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No one told me teenage girls are so messy! (And stinky?)   My oldest daughter is downright disgusting when it comes to her room and her laundry, and I’m scared to look under her bed. Her little sister (poor thing shares a room with the hoarding/moping/older girl monster), however, is a...


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Teenage Girls Are Messy, and What IS That Smell?!

Posted by: Carissa Rogers on Feb 29, 2012 in Teenagers, Teen Girls,, School Clothes, Parenting, Parent Involvement, Middle School, High School, Health and Fitness, Elementary School, Carissa Rogers

Carissa Rogers

No one told me teenage girls are so messy! (And stinky?)


My oldest daughter is downright disgusting when it comes to her room and her laundry, and I’m scared to look under her bed. Her little sister (poor thing shares a room with the hoarding/moping/older girl monster), however, is a neat freak and the two DO NOT a happy shared-bedroom sisterhood make!! (The photo shown is an actual picture of my daughters’ shared bedroom. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.)


Movies and sitcoms make it clear that teenage boys are the stinky ones, not girls, and so I was led to believe that:


  • Boys leave slices of pizza to mold under blankets
  • Their gym socks get up and walk away on their own
  • In general, body odors from boys are much worse than girls


Well, I beg to differ.


Girls stink. Sorry, there’s no easy way to share this with you. The teen thing sets in STRONG by 14 years old and a mom can nag and whine, but no matter how many showers—and despite industrial strength deodorant—there is still a just-woke-up, morning girl smell that could knock over a hippo.


I once heard a child psychology expert talking about teens and bedrooms. He said you really have to think about their rooms like hotel rooms. When you’re on vacation you aren’t there for the hotel room; instead, you’re all about the stuff to do in the city you’re visiting. And it’s like that for teens. Their bedroom often is simply a stopover and a refueling place for the next “thing.”


My teen lately spends more time at school and at play practice than at home (including sleeping). And since she has nowhere near enough time to do that plus her chores and her schoolwork, and spend time with the family—which is more important to me right now than a super clean room—I’m trying to let it go.  


A lot of that will change, however, when her high school musical is over (they’re staging a production of “Anything Goes!”) We’ll get her back in all her smells-like-teen-spirit glory in a month, after the play!


So which is it, readers? Do girls win the "Teen Disgusting Bedroom Award" or is it boys who have a corner on the reeking stench market?

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  1. Posted by - Rene on Jun. 04, 2015

    i had a French partner once in the past who was older than me and had 3 daughters who had to endure a strict regime of inspections and punishment with a cane if they really worked and all of them made sure rooms were clean and underwear also despite some natural situations
  2. Posted by - julia on Apr. 07, 2015

    First off if parents don't set rules and just let their kids do whatever its not the teens fault. You have to make rules for your kids because they are still learning at 14 too. My parents were never strict about me cleaning room before play by the time I was a teen. Also I found out now that I'm a parents I kept everything and I teach my daughter to give things away now so she has learned her needs and not be a pack rat like I wasn I'm not an expert on teens but my own experinces growing up i wish my parents pushed me to clean my room and also help me dejunk my room . I've been working on changing that habit for almost three years and wish I had learned this sooner now that I've been married for almost three years and im 37 years old and I'm so much better then I was then I was single living with mom and dad because they didn't make that a rule, yes I had a choice but other things always came first before cleaning my room and now with kids I have to do. I wish my parents helped me to nip that habit in the butt because I've struggled even now I focus on improving and I'm better then I have been because my kids need that example now asca mom and im step- mom and they never had order and rules and I have a responsibility to teach them so hopefully they won't learn the hard way like I have been later.
  3. Posted by - Suz on Mar. 18, 2015

    My teenage daughter is just like the one described above - she has her own personal landfill site! She also isn't bothered about taking off her make up, changing her pants (knickers) or even the state of her clothes - constantly goes around in dirty and holey leggings, bra worn for weeks, STAINED period pants left festering (I have asked her to put in a little tin bucket to soak in cold water in bathroom where her dad won't see). She rarely brushes her teeth too!!! Believe me I have asked nicely, not so nicely and even begged. I've offered to buy new school trousers/leggings - she is so totally not bothered. On the other hand she spends hours straightening her hair, and putting on makeup!!!! Yet she would sleep in dirty sheets forever unless I nag her to change them! Help! I love her so much. I have tried closing the door, but it drives me insane and knowing all the mess is in there makes me so stressful! Hubby lets it wash over him until there are dirty plates and cups upstairs; but that is the only time it bothers him. Our house is new and we take great pride in it - apart from her mess!
  4. Posted by - Eileen on Oct. 01, 2014

    In in reply to step father-be Rob( from my 11 year old daughter):
    I have 3 things to say to you, Sir:
    1. You shouldn't be talking about your stepdaughter-to-be like that. If your fiancee saw that, most likely you'd be out on your tush.
    2. Even if she didn't help you, be a man. Stand up to her, saying, "Remember when I had back surgery, and how you didn't help me? There was once a little SIX YEAR OLD who helped her mom when she had major surgery. Without complaint, and cheerfully. Don't you think it would be nice if you helped around the house and cleaned your room?"
    3. If your stepdaughter-to-be doesn't clean up her room in5 days, take away everything from her: boyfriend, friends, t.v., iPod, iPad, phone and limit her to these: 8 jeans, 8 shirts, 10 panties, 7 pairs socks, 2 pairs shoes.
  5. Posted by - Bev on Jul. 01, 2014

