My daughter doesn't clean her room...advice?

I have a 10 year old daughter who cannot listen. We ask her to clean her room, she keeps it clean for MAYBE 45 minutes and it’s TRASHED again. I’m talking can’t even walk through it. We’ve taken phone and TV, still doesn’t care to listen or keep things clean. Would it be awful of me to take everything out of the room but bed, 7 outfits, and books??? Is that too mean?? I don’t know what else to do.


Okay I love a clean house, everything has a place !

However I have had to let go of my kids room. We have set some rules. No food of any kind since she’s not clean. Some things you have to just let go of. My kiddo has gotten better as she’s grown


Let her friends come around and see how clean she keeps it

I’d help her clean it and talk bout responsibility and taking pride in your room and if she doesn’t keep it clean and won’t clean it take everything

I have had to do this with my 10yr for doing exact same thing!

I was like this my mom cleaned my room till I was 21 and moved out. Am 40 now and my room is still a mess … Just the room through I keep my living room kitchen bathroom very clean no clutter. Just don’t enter my room u may get lost lol :laughing:

My friend did that with her kid and she could earn items back with good behavior and good days. It worked like a charm.

My kids only have bedding and their clothes in their rooms. I don’t allow books or toys in there. We have a play room for that. I refuse to let my kids rooms become a disaster.

If she refuses to keep it clean then take it all away and let her earn it back when she can keep it clean.


Make it an everyday day thing. After school she does her homework and a few chores such as cleaning her room. IF she doesn’t do it then she gets zero privileges for the evening. No TV, tablet, phone, etc until she does it. Make it an everyday thing. If she doesn’t do it then she gets absolutely no privileges. She will eventually get tired of not getting to do anything fun. Also once or twice a month help her deep clean her room. Declutter, organize, and let her donate the things she doesn’t want. Knowing she has your help sometimes will help too. I also started at a super young age though. They want another toy they put up the one they originally had. And now I have no issues with mine. Also it’s not against the law to strip their rooms of everything but a bed and clothes.


I read a tip, get black rice and put it in her room show her telling her she has a mouse in there ., and unless she wants in in her room. She needs to clean it.
Otherwise do what I do and get a garage bag and start bagging everything on the floor telling her it’s going in the bin no matter what it is. Watch how fast they clean. I have 3 girls so I know the struggle. Good luck


My daughter is 11 now and I’ve dealt with this. I learned to write check boxes of wat to do every time and pick new bedding n stuff in her room. Made big emphasis on how good she felt in clean room versus dirty… and also told her spiders and bugs love messy rooms to live in. So far this has worked. But I tell her when she’s older she needs to keep her entire place clean not just her room so for now her room and helping with one chore around the house a day is ok for me


Listen - I didn’t always keep my room clean as a child - and had a battle about it with my parents :roll_eyes: all for me to be a clean adult who loves to organize and rearrange lol . It’s not that serious of a battle . It’s her space . At least she cleans it and you get to enjoy it for 45 min :relieved: until she plays again and messes it up . . . . It won’t last forever :pray:


I have adhd and I was the same . You know what my parents did … I wasn’t allowed back out of my rom till it was tidied up and I’d cry and sook for about 30mins but did it and I’m pretty tidy now becuse of it

Tell her that if she don’t clean it you gunna show all her friends how she really be living like

My son is like this he’s adhd he knows where everything is though. Once he cleans up he dosent know :joy::woman_facepalming:t2:

Take it all out and make her earn it back.


Read the this book and follow the advice, game changer. Parenting with Love & Logic by Jim Fey

I wouldn’t probably AD HD going on I hv 16 yr dtr it’s had to stay to task. Mine lets hers get real bad food and all then she or I will clean it. It’s very frustrating I know.

Make her write sentences punishment. It works.

When my kids didn’t pick up their stuff I took it and made them
Buy it back. Didnt take long before they realized when their favorite jeans were missing and had to buy them back to pick them up next time. No money… hire them to do chores.

