Maddy tries to keep her room clean

Maddy tries to keep her room clean

For most teenagers, keeping your room clean is a chore, but definitely not a challenge. For me, it was certainly a mental game. An organized room has never been a priority or strong suit in my mind, and eventually clothes would just pile and pile up (see photos).

I never felt the need to tidy up because, hey, it wasn’t trash! Just my some clothes, right? And doing laundry between school, practice, work, Eastside, the college process and a chance at a social life certainly wasn’t a priority.

So, for my 20-day challenge, I kept my room clean. That meant no clothes- clean or dirty- on the floor, bed made at all times and no random chargers scattered by the outlets.

The process of completely cleaning my room on Day 1 took more than two straight hours, with the assistance of Hawaii Five-O in the background. I ended up with one full bag of recyclable materials (outdated worksheets, tags, etc), two full baskets for the laundry room, and another two Hefty bags for clothing donation.

Over the next twenty days, the hardest part for me was putting clothes back away after trying them on, especially in the morning. This was especially though, because I change into about three outfits a day.

When I’m rushing to school in the morning, looking for something to wear, a lot of rejects end up thrown on to the bed or the floor. Then, when I get home, I continue the clothing search looking for a workout outfit for practice. After practice, so long as I don’t have work, I’m showering and changing into pajamas (although the practice clothes get HIGH priority into the laundry… yuck).

I found that after the second day, I was really benefiting mentally from having a clean and organized place to myself.

Because my room was almost never that sanctuary, I spent all my homework hours and free time in the kitchen or family room. But with such a calming space available, I was able to unwind in my own room on the daily. It also is so much harder to wake up in the morning when your bed is warm and made up!

One downside was that my room suddenly became a hotspot for my family to come hang out in. One minute I’d be casually doing my homework, and the next my entire family, including both dogs, had invited themselves in and were having a gossip session on my floor.

By the end of the twenty days, my room didn’t look the way it did when I started, but it still felt much bigger and cleaner than it ever had. In the months to come, I’d like to take a few days at the beginning of the month specifically devoted to my room, in order to start those 30 or so days off on the right (and organized) foot.

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