Hard as it may be to believe, you’re not the only one who freaks out when you look at your teen’s topsyturvy room. Completely cluttered bedrooms actually rattle many of their inhabitants, adding yet more low-level anxiety to their already stressful world. They won’t want to clean it up, most likely, but, though it’s hard to get them to own up to it, being in there doesn’t make them feel good either. Many teens feel happier in a more balanced room, and feel overwhelmed if their room is pretty much a disaster area. Try gently asking your teen if she would like help sorting through things, but keep in mind that teens like to feel their room is their domain—even if it looks like the city dump.

mising on both your parts to find a solution that works, but the rewards will definitely be worth it.

To aid your discussions, you might recommend that your teen read through this book or at least some of the chapters, including this one. Or try leaving the book along your teen’s path to the refrigerator—it might just get picked up and browsed.

Strategy 1: Establish a Sleep-Friendly Environment

If your teen’s room is a calm, comfy, cozy place to be, it’s much more likely that she will be able to relax and, yes, actually sleep there. Try these tips for creating an appealing, sleep-promoting haven:

  • Encourage your teen to rearrange the furniture to make her feel comfortable and the room feel different, to reinforce the idea that a change is being made—for the better. You might even propose a trip to a yard sale or favorite store to pick up a few inexpensive items to add a new, personal touch. Or your teen might want to pick out some posters or make a collage of photos, drawings, and memorabilia. Give your teen free rein (within budget restrictions) and encourage creativity to turn the room into a sanctuary that makes her feel soothed, relaxed, and ready to wind down.


According to color consultants and Feng Shui specialists, soft blues and greens are great colors for bedrooms because they’re easy on the eyes and promote relaxation. Other good color choices are beige, tan, light yellow, and peach.

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