    Thank you. My miss 13 stinks too, I seriously thought there must be something wrong with her room !!! Turns out its normal .
  6. avatar

    Posted by craigb on Jun. 16, 2014

    If the smell is really that bad, maybe something did die -- possibly in the wall or under the flooring. A plumbing problem in the wall is another possibility. See if you can locate where the smell is coming from. Don't just continue to live with this -- it's likely to be quite unhealthy. And don't blame yourself. From your description, this is way beyond messy room smell.
  7. Posted by - Maddie on Jun. 15, 2014

    So I'm 16 years old, my room is the smallest in the house and before we moved here I was a clean freak, I never had to clean my room because it was always clean but since we've lived here I suddenly don't care! I tidy my room maybe once a month and it lasts for a week. The problem is my room smells really bad! I wake up and my dad will come in yelling that it smells like something died in here which actually makes me feel really embarrassed because I haven't done anything to make it smell like that! If I have food In my room it stays on my windowsill for a week until I take it out but even after that my room still smells. My mum said something about female hormones making it smell bad but I don't really understand and I don't think my dad gets it either! It's not like he goes in my room anyway! He comes in to ask me to make him food and that's it! Please can someone help me out! I don't know what to do
  8. Posted by - John on Jun. 11, 2014

    I'm sick and tired of people who were once dying to have kids, then now moan about them continually.

    It;s like watching a dog "owner" being pulled along by an overly-powerful, untrained mutt.

    To thos who dream of kids...don;t bother, they're more trouble than they're worth.
  9. Posted by - jennifer on May. 30, 2014

    Ok, ew, ew and MORE ewww? lol.
    I am still at my age (17) an un-documented wroker meaning no green-card yet.
    So I found this family promising to help me become US citizen, I have been working for them almost a year.
    A friend told me about this postings here because I am STILL just a underpaid maid & have to put-up with so much. So as, TWIN teen sisters (15) who ARE as dirty and messy and uncaring as all I have read here.
    They have frfiends over and laugh as I pick up their stinky laundry and so many other things after them.
    To me this is no joke. This is SPOILED mean teen girls and if this is have i have to get my S citizen ok but I cannot take it much longer ok? AND other things I cannot talk about here like when they have their parties and drink their beer and all of that, and thank-you for hearing this, D
  10. Posted by - Brandi on Sep. 07, 2013

    I've been in a battle for 2 yrs now with my now 9yr old daughter and my husband (step father) over her room. Myself I understand the ideal that in all other parts of her life she's very put together makes great grades in school very sociable and plays sports and she puts forth all her effort into these things so I understand the whole "it's the one place her mind can let go and the one place she doesn't have to be perfect or put on the show that she is perfect " but my husband doesn't feel this way to him it's a full blown smack in the face and disrespect for him he sometimes even feels like its her way of not accepting him as an authority figure. He is a clean freak lol I met him and had to change my cleaning habits myself but the battle between these two affects me because I understand both sides but I do feel like he makes to big of an issue out of it and takes it as a personal offense towards him when it's not like that she adores him always has its just a normal part of the young girl I wish I knew how to please both of them but its hard. I've tried telling him to just close the door and not look in it but he has to , I try to pick it up when I can and I tell him she helped when she hasn't but its an everyday battle. To him it's the one place in his world that's a complete mess and he can't tolerate it while to her it's the one place that's a complete mess that she must somehow feel she needs. I say as long as there is no mold or funky smells coming from within those walls so be it and as long as she has clean clothes for school I'm good with it. I feel like making her be perfect in all areas of her life is asking to much of her I think she should be able to grow and become a young lady in her own space.
  11. Posted by - Joyce Grey-Carter on Jun. 30, 2013

    My 17 almost 18 year old daughter keeps her room like a landfill site.
    It is disgusting to say the least. Clothes, dirty and clean (i think), all over the floor, bed and down the side of the bed with empty, festering food packets from takeaways etc which aid in feeding and encouraging mice into the house.... Nothing we say to her hits home. She just doesn't care and now seems to have deliberately not clean her room even though she has been warned this action will lead to her being made to leave home to hopefully teach her a lesson. Perhsps then she will then see you never know what you've got until it has gone?? Sorry but I am not having our home that we have worked so hard to acquire and keep, treated like a dumping ground..... Like my mother always said to me and my sisters, 'thise that can't hear, will feel.'
  12. Posted by - Mom of 3 on Jun. 03, 2013

