Step-daughter's room is VERY messy: HELP!

posted 2 years ago in Home
Post # 91
3891 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Miss-Mauverick :  So my perception is skewed because I’m old and had 2 kids and a husband at 23… but… does you Darling Husband see at all that he is straight up RUINING his child (even though she is totally not a child, an adult for 5 years!)? She doesn’t have to work for a thing! What is his long term plan for her, like where does he see her in 10 years? I think that would be an interesting conversation for both of them “What are your long term goals here?” and maybe find out how he thinks giving them everything will be beneficial in the long run. Do you think he has thought about the long term effects of his enabling at all, or as PP put it just prefers to do the “head in the sand” thing? I have no advice because I would have lost my shit ages ago. So, you’re a saint for holding it all together and not just taking a flame thrower to her room ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Post # 92
3837 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Good job standing your ground. Your husband’s attitude seems so warped. I hope the counselling helps!

Post # 93
286 posts
Helper bee

Miss-Mauverick :  aw that’s a shame, you really have given her everything and I think she is just taking it for granted. My dad is much like your H, he could never ever lay down the law or enforce rules. Love him to death but he is a softie. My mom was the strong hand and did a lot of tough love. You will need to take on a strong role in this situation. I think your step daughter may need the reality check of living on her own to grow and change though. 

Post # 94
212 posts
Helper bee

by the time I was 23, I had been living independantly for 7 years. why on earth are you paying any of her bills? she needs to take her mess elsewhere.

Post # 96
6814 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

Miss-Mauverick :  Did you talk with your husband about this more last night? How’d it go? Did he pick a counselor?

Post # 98
1096 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I hope it goes well. These are all eminently reasonable items. I would just avoid criticism of her, like saying she’s acting like an irresponsible 13-year old (though she is!), as that will likely make them both defensive.

Also I wouldn’t give her too much room to compromise on the level of cleanliness or the frequency of cleaning (item 4) as what you have laid out is frankly quite baseline and not at all extreme. Where she can have input is on what day the cleaning is scheduled and what tools or help she thinks she needs to make it happen. 

Post # 99
11642 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Miss-Mauverick :  take out the offer to compromise on reasonable cleaning and all qualifying words. 

State the new rules. Do not ask for input , she does not pay the bills and has zero concept of adulting re cleanliness.

post the rules on the fridge along with the schedule.

any items on the floor the night before the cleaning person comes get chucked. 

Save your kindness for: “how can your dad and I help you achieve your goals of cleaning your room once a week?” 

The meeting is to announce new rules, not discuss them. And yes, I come from a family where we had democratic family meetings and voted on things. We did not get to vote on whether or not we should do chores. In fact, doing chores was a prerequisite to getting a vote. With power comes responsibility. 

She will rebel, she will not like this, and your husband will say anything to get you to treat his grown daughter like a child.

do not fall for any of it. It’s drill sgt time, and that is because the fate of your marriage rests on you setting boundaries and rules ASAP. 


Post # 100
2811 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with PP’s that there need to be consequences for this. Tell her that every time her room is not clean on the day her car payment is due – that she has to pay it. And no food and drink in the room would help as well. 

It’s one thing to have a messy room with clothes strewn about, but what you’re talking about is both disgusting and unhealthy. She’s an adult and that is grossly disrespectful (and straight up gross) for her to treat your home that way. I’m not even a neat freak by any means and that sends shivers down my spine.

Also – it should be your husband’s job to enforce this as well. You should not go down as the bad guy for this and he’s been enabling her for way too long. 

Post # 101
2811 posts
Sugar bee

Oh sorry, I missed the last page! 

Great move on being so clear in your list. Sounds like you’re taking all the right steps. 

Remind your husband that he’s HURTING her, not helping her by encouraging this behaviour. She’s too old at this stage to chalk it up to just a stage. At this point she’s just developed terrible hygeine habits that are going to follow her into her own home. Imagine how out of control it could get if the whole house was her own.. 


Post # 102
9588 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

Miss-Mauverick :  “I also stated that if she chooses to behave like an irresponsible 13-year-old then we will treat her like an irresponsible 13-year-old and implement a cleaning schedule, chores, room checks, etc. “


Post # 104
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

Miss-Mauverick :  Why should YOU have to remind her to bring dishes, cups, food, etc. out of her room on a daily basis???   If he wants that to be part of it, he needs to be doing the reminding. 

But, really . . .should a 23 year old need to be reminded to pick up her dirty dishes.  That’s just nasty.   

Post # 105
46 posts
  • Wedding: June 2016

This may be a bit extreme and a terrible idea but it’s the first thing that came to my mind… Let a mouse loose in there and let her think it crept in by following the smell of food!

I am a very messy person, but would never leave food/liquids/anything dirty in my room as I was scared a mouse (or worse-a rat!) would come in. This was probably because my mum always told me they would if I didn’t tidy up…(on a side note we’ve had many mice cocome into our old house in the countryside, but never in my room!)

I’m 26 btw and if a mouse did enter my room (staying with my parents again while buying a house) I would have a MASSIVE clean up!!

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