Cleaning out my college son’s room. sniff.

My son left for his senior year of college last week. And my youngest has been living in a small room connected behind our bedroom that we recently have demo’d to make a master bathroom. So now she doesn’t have a room. She’s been sharing with her sister as well as crawling in with us, and first grade starts this week. I know I’ve never been the most structured or scheduled person . But we need some order around here! So she’ll be taking over her sister’s room next door, Lily will be taking her brother’s room down the hall, and he will be staying in a former office outside next to the garage when he comes home in summer.  Isabelle is also going away to college, but only an hour away, so we’ll keep her room as is for weekend visits and summer. Thus the evolution of our home and family continues.

The past five years my sewing has been pretty non stop. I’ve worked for theatrical productions, made custom gowns, blogged hundreds of self made outfits, and wrote lots of magazine articles and sponsored sewing material. The result of all that has been my house looks like crap now,  because I didn’t know how to balance my work and home life very well.

So this past month, I’ve been throwing away garbage, listing stuff on Craigslist, slowing down on my sewing, and giving away lots of stuff to lessen clutter and ease my anxiety. But somehow more stuff keeps coming in. I’ve always been a collector, hanging out at flea markets, and bringing stuff back from our travels. I had to stop myself from going to an estate sale yesterday. My husband and my girls also love collecting old stuff . You should see Lily’s vintage toy collection! You can stop by this post to take a look.

Anyway, getting things nice around here is going to take a huge effort, so I’ll be stopping my sewing projects for a little while to get my house together.

I’m starting with Oliver’s room which I’m moving Lily into. First off, if you have ever cleaned out a kids room who has gone to college, be ready for an emotional ride. Ten years worth of little mementos, trophies, and clothing can take awhile to sift through. I spent about two hours just looking through old school projects, and getting all teary eyed at how quickly he’s grown up. Just having them go to college in the first place is hard. I wrote this post about it. Oliver is a creative and peaceful soul and I really miss him and his calming energy already. Cleaning a kids  room out feels so final. It’s hard to do.oliversroomThe room was painted dark red by Oliver and his friend when he was 12, but we’ve tried to cover it since then. Isabelle thought she would surprise me when I was out of town by painting the room. That she did. She painted the semi gloss white trim all over the walls instead of the wood trim, and she got paint all over the floors. Poor Oliver had been sleeping in this room since he came home for summer…..This photo was taken during my clean out phase.

If you’ve ever had a  free room in your home you may know how quickly that room can become a dumping ground for stuff you don’t want to deal with. That’s what happened to this poor room. I don’t even know where that black headboard came from or who brought it in!IMG_1719This was after I single handedly removed a bunch of stuff from the room. Thank goodness I have been lifting heavy weights lately at the gym. My husband isn’t a DIY’ er at all so I’m on my own with this. But to his credit, he does haul stuff away for me since he won’t let anyone drive his pristine orange 70’s truck.

I’ve been making progress painting the woodwork , but I’ve decided to remove the textured walls which were here when we move here. I.HATE. THEM. Period.textureSo I’m going to smooth a skim coat of dry wall plaster on them and smooth them with a trowel, then lightly sand. It’s going to be a lot of work for sure, but I hate them enough to do it. Good times!

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  1. says

    You go girl! I just spent the morning unearthing a rug that I have listed on craigslist. Hopefully the people will actually come and view it…and buy it! I had it underneath another rug under my dining room table, so I had a lot of moving around to do. You betcha de-cluttering and cleaning and organizing is a job and a half! We had textured walls in a room of our house…much more heavily troweled on than yours…I ended up having the room re-drywalled. In your case, I think a skim coat will do the trick nicely!

  2. Brenda says

    I can relate — we did a bunch of work in May and I STILL don’t have the house fully put back together. But this weekend, I finally reached that point of disgust that’s forcing me to get it done. The hardest part, by far, is getting rid of things. It should feel cathartic but instead it just slows me down.

  3. says

    I think the worse thing in the world, is when our “babies” go off to college… then when they get married.. Oh my .. I think I cried for months.. The finality of it, was so hard..
    Best wishes on removing the stuff on the walls.. We have been working on an old /untaken care of
    house all summer [thus , is why I haven’t been]. It is so much work..But, as you see it come together, it sure feels good.. Will be thinking about you..
    So hard to believe Gigi will be in first grade.. Oh how time flies.. Hope both girls like their new rooms.