A Clean Sweep

How do you get a teenage girl to clean her room? The answer may surprise you, cause it sure as apples surprised me.

My Miss17 is a lovely girl. She’s thoughtful and caring and mostly unargumentative. She loves to talk and chat and say stuff. Listening, not so much.
She’s also very creative in coming up with reasons to not clean her room. If there was a degree in creative excuses she would have a doctorate, several self-help books and be working the seminar circuit.
Not that she pulls out the big guns straight away. If we’re giving her grief over the state of her floor-drobe the first thing she does is to close her door. Generally, problem solved. It’s the ol’ stick your head in the sand routine: if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Actually it’s more if we can’t see it she thinks we’ll think it doesn’t exist. And sadly, she’s often right about this because there are a LOT of distractions in this house.
I’ve tried to explain to her each tiny bit of mess on her floor is only there because she put it there, but so far I clearly haven’t sounded convincing.
And then something strange happened: Miss17 started following Tracey around the house when she was cleaning and asking what she was putting into the bucket, what she was spraying on the windows and what was she using to clean the sink?
At first we thought she was gearing up to clean our house in some sort of amazing, long overdue ‘thank you for being wonderful parents’ surprise. Only, a couple of weeks passed and nothing happened.
And then the mystery was revealed. Turns out Miss17 has started cleaning a friend’s house. For money!
So it seems the trick to getting a teenage girl to clean is to pay her.
Unfortunately, we can’t afford to pay Miss17 for the eight or so hours she’d need to tidy her room so I guess we’ll just keep her door shut.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes,

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


  • “Unfortunately, we can’t afford to pay Miss17 for the eight or so hours she’d need to tidy her room so I guess we’ll just keep her door shut” ….. this is the real kicker. Thank you for the late night giggle.

    I have the same problem with my eldest daughter – she is going on 14. You are so right about it taking that long to clean her room. All day can be spent in there and nothing is achieved. When you can finally see the floor, it stays clean for perhaps half an hour and the next day BAM, it’s back to it’s bad state of affairs.

    Oh the joys of having a large family!

  • I tried the “if the door is shut, it doesn’t exist” idea a few times, sadly it didn’t work! Dad just opened the door and said,”I still can see it”..

    My uncle was up from Sydney last weekend, we chatted away, then he brought up the idea of cleaning my room, the cheecky bugger tricked me into cleaning my room, he saw the state of my room, and said, come on boy, it would take you a whole hour to clean it up!, I kept the argument up, saying it would take much longer then that. His reply was prove it.. 8 hours later… I just finished my computer desk!… 14 hours later, my room was clean… I received a surprise phone call from him the next day asking how long it took me, I told him, and he just laughed and said, that’s shorter then unexpected!!

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