Teenage bedroom cleaning is a huge challenge. It’s an easy thing to be exhausted by, especially given how most people tend to approach this task. Aimless cleaning would exhaust anyone – your teen needs organization and structure to get the job done right.
Clear out the top-level clutter first – you won’t be able to do any dusting and wiping otherwise! Once that’s settled, change the bedsheets and wrap up the rest of your teenage bedroom cleaning checklist. Make sure you collect all the trash and laundry before leaving.
Cleaning isn’t just room upkeep – it’s character building too! Your teen might not see the value in setting aside time for these menial tasks now but just bear with their complaints until they learn.
Room cleaning teaches them responsibility, time management, and discipline, and these skills will inevitably pay off in dividends once your teen starts living on their own! We’ve taken the liberty of including an easy-to-follow cleaning checklist down below!
How to Kick Their Cleaning Checklist Off!
Clear Out the Room’s Superficial Clutter
Cleaning isn’t just a responsibility – it’s a commitment. It’s a series of tasks that will take plenty of time to complete. A lot of teens lose their determination midway through that process.
Most parents believe they can supplement this lack of motivation through incentives or punishments, but that’s not a necessity. Focus on what’s making your teen lose their drive first.
Think of how you’d feel staring at a landfill. You wouldn’t exactly be clamoring to clear it up, right? Your teen’s biggest enemy is the feeling that they’re accomplishing nothing.
Their first order of business should be handling the immediate clutter in their vicinity. Doing that leads to an obvious visible improvement, making their task feel a little more rewarding.
Most of this easy-to-sort clutter comes in the form of dirty laundry, old academic papers, or used plates and glasses left unattended. The cleaning process itself is slow, but focusing on tackling what can be changed now will do wonders to inspire your teen’s efforts.
Doing this also lets you free up space for your cleaning efforts, making things more manageable.
If you had a bookcase to clear, for instance, you could place its contents on a clean table – rather than scrambling for space outside of the room. The latter wastes time and hampers your focus. When it comes to teenage bedroom cleaning, focus is everything.
To this end, we’d recommend bringing in both a laundry basket and a trash bag. The clutter will still be present, but it won’t be nearly as obtrusive an eyesore in those containers.
For plates and glasses, set them aside in one area first. You want to bring this out of your room before you get to cleaning, but you also want to be efficient with your time. Be sure to arrange this so as to minimize the number of return trips, and make sure to bring everything to the sink.
Change the Sheets
Bedsheets can accumulate a lot of dust and unwanted contaminants – the bulk of which will be invisible to the naked eye! Even pristine-looking sheets can’t be trusted! The same applies to blankets, pillowcases, and other fabric items you keep on your bed.
The reason you clean the bedsheets first is to ensure that all the buildup is gone from your bed! The little that slips past will then land on the floor, which will be dealt with at the end of the cleaning routine. We prefer this order of operations as it’s more sanitary and time-efficient.
If you can’t clean everything in one go, focus on at least swapping out the sheets! Clean sheets significantly reduce the risk of dust, allergens, and mites being present in your bed.
On a more subjective note, a clean bed is also a great motivator to keep at the grueling task!
Wipe the Room Down for Dust, Stains, or Other Messes
Even if your teen cleans, they might not do the entire thing properly. They could end up complacent at the task – cutting corners and ignoring areas you’d be unlikely to check on. You need to get them in the habit of cleaning properly not to appease you, but to improve their personal standards.
When cleaning, focus on moving whatever’s on top of the furniture in question. Laptops, bottles, notebooks – pretty much anything that can be shuffled somewhere else should be moved!
You can clean without moving things out of the way, but it’ll be tedious having to constantly shift things around. If you’ve followed the earlier steps, you should have a nice, spacious bed available to temporarily hold those items. Remember to dust the bed off after that, though!
Some people put off changing their bedsheets for clean ones until this part is done. It’s not strictly needed if the items you’re placing down are reasonably clean, but if you want to be extra sure about this delaying your bedsheet change for a little while is perfectly fine.
As for the cleaning itself, the best advice we can give is to remember you’re cleaning in three dimensions! Clearing the top of a table won’t be enough – there’s the back of it, and spots under that might become host to a handful of cobwebs! Get creative and be thorough with your cleaning!
A dust layer would just get a little thicker with neglect. Your real concern is errant stains that might have slipped your attention – these can get pretty difficult to remove over time, so avoid leaving them long enough to set and become a serious nuisance.