    I stumbled across this article in panic and desperation. I have 2 teenage girls and a little boy. The eldest teenager is the one with a room issue. I tried letting it go too. Unfortunately, once again, I am trying to appease a 3 year old boy, on a rainy day, while trying to clean my daughter's room. And its the biggest room in the house. Which also serves as the guest room. And it can't be ignored anymore. Mess can be cleaned, but when bad habits spin out of control, dirty dishes, open food under things, wet towels lying around, (in less than a week) it resulted in a nest of spiders that have managed within a few days to create an intricate webbing across her ceiling, and a billion and one wee baby spiders just waiting for somewhere to hide and eat and grow and reproduce. I noticed a cobweb a few days ago and she has been told, asked, begged, handed a broom, vacuum, left notes for her. You name it, I've tried it. She's too 'tired' after school and play rehearsals... I've had it. Today, its getting cleaned out. Stuff that's not used is getting packed away and sent to her grandparents where she will stay while attending university this fall. Like I said, mess can be picked up, but filth needs to be taken care of. I must add, that the rest of my house is well taken care of by the rest of us. Seldom a seen bug. Typically messy by day with a 3 year old, but he knows how to put a dish in the sink. My middle child cleans out her room once a month. I feel the pain of a messy daughter. And what kills me most is at school, and wherever she goes, she's brilliant, and focused, attentive and responsible. But that all goes to heck and her brain turns to mush the moment she walks through the door. I love all my children. I've read all the parenting books, tried all the disciplines. Stayed consistent, set a good example... And hopefully the other two will be a little less messy. Good luck to all the Mommy's out there!
  13. Posted by - Sandy on Apr. 03, 2013

    My 13-year-old daughter is such a slob I've used footage from the hoarder program to try to convince her that she has a problem. She still doesn't see it, and has also taken to avoiding the shower whenever possible. She stinks and her room stinks and her attitude stinks. The last time I went in to muck it out I found a bottle of shampoo poured onto the (wooden!) floor under the clothes she'd discarded on top. I cannot imagine anyone sloppier of either sex; I'd guess athletes will stink more than she does, but that's it. (Lydia, believe me. It is everyone's responsibility to help everyone else because that is the way compassionate people behave. Relationship details do not matter a bit. And also remember that your room is on ,loan to you, you don't own it. You'll learn when you rent from a stranger that you follow other people's rules when you use their property.)
  14. Posted by - Lydia on Mar. 27, 2013

    To the person who describes his step-daughter as a 'disgusting slob', what a compassionate and caring step-father you sound like! It's truly not your fiancee's 18 year old daughter's job to care for you. You aren't related to her, you're just someone her mother happens to be engaged to, so you have no right to 'get mad', never mind, 'get even'! No wonder she doesn't feel like helping you! As for her room, if she can live with it being messy, it's her choice and her responsibility; I highly doubt you spend much time there, because from what you've said it sounds like your fiancee's daughter really would not relish your company.

    In short, as a 15 year old girl with a step-dad in the picture, this post really infuriated me. You sound like a complete twat.
  15. Posted by - Rob on Oct. 26, 2012

    My fiance has an 18yr old daughter, and her room is absolutely disgusting. She has bags of garbage lying around for weeks, dirty plates that have been there for days, and laundry everywhere. To top it off, the carpeting is supposed to be beige, but is now black, because she is too lazy to vacuum.
    What bothers me, is mom has tried to say something, but to no avail, and unfortunately, I can't say much because I am the "stepdad". She spends hours everyday after school and work in the room on the computer, and God knows what else, and is very comfortable living in the dump. I have lived here for 2yrs, and I think she has put a little effort about 2X since then. She has friends stop by, and her boyfriend as well sometimes, and what surprises me, is she has no shame in her personal landfill. The only thing that is of any importance to her, is her self absorbed, know it all boyfriend. Her, and her brother are the laziest teenagers I have ever seen.
    I had spinal surgery in May, and not once did she offer any assistance to me. Just a hello when she walked in the door, and straight up to her room for the rest of the night, as per orders from her boyfriend. His comment to me once was, "it's not her job to help you, it's your fiancee's". What a bastard he is as well. But, I figure, I won't get mad, I'll get even.
    All I can say is LAZY, and she'll be that in the future. She now has one room to take care of, how is she going to do an apartment or house?
    Two words describe her, DISGUSTING SLOB
  16. Posted by - Mike on Sep. 18, 2012

    Take everything
    Tv iPod cell phone
    Until you are happy
  17. Posted by - Melissa McClam on Mar. 24, 2012

    I agree. I have a 13-year-old girl as well. It is true she is so lazy and hates to clean up her that she shares with her 6-year-old sister. I have to constantly nag her to clean her room. Sometimes their room have a odor I can not describe (they can not smell it ) but I can so I always have to crack a window or spray air freshner in the room.
  18. avatar

    Posted by crogers on Feb. 29, 2012

    SEE!!! I thought I was crazy too!? If what they say is true about boys... I'll be able to compare my youngest to the oldest in just a few years.. :)

    Thanks Shannon!
  19. Posted by - Shannon Geddes on Feb. 29, 2012

    Thank you for this Carissa - I thought my 13 year old was the only REALLY messy teenage girl!!!! I didn't know that a girl could be so messy. But my 11 year old daughter is immaculate. I have tried everything to get her to clean her room, to no avail. You made me feel a little better about it.

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