A TikTok Mom Offers A Very Out-Of-The-Box Cleaning Hack For Teen Bedrooms
“It only has to happen one time. And then they do what they need to do.”
The battle between parent and child about room cleaning dates back to probably the beginning of time. The headache-inducing arguments that stem from a stubborn teen who won’t pick up their clothes or make their bed has long plagued parents who just want their kid to take a bit of pride in their own things and their own space.
There are a few different ways to go about getting a teen to clean their room: threats and bribes can go a long way. But one TikTok mom says there is a simple system that has helped her kids get the motivation to pick up after themselves, and it’s all about working with your kid as much as you can — and then charging them for your services if they don’t step up.
Ohio-based romance author and mother of eight Kris Renee went viral after sharing her family’s system for keeping each kid’s room clean. She first notes that there is article after article about how to clean your teen’s room or motivate your kid to clean their own room. Kris then admits that the method she uses in her family can be triggering for some as it is a bit different from conventional parenting — but that it works for her every time.
“When my children become teenagers, and they are of the age that they get to do the fun things like get a driver's license, and get a car, and get their first job, and join the after-school clubs and activities and do all of the things flitting around town, living their best life, in our home that also means that you have leveled up your responsibility for yourself — for your person, for your possessions, and for your space,” she begins.
She then breaks down the stages of helping her kids find the motivation to clean their own rooms, giving them time based on their schedules.
“So, when I notice that their rooms are getting out of control, I let them know, ‘Your room needs to be cleaned,’” she explains. “I don’t give each one a specific time frame because it’s different on the child. It depends on what their after-school activities are, what their evenings look like ... it might be three days, might be five days, might be seven days, but I give them a fair amount of time to get the job done.”
Once each kid’s allotted time frame is up, Kris then puts them on a 24-hour notice, meaning if they do not get their room clean within 24 hours, she will clean their room for them. And it’s going to cost them.
“I clean. I organize. I dust. I vacuum. I wash their sheets ... You know, I just give them a fresh restart, simple as that,” she continues. “But, once I’m finished with that, I make an itemized list of all the services rendered and how much time it took me to perform said services, and I present them with the bill in which they are expected and responsible for paying me for my time and my effort.”
She then explains that just the thought of having to pay their mom to clean their room is enough to put a fire under their a** to get it done. “How many teenagers do you know that want to pay their moms to clean their rooms?” she asks.
“Two of my teenagers have had to do this, and once my younger teenagers have watched their older siblings go through it, they’re like, ‘Yeah, no thanks. I’m just going to handle my stuff.’”
Not only is this a perfect mom hack, but it also has taught her kids more than just the importance of taking care of their space. “It teaches them about time management. It teaches them about responsibilities. It teaches them about expectations. It teaches them about the real world. And it only has to happen one time, and then they do what the need to do,” she concluded.
Hundreds of other moms flooded Kris’ comment section, praising her forward thinking. “I love this because it also teaches them that YOUR time has value. Too many people of both genders do not value a woman (or anyone’s) unpaid labor,” one user wrote.
“Exactly. I may be a SAHM, but my job is so much more than simply being their driver, cook, chauffeur, etc,” the OP replied.
Another noted the brilliance of knowing that most teens shiver at the thought of their parent in their room, getting into all their stuff. “I will also add that most teens hate having Mom in their space amongst their things and knowing all the business 😂,” they wrote.
“Yep!! You nailed it 😂 this is a HUGE motivator!” Kris replied.
In another comment, Kris clarified what she actually charges her kids that have actual money to their name. She charges $10 per cleaning service. “Enough to prove a point but not take all their money,” she wrote.
For the younger kids who may not be of working age, their payment is expected in other ways.
Some users criticized Kris, expressing that she was “entitled” for expecting her kids to pay her. “Personally, idgaf about their rooms as long as its not a fire hazard or attracting bugs. its theirs. they dont owe me anything,” one user wrote.
Another said, “I get what you’re doing but it feels like if there’s something stopping them, problem solving with them would be more helpful.”
To which the OP replied, “It’s not that deep. Being teenagers is stopping them. They need to get over themselves-they’re in their own damn way & Mama don’t have time to play.”