Um .who cares…it’s her room. She needs her own space. If it bothers you then just close the door so you don’t have to look at it


Desperate things calls for desperate measures

Maybe she needs help to work out how to do it. Why not try doing it together and discuss ideas to keep it under control.


Have you had her tested/screened for ADHD or possibly depression? I’m not saying that either is the case however both of these diagnosis can often times manifest in cluttered rooms/personal space. The act of cleaning it and keeping it clean is often a struggle mentally and emotionally.

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Read the this book and follow the advice, game changer. Parenting with Love & Logic by Jim Fey

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I’ve taken everything out of my kids room due to shitty behavior. We’ve even taken a door off.
But maybe try warning her that if she doesn’t pick up her toys your going to come in with a black garbage bag and throw it all out. Once she refuses go in and clear it out. Store it somewhere or throw it out your call. :woman_shrugging:
All my kids are slobs their rooms are disgusting! I have to turn off the wifi to make them clean. Mind you they are teens! :woman_facepalming: it seems like a never ending battle to be honest.

Their room is their safe place for self expression. Just close the door and don’t look. You’d be surprised. My eldest was hopeless at keeping her room tidy. I just gave up. She can’t stand clutter now.
My son’s room looks like a bomb hit it. But he cleans it… eventually.
The 10 year old just does as she pleases, but she knows where all her stuff is amongst the jumble.
They’re really fantastic kids. I’m not sure what they do in their rooms, but whatever it is, they’re happy. They’re great students. The rest of the house is tidy. No need for punishment just because their rooms don’t please my eye :woman_shrugging: I guess my opinion is - choose your battles wisely.


10 years old are big enough to know that they have to keep their room clean. You will not be mean, you are teaching her a lesson. Go ahead mommy, remove everything. :hugs:
I always say if my kids don’t hate me once a week I’m not a good mother​:rofl: the struggle is real and we only try to raise our kids to be responsible adults. :clap:


Maybe help her go through everything and throw some stuff out, it may be too much stuff and it’s overwhelming her to clean it back up. Keep important stuff and favorite items and sell or donate the rest!

You can try that and see if it works! I took YouTube away from my son. And he cleans his room and does what he’s told just so he can watch it. So take her favorite things and see if it helps .

My concern why only seven outfits?

When she leaves for school pick up everything and put it in a tote and hide it. Also having ADHD as many have mentioned is not an excuse to not be clean I have 2 sons with ADHD my 23yr old and 7yr old and best believe I make them clean up after themselves. I’d give a specific time say 2hrs to clean up or else whatever was not put away was “thrown away” but I actually store it away :joy: same rules applied to all my 7 sons…


Have you helped her and shown her HOW to clean? Is her room cluttered and unorganized? If so, it’s probably overwhelming to her. You need to HELP her declutter and organize in order for her to keep it clean. Explain what you want her room to look like when you tell her “ go clean your room”


So many questions…she does clean it, but she plays in there and it gets trashed again…why is she cleaning it and then playing in there again…that’s the last thing she should do before bed.

My son has ADD. He can literally sit in his room for 8 hrs “cleaning” and nothing will be done.


Nope that’s not mean I’ve done it to my daughter and after she realized she had to take care of her belongings in order to have them, she’s not 15 and I haven’t had to ask her to clean her room since she got her things taken away when she was younger!

She’s only 10,wait till she gets 15, 16 then you can really complain, but I must admit they do get better once they have their own place to take care of, in the meantime try not to stress to much it doesn’t help

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She probably has ADHD. :see_no_evil: I have it. I’m 39 now and was diagnosed at 38. I had it as a child and was just like this (still am but as an adult I pay for help at home). Girls often go undiagnosed with ADHD. Whether or not she is neurodiverse, it seems like it’s some kind of useful self-therapy to her to be creative in her own way and make a mess. For me, that’s still quite important at times… to be able to spread my things around (I can’t describe it; it’s like unintended art that my brain needs and is happy with afterwards). On the other hand, practising rituals and routines around cleaning could really help her in later life. - I feel like if there had been more order in my home growing up (my dad had undiagnosed ADHD and it was always messy) then it would have helped me learn structures and routines for daily life. I think there’s always a reason for everything. A child doesn’t do anything to ‘misbehave.’


