Some days start better than others. Today , the 6 year anniversary of my Moms death, started surprisingly okay, with me going about the business of getting the kids off to school…excited to get back to painting and thrilled that the appliance repairmen was coming to fix my broken dishwasher…little happy things…
…and then I stepped in dog vomit… just as I heard Phoebe screaming from the kids bathroom;
“MOM!!! Tell the boys to STOP peeing all over the seat! I swear there is Pee ALL OVER THE SEAT!!…it’s disgusting!!! Where am I supposed to go to the bathroom???…I can’t live in a house with pee on the seats!!!”
- Tell me about it. I had three brothers. Pee on the seats is for rookies! Try grabbing a towel out of a fresh shower and discovering what they used when they ran out of toilet paper! I will never forget the day when my parents took us on a tour of a new house we very moving into, and my Mother, (who had 4 brothers) with tears in her eyes, said “and here is YOUR special surprise,” and opened up the door to a pristine bathroom with pink kitty cat wallpaper .
“Here is your VERY OWN bathroom!”
It was one of the happiest days of my life. Truth be told, I really don’t like sharing my bathroom any more than Phoebe does…boys are gross, YES, we women may be messy, but boys are gross. The hair, the snot, the pee and worse…just gross.
I have found though that this NEW bathroom of the kids is MUCH MUCH easier for me to keep clean than their previous bathroom. I have employed strategic tactics aimed (because they can’t) at the areas of greatest MESS potential.
1. DRAWERS lots of drawers for make-up, contacts, hair gel, contact lenses….etc etc etc.
2. HOOKS. Hooks. Lots of Hooks. My next bathroom will have a wall made of all hooks, just hooks. in an attempt to increase the chance that they will use one!
I HAVE LOOKED HIGH AND LOW AND I FIND THE VARIETY OR HARDWARE, ESPECIALLY HOOKS AT ANTHROPOLOGIE RIGHT UP MY ALLEY!
3. HAMPER. Around month ONE of the new bathroom, I thought there was a dead body behind the door, but it was really just A weeks worth of towels and dirty clothes…so even though there really is not room for a laundry basket behind the door…I put one there… for the bodies.
4. BASKETS. The kids each have baskets under their vanities for anything that would otherwise go on the floor. They started out looking so nice with clean folded towels but that lasted as long as my last highlight job…not long…and so now, I just made a rule…”in the basket…off the floor” !
5. TRASH CANS. The boys have a trash can and Phoebe has her own, WITH A LID! When you have teenage girls and boys sharing a bathroom, it can get messy and embarrassing, especially when “Aunt Flo comes to town” so Phoebe has her own trashcan, with a lid. Also helps with dumpster diving dogs.
6. COUNTER-TOP CONTROL – The potential for a huge mess is thwarted by many receptacle for their stuff. I started out trying to have each thing have a home, now I am just happy of it stays out of the sink.
7. GOOD LIGHTING – Seems obvious, but really can make the difference between them seeing the mass or the contacts on the floor or the pee pee on the seat…or not, my guess is most of the seat pee pee happens in the middle of the night.
8. 9. AND 10. LET GO OF A PERFECTLY CLEAN BATHROOM AND BE CONTENT WITH HAPPY KIDS. LISTEN, With three teens – the bathroom is no longer the place it was when the kids were little. Where we spent hours taking baths and singing songs, bubbles on their faces for beards… step stools and potty chairs and bubble bath,sweet-smelling baby shampoo and hooded towels and wash cloths with ANIMAL faces…
…..have been replaced by make-up and hair gel and shaving cream and razors and facial scrub and yes, tampons. It is what it is.
What was once a very public place has become, seemingly overnight, a very private place…and it is THEIR bathroom. I want them to feel comfortable and respected in there…and I want to go in there as little as possible. So I have tried to give them the means to keep it tidy and kind of clean and then periodically, I go in there…fumeagate and do the clean sweep.
It seems to be working…pretty well. All things considered. Pee on the seats and all.
