Daughter's 19 and completely lazy at cleaning

DryBrushJanuary 22, 2013

My daughter is actually very hardworking when it comes to revision, and work but when she comes home from Uni, it's as if she has not heard of the concept of cleaning.
She lives at home but she is fairly busy so actually cleaning for a couple hours is sometimes impossible for her. But a little cleaning isn't too much to ask is it?
Her bedroom is always cluttered with clothes, makeup and well stuff. I realise I probably should have got on at her about this years ago, but I asumed it wad just a phase.
Not only that but I'm constantly having to clean up her stuff from around the house, including cups and plates that she has used. Even simple things like if she finishes a packet of something, she doesn't think to actually throw the packaging away, shell just leave it on the side. I'm just getting so tired of having to clean up he mess all the time.

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"I'm just getting so tired of having to clean up he mess all the time."

You have taught her that if she leaves things laying around you will pick them up.
Time to change that!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:05AM
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I agree--why would she change when she's got a valet going around after her cleaning her messes.

If you don't care for her mess in YOUR living space, and you feel the need to pick it up--instead of putting it in the trash can, why not dump it all on her bed? Then shut the door to her room.

In all honesty, I had a dd who kept her room as you describe (she wasn't permitted to mess up the house). Part of the problem was that she was a fulltime student, and held down a couple of jobs along with that. And yes, I'm making excuses here, but usually she left the house in the morning and didn't get home until 11 or later at night. It's not easy for them to pitch in much when they have so little time, and are usually tired at that.

Well, anyway, now she's in her 30's, has her own place and it's a complete showplace--she has it beautifully decorated and very tidy, neat and clean. So there's hope for yours, too!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:33AM
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thanks, i will definately try the whole chuck her stuff on her bed thing. I'm sure she won't be like this for life, I just think it would be good to get her in the right frame of mind about it now!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Azzalea, that's what I did with my dds. They'd leave stuff around the house and I'd just dump it all on their beds. Now they have their own apartments and get upset when I leave things on the counter, and both have complained about messy housemates! One came home and cleaned up the kitchen at Christmas, which was great. But I'm still finding things in random drawers around the house! Really, if she's doing well in the rest of her life, I'd say you're doing well. I figure their own rooms are their space to keep as they want.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:05PM
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How about charging her rent? She's not contributing to your household if she thinks you are her free maid!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:04AM
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If you can do it ... stop picking up after her. Just pick up after yourself and if you have to serve dinner by shoving away the plates she left from lunch, so be it.


Or, sit down with her and explain that her actions are causing extra work for the rest of the people in the house and that in the future, all her debris and leavings will be dropped on her bed for her to deal with.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I was your daughter. Here's my advice---Don't nag, in fact don't mention her room at all. Don't clean anything in her room. Don't wash her clothes. Don't change her sheets. Keep her door closed. Toss onto her floor or bed everything (empty boxes, dirty dishes, everything) that she leaves out of place. Say nothing. If she asks about empty cracker boxes on her bedroom floor, say without emotion, "I like a clean, neat house, and I don't have to tolerate other people's messes." Smile. Walk away. Repeat as necessary. Don't argue with her. Don't let her "guilt" you into doing what she should be doing. If you are consistent, you will succeed. She knows she's wrong. She knows what she should be doing.

And one last thing---when she cleans her room (and she will eventually), don't say anything sarcastic and don't compliment her. Say nothing! If you're sarcastic, you'll force her into not cleaning when she'd really like to do so. If you compliment her, you'll be treating her like a child. If she says, "Hey Mom, I cleaned my room," say "Oh, that's nice" or "Looks good." And, change the subject. Treat her the way you'd treat an unrelated adult with whom you share a house.

There are important, life lessons here that have nothing to do with keeping a room clean. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 12:01PM
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I really agree with iread06!

I think you can also sit down with her and say, "I need this from you in the main areas of the home. I need you to realize that leaving a mess for someone else to clean up is very disrespectful. I'm your mom, so I'll probably forgive you for it, but other people won't. And I'm not going to put up with it anymore."

And then feel free to say, "Is there anything I can do to support you while you're learning this new pattern?"

But as for her own room, just don't say anything.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Your letter could have been written by my MIL to her 59 year old daughter!

My SIL has never cleaned a toilet, kept a neat room/house/car, and always lived with her mother, the all time enabler.

If you want to be writing this letter again at the age of 85, do nothing. If you never want to write this letter again, do something NOW!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Thanks very much Iread06, I will be sure to give this a go and I'm hoping that she will become more responsible of her own stuff.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Dry Brush,
I'm humbled that someone would consider my advice. I hope your adult relationship with your daughter will be as rewarding as mine was with my wonderful (and consistent) mother.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Well written, iread06 - that's great!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:21PM
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