Have you or someone else she trust talked to her every day after school?
Do you spend time with her without being mad at her?
She’s still a kid, needs attention and love.

I was her and really still am. I have no idea why. Even at work my desk would be a cluttered mess in no time and I would have to stop and clean up before I could leave. I do however love to organize and if I have a system I can do it. I started watching The Home Edit and it changed my life (and my home). They use containers and bins but you don’t have to break the bank. Hit a Dollar Tree or thrift store. The pic is an example of a drawer that used to be a nightmare. My cabinets are the same. Honestly, I am happier and more well adjusted than my sisters who can’t leave a glass in the sink however I do love organizing and having things in their place. She also may need some direction on cleaning and keeping it tidy. We aren’t born cleaners or at least I wasn’t.


We must have the same daughter

Not awful at all. Just did this exact thing to my 7 year old. She’s in the process of earning things back! :upside_down_face: we left her clothes, shoes, bed, and books. THATS LITERALLY IT.


With my daughter her room got overwhelming for her. I had break down sections or tasks. Clean off you bed. Now tour vanity. Pick up dirty clothes. With her adhd she just saw a mess she truly didn’t know where to start. Now I’m a professional housekeeper and have a client the same way. If I give her small tasks she is great on keeping up


This is totally my 13 year old boy it drives me crazy

Does she have too much stuff and get overstimulated and overwhelmed with all of it? Sometimes kids need less stuff to distract or overwhelm them. The Montessori approach to having less toys, clear bins, and a very simple approach to cleaning up had helped a lot of children.

Welcome to the world of pre teens
Its all down hill from now on
You can try everything thing
Its time to get a bottle of vodka and keep her bedroom door closed at all times
And let her live in her mess
But honestly empty her bedroom completely
And just leave her mattress on the floor and bedding on the floor
Chances are you will find all those plates, cups , glasses and cuterly you may have missing
Not to mention dirty wet towels
Don’t wash her clothes
Leave them in her room
I guarantee you
She will get sick of not having any clean clothes, her room smelling
And her friends not wanting to hang out in her bedroom
Either way it’s a win win for you

Yeap, your house your rules. If you want her to have a tidy room, she can play as she wants, but clean up afterwards allgoods. If she’s too much of a mess, there’s too much stuff. Ask her if you can go thru it with her and grt rid of any old, broken, toys/stuff that she’s outgrown and no longer needs. It’s not an unreasonable ask for kids to keep their rooms tidy.
My youngest is also 10, she is also a very busy kid, wanting to play with everything at once, always resulting in a bombsite (to me) but to her it’s her play, I just ask that when she’s done to pack it away So I don’t trip over anything or I don’t stand and break anything. If she’s needing it out for her next day playing I ask she at least makes a suitable pathway again so I’m not falling over her stuff etc. And ask its tidied up 2moro after play.
It took a while to grt into this routine and way of doing things. And yes once a month she still needs me to help her do a proper clean and tidy up etc. Otherwise stuff just ends up pushed into the wardrobe.
I wouldn’t be testing her for anything etc. Etc. She’s a kid, they make mess, we as adults like it tidy of course.
Bit of a balancing act.

Get used to it. Some people are just not going to be the clean up kind of person that you want them to be

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I had a friend who use to do this. Her dad made her put everything in trash bags and acted like her threw it away. He gave it back to her 3 days later and told her next time he would throw it away. Her room was clean after that

I would take everything out. Bed on the floor, clothes in plastic storage containers. No TV, no phone, no internet. Till she shows that she can looks after her room.

I believe that it is their space to do with as they please to a point. Their version of tidy might be different to yours. My kids only got made to tidy their space when it was too bad/smelling. They are only ten and will find their way usually when they start to have friends over

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Get bins or something to help her organize that she can be excited about help her clean and have a system then the same time everyday say after dinner if it’s not in it’s place it goes in a tote for her to do chores to earn back. Worked for me when I was younger.