16 thoughts on “KEEP IT CLEAN – THREE TEENS AND A BATHROOM”
Thanks for the reality check! Of course bathrooms have to do though duty and especially with three teens? Phew! I grew up with 2 brothers. I was lucky though, mine weren’t too bad. They are still super conscious about their mess in the bathroom. I don’t know if it is because my Mom made them clean the bathroom or if we just lucked out. Don’t get me wrong, they both smelled. Teenage boys just smell. But they were very careful about the toilet and they did their own laundry so I think the respected the common space a little.
Hang in there Phoebe! In a few years your brothers will end up being some of your best friends and when you are in a pinch and moving or remodeling a room, your brothers will be the ones that show up and do the hard work. Having brothers rocks.
Thanks for the encouraging words!!! Brothers are the best…even messy ones!
THANKS FOR KEEPING IT REAL!!! I JUST REDID MY TEENAGE DAUGHTERS BATHROOM AND AM TRYING A LOT OF THE SAME TACTICS WITH KEEPING IT NEAT. I AM HOPING IT WORKS — WE WILL SEE!! I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND LOOK FORWARD TO READING IT EVERY DAY. AS I’VE LOOKED THRU YOUR HOUSE I HAVE SEEN MANY OF THE SAME THINGS IN MY OWN HOME — YOUR COCKTAIL TABLE IN KIDS LIVING ROOM, MISSONI POUF FROM TARGET, ALL THINGS JONATHAN ADLER, EVEN SOME ARTWORK! NOW I SEE THAT IT LOOKS LIKE I JUST PUT THE SAME SINK FAUCET IN THE BATHROOM (AT LEAST I THINK SO, KINGSTON BRASS??? I LOVE IT!) I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM YOUR BLOG, ESPECIALLY REGARDING PAINT COLORS! THO I DONT KNOW YOU, U FEEL LIKE AN OLD FRIEND!! BRAVO!!!
Comments like these make my day and serve to reinforce the MAIN reason I blog…and that is to connect. I am so happy you consider me a friend. Thanks for the lovely words!
Love, love, love the comment about dumpster diving dogs. My poor three sons have stumbled over many things of their younger sister in the middle of the family room that the dog has deemed a delicacy…
I KNOW, so gross, fortunately most of the time the boys are completely oblivious…completely! too funny! Thanks for stopping by!xo
i loved this post so much, it made me laugh out loud. your sense of humor about it all is the best. we are years away from this situation but i know it will be here in the blink of an eye… and we have two boys who are 8 and 5 and identical twin 3 year old girls, which means the day will come when there will be four teenagers in our house. and we currently have four toilets but only ONE shower. there is clearly a bathroom remodel in our future. thank you for the words of wisdom regarding pee and tampons. love it!
Thanks Rachel, and you are right it all goes so fast, and when my kids were little, it seemed so far away…sometimes I can;t believe I am here…You have a houseful of fun on your hands…enjoy the craziness! and Thanks for stopping by!
This is so timely for me! Currently updating our teen bath. We are almost finished–just the baseboard molding and the lighting. Would you share your source for the schoolhouse light fixture? It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Love how your bathroom turned out. If only they could ALWAYS look that way, right?!
Hi Shar, the schoolhouse pendant is from Barn Light Electric here:
there are great options for the globe to be painted with a stripe. I did not get the stripe, and then changed my mind, but when I tried to order JUST a new globe, it cost as much as the light fixture…yikes!
Good luck with YOUR teen bath!
Thanks! I’m on it! 🙂
I have it on the authority of a good friend that had a similar problem that boys (and men…!) like something to aim at – and the answer is to paint a what looks like a SMALL black fly/dot at the back of the pan – evidently the problem stops in a flash
will do! Thanks Lesley!
LOL, my boys are now grown, but I still habitually slip on flip-flops before I venture into the bathroom during the night….
too funny. so true!
I am reading this a little late, but it must be serendipitous, as I am about to go clean the bathrooms. I laughed out loud reading this! I have 3 boys – 2 teens who pee on (yes, on) the toilet upstairs and 1 five yr. old who pees on the one downstairs ;). I rarely venture into the upstairs bath unless, like you, it is to “fumigate and do the clean sweep”, haha! Love all your blog posts. Have a great week!
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