Usually the first step is to find the floor!
Usually teens (like most of us) have too much “stuff”. There is more stuff than places to put the stuff – so it is easier to just throw it on the floor. Keep in mind this isn’t always the case. My oldest son (at home) has plenty of storage space…but stuff is still on the floor – but he could still stand to declutter again.
Starting at the Beginning means starting with Sorting
Be armed with Black trash bags (trash) and white trash bags (donate).
Then remember your sorting basics. Don’t spend more time on each item than about 5-10 seconds. You don’t want to start reminiscing or you will never get the job done. If they still have all kinds of stuffed animals or toys from their childhood (and they are teens)..help them pick out a couple special ones to keep (if they want to keep any). Take pictures of others if they are having a hard time deciding or not sure about getting rid of things.
If there are clothes that you need to keep to pass down to other children in your family. I suggest clear bins (so you can see what is in them) and be sure to label them well.
Work with them and have them decide: Make paper sorting cards to help remember what to do with their things.
1) Keep – Do I LOVE it? Do I WEAR it? Do I USE it? Does it FIT?
2) Donate – I DON’T like it and will not wear it, It DOESN’T fit, I DON’T use it.
3) Move – It doesn’t BELONG in my Bedroom
4) Storage - This can be season sports supplies or things they need to keep but don’t use but once or twice a year.
5) Trash – It is trash, broken, torn or worn out
Let them just make piles (they love piles anyway right?) on the floor for the different categories. If there is not floor space to begin with. I suggest piling everything in one big pile and then going through it.