Everything you find on the floor , rake it out and throw it out maybe she’ll understand

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Empty room completely out and only put back what is essential, underwear, uniforms, a a couple of outfits, and couple pair shoes, socks, she has to earn the rest back

Give up. Leave her to it. Don’t do her washing either

Maybe let her keep her space as she likes it. As long as there’s clutter, i.e. her clothes, books, toys, etc. and no rotting food or true filth, I would not punish her. If and when she has friends over, they may judge her and that may change her choice of being disorganized…or maybe not.:woman_shrugging:


I did it it. All in black garbo bags. Hid them.
Each week if my daughter room stayed 80% or better organised She chose 1 bag. Didn’t get to look inside. Most stuff needed to be rewashed which I made her do. Fold them and put them away. Ny daughter took this opportunity to decide if She got rid of it. I have ADHD and this is how I got my own room organised and helped my daughter. Note: daughter had 3 days of school clothes , 1 pjs, 2 after scoll clothes and her sports gear. Nothing else. Daughter was made to do her own washing

Mines the same, I got her new room decor and furniture for Christmas but I refuse to let her have anything till she cleans. I helped her a week before Christmas but by Christmas Eve it was worse! And Taking the iPad and toys dont bother her, so she can sit in her mess with nothing. Till she decides to clean it. :woman_shrugging:t2: IDC anymore.

I saw the idea a while back to bag everything in black trash bags. Garbage, dirty laundry, clean laundry, electronics, chargers. Anything that is NOT where it should be. She has to do chores and each chore earns back a bag of her choosing but she isn’t allowed to know what’s inside the bag. She may end up with a bag of trash and dirty clothes but that’s luck of the draw lol. She can’t do chores for another bag until the first bag is sorted and put away properly. Don’t make the chores too simple, they should take some time.

I struggle with this with my son. My son ADHD, ODD, ASD, ASD, dyslexia, depression n etc. I try to keep his room to minimum. No toys that does help. But display his LEGO’s set in his room. His bedroom is decorated.

Have you taught her how to clean?

If you haven’t showed her or actually taught her how to clean and take pride in her room and her stuff, then that would be an awful thing to do.
She needs help.
If there’s toys she’s outgrown, help her get rid of them.
If she’s outgrown clothes, help her sort them.
She needs help on how to organize. How to sort. How to actually understand what clean means.

You’re going to need to roll up your sleeves and grab a trash bag and help her.
If it’s too much, declutter a big part while she’s not there, then you two do the rest.

I have 3 kids.
My 11 year old has required a shit ton of help just to understand what clean and organized actually means.

If you do chose to take away those things, then your room and home needs to be a perfect shiny example and not a thing out of place.

Help her? Do it wait her she might need help? It’s become overwhelming do it with her

Take a giant trash bag and put it by the door. Tell her if by the end of the day it isn’t clean, everything you find on the floor will go in it and out the door.

Why don’t parents parent anymore. Stop blaming “disorders”. It’s YOUR job to make her clean.
If you can’t parent her, grab a trash bag and start throwing away everything on the floor. If she wanted it, shed pick it up. Then take out all electronics. Again, if she was responsible enough those things shed pick up her room. Shed have nothing in her room but a dresser and her bed. Problem solved

I use to clean my daughters room with her. She is 28 now and i still help her clean her house.

I put everything in55 gallon garbage bags. (7bags) . Put them in shed. Ice storm froze it shut. In spring gave it away. I kept some clothes, books, few toys. Was hard for me not my daughter. Oh, she was 4 years old.


Put toys away in a locked box. Let her have 1-5 toys to play with by herself, more if it’s a play date. To get other toys out she has to return an equal number of toys. This limits the clutter to 5 toys. This might be a temporary solution until you get her in a routine where she knows to do things automatically without thinking. It does make you the constant enforcer, and if she does have ADHD her attention span is all over the place.

