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One of my daughters is extremely messy and unorganized, to the point of ruining things, losing things, and shows no respect for the items her stepfather, I, or others give to!

She has always been flighty and a teacher described her as "organizationally challenged" No matter how many times I try to show her how to manage her belongings and supply the necesaary storage supplies, her items (art supplies, jewelry, money, personal care items, clothing, magazines and books, JUST EVERYTHING...end up crammed in a box or a drawer or mostly on the floor. I have tried making her room a pleasant place that is all hers, I have tried not giving her nice things due to lack of care...I am going crazy! What do I do with this kid??? She is going to be a Junior next year in school, and I am baffled how I am going to get her to manage her own affairs and belongings. To be honest, she spends an extraordinary amount of time on the computer, and if I want her to get off, she complains that she is sooooo tired, and her back hurts, and she can't help me....maybe you see my problem. Anyone with any ideas???? Please? Thanks for any input...I really appreciate it.

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Asked by Aletaisabella at 1:37 PM on Jul. 16, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (11)
  • Sounds like some sort of behavioral problem. Has she seen the school psychologist? It seems like she might have some sort of issue with organization and doesn't understand basic concepts of responsibility, ownership, etc. She may need professional help. If she's already a jr. that's a bad sign, as I'm guessing she'll be going to college or work soon and her problem will only get much worse without you around to clean up after her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:07 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • Take away her stuff.And let her earn it back slowly by being neater, more reponsible, or what ever you deem necessary.she will want to take care of her belongings if she has to earn them.

    Answer by evelynwest at 3:01 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • Not everyone has organizational skills. It is like common sense either your born with it or your not. It has been my experience that you can not teach common sense or organization. Just love her for her. I know many, many unorganized people, non of them have ever changed.

    Answer by preciousneine at 3:05 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • Besides being on the computer too much. I think it is a chemical imbalance. I really think you should take her into the doctor. It has ADD symtoms written all over it. And if they can give her something that could take the edge off so that she can focus.
    Besides that. I would start limiting her on that computer. Make sure she has chors. My daugher has a few chors. Vacuuming, keeping her room picked up, and putting the dishes away. Once a month we both do the dusting which is a lot to do for one person because of family pic's and nic-nacks. But, she does it. Or pays the consequences. No going out with friends. But, I would start off with having her physically checked out. I don't think she wants to be like that either. Good luck.

    Answer by VANA at 3:22 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • I think maybe you should help her go through her entire room, get rid of anything that doesn't fit, she doesn't use, or can be boxed and stored in the closet. Get rid of a lot, so it is much easier to clean.

    Then make her keep everything in her room that belongs to her. If she is reading on the couch, as soon as she gets up, tell her to put that book on her bookshelf or bed ASAP.

    As for the computer time, and not helping out, that is unacceptable. She CAN do things and can earn time on the computer or lose it...

    Answer by TXdanielly at 3:42 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • I"m with evelynwest. Start from scratch. Remove everything and allow her to earn everything back including computer time at 10 minutes per her age just like in time out but that would be time in! All of which is earned after school work and chores are done and room is organized. Her future husband will thank you for it.
    With that said i would also agree with having her be seen by someone who can diagnose if she has a personality disorder or behavioral problem that makes her feel safe in her unorganized state.

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:02 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • We've had the same problem with my SS. We told him until he can start showing respect for his things, he won't get anymore. It also helped that he earns his own money too, that way he is earning his own things. When you buy it for yourself you tend to take better care of it.

    Answer by feesharose at 7:56 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • take away the computer adn tell her she can have it back hwen her room is clean for a week straight. dont do her laudnry or anything else. wehn i was a jr in high school i was running my moms house. if my flaky blonde ass can do it, so can she. i promise.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 10:49 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • as for the stuff you give her - once its hers its up to her to keep it from breaking - dont replace an item that you KNOW became ruined because of how she treats things.
    my room was messy but i did tidy it every now and then - i had a friend whos room was so bad that you could pick up clothes off the floor to make room to walk and find dirty dishes under them... kids are messy.
    Is the computer in her room? cause if it is than this is why you are having such a problem, my lil bro took care of his things like they were his life blood UNTIL my step-mom put a computer in his room - now the computer is his life and his room is a mess!
    put the computer somewhere else (this will also help you keep track of what she is doing on the computer)

    Answer by vakatia at 2:09 PM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • tell her that you have tried and tried again to get her to take care of her stuff and her room and since there is no progress then she is loosing the privlege to have the computer in her room.
    if the computer is somewhere else in the house set a time limit on how long she can stay on the computer and tell her that if she doesnt adhere to the time limits set then you will either put a password on the computer so you log her on and off at your own leisure or she looses the computer all together.
    Remember YOU are the parent - by her saying my back hurts etc she is telling you NO - kids listen to parents NOT the other way arround!

    Answer by vakatia at 2:09 PM on Jul. 18, 2008

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