(Miscellaneous) Maintain the Room
This is the point where you consider your own room’s circumstances. What extra things do you have in your room that other teens might not? Just because they aren’t on this list doesn’t mean you should let them be!
A common thing to consider here is plants. Most require regular watering and sunlight to maintain their health. You might have an air conditioner or a heating unit in the room – remember to change the filters on schedule! You might have a ton of plush toys that are long overdue to be washed!
Your workstation might be due for some scheduled maintenance, or maybe the posters on your wall would benefit from a dry towel wipe. Every teenager’s room is unique, so you need to consider a few things beyond the scope of our provided general checklist.
Sweep (or Vacuum!) the Floor
While it might seem daunting at first, a bit of sweeping or vacuuming is probably one of the easier tasks on this cleaning checklist. A clean floor also sets an inspiring standard to follow.
This is especially true if the floor is composed of material that’s satisfying to clean – for instance ceramic tiles or varnished wood make for superb displays when handled right. You’re teaching your teen to clean, but if you’re lucky they may learn to enjoy the process too!
It’s better to start off your routine with some sweeping first. Doing so lets you identify and avoid serious obstacles for vacuum cleaners – damp spots, low wires, and hard trash being the foremost examples. The last one, in particular, could end up jamming your vacuum entirely if you’re unlucky, so don’t take that risk and give the bedroom floor a cursory sweep first.
After that’s done, feel free to use vacuum cleaners or automated Roombas to finish things up. If you’re partial to Roombas here, bear in mind that they don’t respond well to situations outside of their programming. If they tangle on a wire, it won’t stop twisting it. If it stumbles onto spilled food (or worse, pet poop!) it’ll carelessly brush that mess all across the room!
Letting a Roomba do the work would also deprive your teen of the experience. You do have some options here – but if it were up to use, we’d stick with a broom and vacuum cleaner for our teen.
Take Out the Trash (and Dirty Laundry!)
After the bulk of the tasks has been handled, you’re free to dispose of the accumulated trash in your teen’s bedroom. This step is as straightforward as it can get.
Do be mindful of how you’ll dispose of your garbage. Keep the following rules in mind for the best results:
- Separate food waste from non-food waste (The odor can get bad pretty fast!)
- Try segregating metals from plastics (For ease of recycling!)
- Don’t lump in your wet and dry laundry (The same for clean and dirty clothing!)
- Bring a spare trash bag into the room (So you can immediately line the garbage can!)
- If the smell is too much, dispose of the trash immediately (even before you’re done!)
Optional: Spray down the Room
The difference proper cleaning makes in a teen’s room may not be readily apparent at first, but a bit of fragrance can help set things apart. This could also be done to ensure that the room is properly disinfected, which would be a huge help for teens with weaker immune systems.
You could also give the room a once-over with insect repellant to dissuade unwanted guests!
For most of these compounds, spray the room down with a generous helping for around five or so minutes. If what you’re using isn’t safe for prolonged human exposure, be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a clean, damp cloth first.
If you’re spraying something to improve the odors, keep the room’s windows open to help curb its stuffiness. If you’re using spraying something to deal with pests keep the windows shut tight!
Tips and Tricks
Your teen’s worst enemy here will be fatigue. It’s easy to lose interest partway or settle for limited success, but they need to learn responsibility – the last thing you want them to learn from this responsibility would be how to procrastinate!
For their first room cleanings, we’d recommend that you tag along to help see their efforts through. Let them lead the process, and only provide feedback when they’re making some noteworthy mistakes.
If they do ask for your input though, explain it as simply as you can manage. They shouldn’t ever feel that you’re tagging along just to criticize them.
Trust them to sort out their cleaning timetable, but be sure to hold them to those own deadlines!
Cleaning can be a tiring task without guidance, but one of the biggest problems teens have to handle here is actually boredom. A bit of music or an interesting podcast could help reduce the worst of the tedium, keeping them engaged with the ordeal.
We’d also encourage you to request that they mute their phones while cleaning. Focus is key, and even a small distraction could drastically derail their planned schedule.
Printable Cleaning Checklist Template Here!
It can be hard to focus on the task at hand, but that’s where a teenage bedroom cleaning checklist comes into play! Their initial struggles are probably due to inexperience rather than irresponsibility – and what they need most is an organized set of steps to see the task through.
We’re more than willing to oblige them with a simple, but effective bedroom cleaning checklist!