Alternatively put away a bunch of her toys. At regular intervals swap out some room toys for stored toys (let her keep favorites out and swap out 5, for example).

Make it easy to clean up. Have marked bins/baskets where she can put her things when it’s time to clean up. Dolls here, stuffed toys there, trucks and cars in this one, beauty supplies in that one, electronics in another bin. Not too specific where it’s easy to dump handfuls. Help her out the first few times so she doesn’t just put stuff randomly in bins. This way she’ll be better able to find what she wants later without dumping out all the bins.

Use a timer and/or music Try the Barney clean up song, or something peppy that runs long enough for her to pick everything up but short enough that she doesn’t have much time to think about it. This way when it’s time to clean up she knows exactly how much time is left until the floor has to be clear.

Create rituals/schedules for clean up times: school days pick-up happens before dinner and before bed. Weekends add in a clean up before lunch. Or pick whatever times work for you as long as it’s regular and consistent. I have ADHD and unless I get things in “muscle memory” it’s hopeless!

I find I have to be able to see things or they don’t exist, so open shelving, clear containers and labeling where everything goes work well for me. Put that bill in a drawer where it’s not in front of my face and it’ll never get paid!

Also having a tight schedule with lots of different activities and little time in between helps me get lots done. Without tight timelines I get “drifty”.

So home from school at 3 pm, hang up backpack, have a snack from approved containers by 3:15, lay out homework on work surface by 3:20, playtime until 4:40 pm, clean up until 4:45, homework until 5:15 movement break (dance to a song, jump on a trampoline, do cartwheels outside, run up and down the steps, do jumping jacks—whatever her creative mind can come up with to give her brain a break and get her body moving) until 5:25, more homework until 5:55 pm. Help get ready for dinner (clear & set table for example) until dinner at 6 pm, then more homework if warranted, then unstructured playtime, TV, bath, free time until bedtime prep. Your schedule will be different based on activities (soccer, dance, scouts, e.g.) but you get the idea.

Give ample warning of any expected changes in routine. I find it helps if I can “hammer” information into my head to allow me the headspace to make a change.

What is trashed? Toys? That’s not a big deal. I can’t imagine a 10yr old having “ trash” like more context please.

Damn - a lot of ADHD talk just because a CHILD doesn’t want to KEEP a clean room smh . Better drug her SMH

Yea nothing worked for me as a kid

I think taking everything out of her room is PERFECT! Keep up the good work mom!!

My sister was the same and turned into a neat freak when she got her own place. My daughter is 40 and has ADHD and autism. She cannot live independently. She was and remains exactly the same as your daughter. Her room is a nightmare. I have learned to just accept it and let her get on with her life.

lol when my son does that I take his room. I make him sit in the living room. He can only go to his room to sleep and change. I say he has to respect him room because some kids do not have one.

Black rice. sprinkle it around her room and on her bed. Tell her that it’s mouse poo from not keeping her room clean.


Look…pick your battles…my now adult daughter had a messy room but was a straight A student in all AP and Honors classes and is a virologist. Her house is neat and tidy. My 17 year old daughter is just the same. If the worst that you have happen is a messy room…consider yourself lucky. Both my daughters are successful, do not have ADHD and were/are normal teenagers. Doors to bedrooms are there for a reason.

I try really hard not to be a hypocrite cuz my room was absolutely terrible growing up, but my almost 11 year old is pretty close to this. I don’t even care if it’s messy my thing is no garbage and no dishes. She went to her step sisters for the weekend a couple weeks ago and I went in and cleaned her whole room. I let her know that that was the very last time and she cannot go anywhere and no one can come in if that room gets messy. She’s been doing okay but I still have to peek in every couple days and let her know, hey put that chip bag in the garbage, take that plate to the sink lol


If it’s trashed that fast, I’m thinking maybe she has too much! If she can’t clean her things, she doesn’t get to have them. Simple. Don’t just threaten, Keep your word.


