Teens, Organizing Systems & Low Carb Tequila Sunsplash

Teens, Organizing Systems & Low-Carb Tequila Sunsplash

Does getting your teen onboard with the organizing systems in your home feel like hopeless cause?

If so, know you are not alone! Even professional organizing moms of teens struggle to get their teens to follow through with systems in their home. And they also feel like they are just saying the same things over and over and over again.

Today I am chatting with fellow professional organizer Melanie Strick of StartOp Organizing in Wetaskawin, Alberta, Ontario. Melanie and I discuss the struggle she is having with her teenage son and daughter. When they were younger, they were totally onboard with the systems around the home. But now that they are older, busier and "teen-ier", everyday tasks that are being overlooked. Tasks like putting laundry in the hamper or the dishes into the dishwasher.


Teens, Organizing Systems & Low-Carb Tequila Sunsplash
  • Melanie's biggest struggle is with simple things like the follow through of putting the dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them on the counter.
  • Melanie did have good systems for cleaning up when her kids were young like picture labels for bins or singing songs to make clean up fun. But as her kids got older they don’t seem to be as onboard.
  • Here are a couple links to articles about how the teenage brain works. And maybe help you better understand why your teen is acting the way they are:

NPR: The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet

Time:  Why Teenage Brains Are So Hard to Understand

  • One suggestion for Melanie was to find ways to constantly remind her kids of her expectations. Because it may not be that they are disrespectful and don’t want to do it, it may be they honestly forgot. Look for ways to cue your teens by leaving notes or sending scheduled text messages or DMs reminding them. These gentle reminders can help when you are not around.
  • Here is a link to an article with apps that you can schedule text messages: Top 10 SMS Scheduler to Help You Send the Text Message Later
  • Melanie did mention that her kids did complete the chores that were expected when there was a consequence of losing some allowance. I encouraged her to examine systems that work and figure out how you can apply those successes to your current struggle.
  • Make sure you explain to your kids WHY it is important for them to learn these skills. You aren’t just trying to make them miserable by teaching them to clean up after themselves...You don’t want them to grow up to be the “bad roommate”.
  • When it comes to implementing systems don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work at first. Keep tweaking until you find something that works the way you need it so you can find what you need when you need it.
  • And remember in all areas, start with a very basic version of the task. For instance, dump all the socks in a drawer rather than worrying about separating by color right off the bat. Get the habit down first, then make it more complicated.


If you would like to follow Melanie or learn more about her professional organizing services, you can find her here:

And we can't forget today's cocktail recipe...


Serves 1

  • 1 oz of Tequila
  • 1 oz of Low Sugar Orange Juice (about 1 gram of sugar for 1 oz)
  • 5 oz of Cran-Raspberry LaCroix (bubbly berry water of your choice)

Fill glass with ice. Pour in tequila and orange juice. Top with bubbly water.

New episodes of “Cocktails and Containers” are available every week.

Subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlaySpotify or anywhere you download podcasts. 

You can find past episodes “Cocktails and Containers” here.

Teens, Organizing Systems & Low-Carb Tequila Sunsplash
Teens, Organizing Systems & Low-Carb Tequila Sunsplash

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