It’s a New Year, the holidays are over, and here we are in 2021.  Our teens have suffered right along with us, waiting for the pandemic to end, while they too have a stream of emotions from all of the weirdness in the world.  But they probably don’t have the skillset of how to relate those emotions or handle them, well.  We haven’t even figured that one out, and we’re the parents!  And just like we sometimes need a little newness in our wardrobe or the house, etc., our teens might be happy with a little newness as well. 

What if that newness came in changing up their bedroom? After all, it just might be the catalyst that sends them into 2021 with a bright attitude of hope and joy.  Here are a few tips on how to change up their room (or let them do it) without breaking the bank, painting the entire room or making it a project that takes way too long.  Little changes can bring about a lot of fun.

Start with the desk.  Ask your teen to peruse the internet for pictures of desks and organizers, etc. for an example of how they’d like it to look.  Maybe you have bins or baskets in the house they could use, or they could even visit the Dollar Store for bins and use washi tape or decals to personalize them.  Encourage them to organize loose items into bins, and then add a few “theme” pieces to their desk – maybe a succulent, a framed print or picture, or their favorite collector’s item or award.

New bedding.  This can get pricey, so if the comforter is still good, opt for 1-2 new throw pillows.  Or even just order covers for their existing pillows.  Amazon has a lot of choices!  Perhaps there’s a blanket on sale in January (a great time to buy them!) they could fold across the end, or a cool “statement” pillow for front and center! 

One wall makeover.  Consider letting them make one wall over with a huge art piece of some kind. It might be a piece of fabric with an image on it they love, and they could hang it like a mural.  Maybe there are some stick-on decals or lettering they’d like to script across the wall – a favorite verse, or lyric to a song, or words to encourage. 

The dreaded closet.  Teens and closets are usually a stinky messy mix.  Offer to get in there and help with big baskets and bins.  Or purchase a drawer set at a thrift store, to place in there to get things off the floor.  Give them a large box for tossing what they no longer wear, consider using all white plastic hangers, and help them make a small wall area for dressing – with a mirror and a small shelf or jewelry organizer.  

Add a mirror.  Mirrors can be costly, but there are often great options at the discount stores.  Adding a mirror in a corner or on a wall can make their room seem larger, and add so much.  They could even embellish it to their own taste! 


A new rug.  Maybe their current carpet situation is a sight you’d rather not look at, or their room looks like a mishmash and needs something to pull all the colors together.  Stand back and ask them to envision a new rug to pull it all together. Perhaps a geometrical one, or a solid plush rug, or something really different.  Check out IKEA!

Hang pictures.  Teens usually have lots of pictures on their phones of their friends and places and fun, so let them print out a few and help them make a collage on a shelf or hanging on a wall, or even from a string.  There are so many picture options for walls, and all so cute! 

Before you start, ask your teen to go through those above seven, add their own, and figure costs of all of their “ideas” and even draw it out on paper, so they can see how each new idea is going to work and fit into their space.  And, of course, a big cleanup will need to happen BEFORE any up-do takes place.  But that’s okay – a new space might be the motivation.  And helping them clean and having fun conversations and laughs might be fun for the two of you, as well!  Just pick one thing at a time, as money affords, and get started on their new room and new outlook and new joy for 2021.

A New Room
by Marcy Lytle

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