I’m with you. Our 13yo is a tornado. She leaves stuff everywhere. I now pick up what isn’t where it belongs and keep it in my closet until she starts to do better (for a couple of days). Then give it bank and start over. In her defense, she has RAD and FASD but she is wicked smart and very capable.

My stuff gets messy too, but once a week it’s all cleaned up so I can vacuum, etc. I didn’t expect much more from my kids, although I’d occasionally tell them to pick up all clothes one day, all books and papers one day, all of ____ toys, etc. so it wasn’t TOO out of control on the day I was ready to vacuum. NEVER food in the bedroom.
Unfortunately, I have an adult son who still lives with me and sometimes you can’t walk across his room. My technique didn’t work long term for him.

It’s her room. Let it be. As long as there is no food or drink roting away. When is time to do laundry she will know what to bring. Just tell her to gather it and bring it to you. I don’t fight with my 11 year old about her room. She eventually gets the energy to do it all on her own and it always looks great. Just like me. My room is not always clean. She’s human. Don’t punish her for her room being messy.

Gotta do what you gotta do. When my 9 year old does this, I clean it, and when I clean it everything on the floor goes in the trash. I’m not sorry.

it’s her way of keeping you out of it. :woman_shrugging:t4:

i used to do this when i felt like my privacy was invaded.

Not too mean. Having stuff is great but there’s a responsibility.
When you take the phone and TV, do you actually take it for 2wks or a day or 2? Punishments should hurt.
So, bag it all up. She gets clothes for the week. Books for school. Nothing else. No phone. No TV. Nothing. If she’s bored, I guess she can read. The issue will be enforcing it until she gets it. If she can wear you down and you allow whining to get it back, nothing will work. Sadly, for my kids, their mom is a red head. :joy: As they got older, the more they complained, the longer I kept stuff. After 2wks they could earn something back. If it was found out of place, I took it again. It took me doing this 1 time for each to get it. I stopped having to say anything beyond “Please clean up your room”. If I had to grab a trash bag, they knew it would be over. All I had to do was reach for the box.

Not mean, when I was a kid my mom went in my room (that my mom asked me to clean for like a week straight) packed up all my stuff (besides my books) and put it all in her closet and I had to earn back my things by doing chores ect… I kept my room clean after that :rofl:

Yep. Take her stuff away until she can respect your authority and her things.

It’s okay to be a little mean. We’re parents, not their friends.

I have a 13 year old who is this way. She will even tell me that her mental health is better when it’s clean. I got tired of fighting about it, bribing her. I tried all the things. Now I am only adamant that there is no food trash in there. We keep the door closed and I don’t go in. She cleans it when she is ready. I pick my battles.

Is it littered with food? If not, it’s her room…close the door and choose one less battle…sometimes ask her to clean it but start helping even if need be but honestly, if there is no food etc…then let it go…

My mother would do that when our rooms got that bad. Only thing we had were clothes and bed that’s it. Boy did we learn not to cross her

First red flag for ME in MY opinion is a 10 yr old having a phone.

Does she know how to clean it?

Help her do it and show her how to keep it tidy. She’s 10.

Pick your battles, close the door

It absolutely would not be mean to do that.

Just shut the door. There are bigger hills to die on. “Mom, where is…….?” “I don’t know, I didn’t take it off.” She’s 10. She will probably get up one day and be Miss Clean. For now, just shut the door.

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Have her clean her room before she gets to do anything fun. Watch TV, play games, go outside etc. she has to earn fun activities. And don’t give in to her. My mom used to put everything in the middle of our room. She gave us one hour to put it up. What wasn’t put up at the end of the hour was packed and taken to the Goodwill. After about 2 times of losing my toys, we learn to pick up after ourselves.

Moral dilemmas like this one will make or break a life!!!

The best way I have found is to help her clean it. Just like you do the rest of the house. kids turn a certain age and we as parents all of a sudden expect them to clean their whole room all by themselves. When I help my daughter keep it clean, it stays cleaned up. She still has her messes but it doesn’t get overwhelming messy.

My 10 year old is the same way.

We have an appointment scheduled for her to be evaluated for ADD.