big black garbage bags, throwing everything that was on the floor, under the beds, in the closets(hanging and on the floor) and what ever was left in the dressers in those garbage bags and leave them sitting in the middle of the room as the hint to do the right thing. The next time I had to do it, they would be at the front door...then at the garbage cans. If things were left around the house, they would mysteriously disappear. Needless to say they didn't like any of that. That was how I was able to remind them that I was Mom and this was my home with certain rules.

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