Thoughts on this subject?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thoughts on this subject?
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 5:17pm

Dd is now at school.  Living 3.5 hours away.  I really don't expect her to come home every single weekend.  At least WE aren't going to be hauling there and back.  Not if I get this job I'm hoping for. 

So now, we've got a room that's not being used- and STORAGE.  We've lived in this house 20 years.  We have "stuff".  IMHO too much stuff LOL.  I had a box of random office supplies that were sitting in a corner of my room since graduation.  They were in a guest room, but we had to clean the whole room up b/c we had guests in the house for over a week, and I couldn't see them having to deal with a box of "junk" in the tiny room they were staying in.  Dd's desk was cleaned out.  I put office supplies in that. 

Dd's bed isn't being used.  I had a chest with blankets in it.  But it was underused b/c it had "stuff" on it.  Stuffed animals nobody wanted to dissapear yet had no home.  Bitty Baby, and Kit who have not been played with for YEARS- yet nobody wants to stuff a $100 American Girl doll into the closet. ( Samantha and Molly have limb/ hair issues and need to go be fixed). I took all the animals and stuck them on dd's bed.  I'd like to use her closet for some storage as well. And then I put these 2 little rocking chairs my mom gave the girls years ago in there.  They're just too nice to give to Goodwill- I think it would be neat to hand down to grandkids one day. 

I've read in numerous places that you aren't supposed to do major changes to a college kid's room.  Because then they feel like they're being "kicked out" and no longer have a place in the family.  Which isn't true.  But I'm not about to give up some badly needed storage space either.  Not when she's at the dorms more than half the year. 

What do you think? 


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 9:01pm
JMHO - have her help you do it at her comfort level next time she's home, maybe winter break. My best friend in HS was mortified when her mom made her room a sewing room as soon as she left for college; she had no bed over break. I know you're not talking that extreme but I would suggest your dd take part in this so she knows where you're coming from but can also control her comfort level.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 9:09pm

I gave my thoughts on this a couple of weeks ago in conmama's thread but I don't mind giving them again lol.

I'm of the "keep the room the same" school. So when the CS comes home for Thanksgiving or whenever that the room still looks like the room s/he left. If the CS has been homesick or is the sentimental type then they might really want their cocoon to look the same. OTOH she may look at the room with different eyes and pack away/give away the stuffed animals and remove all vestiges of a "kid's room". But IMO that should be her decision to make when she is ready.

In the case when you really need the space for siblings or another use then I would at least talk to the CS about it first.

It sounds like you're just talking about putting a few things in her room, moving the stuffed animals, using the closet space. That sounds fine. I don't think you need to keep the room like a "shrine" with nothing touched, just that it should still look strongly like the way they left it. If it really bothers you to have the space being wasted then at winter break talk to her about any changes that you'd like to make to see if she agrees. The only thing to remember is that she will probably be back for several weeks at winter break and for up to 3 months next summer so she will need her closet again, and the little rocking chairs may be in her way etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 9:09pm

I have to admit, I wouldn't feel comfortable changing my dd's room (and she's 5 hours away and has never come home except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring break, although she always returns for summer). Part of it might be that we are just used to too much stuff everywhere with four kids:smileywink:.

One thing we do is use dd's room as a guest room when she's not around. She has everything neatly packed away and she put a lot of stuff in the attic. She's 100% fine with us using it as a guest room. But I also think it's your personal comfort level. I'd be absolutely fine with boxes in the guest bedroom. Again, it might be because we have always been a little crowded!  Of course we clean things out, especially if guests are coming, but a few neatly piled boxes in the corner wouldn't bother me. Is there any reason you can't use your dd's room for storage when she's not using it?

My other concern would be that if your dd still has that much stuff, she is not a "tosser" and she may be really freaked out if she comes home and sees it all gone. I'd echo the thought to work with her at Christmas to try to clean things out, put stuff in the attic/basement or donate to Goodwill.



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 9:48am
I'll tell you what happened to me: I went to college 2 hours from home. I was gone 3 weeks before I went home for a family wedding and found out that my room had been given to my sister, all of my stuff had been moved to the attic our thrown away and I was going to have to sleep on the couch. Not only was I very upset with my mom, but my sister and I had a strained relationship for a long time. As soon as I could figure it out I quit "going home" for school breaks and holidays. I made a home in a series of apartments until graduated and settled into this community. Mom always begged me to "come home" but why would I want to crash on a couch for the summer when I could stay in my apartment?

Probably in response to that experience, my kids' rooms stayed unchanged until they took their stuff or told me to do something with it. Even so, the basement bedroom that Justin and James shared is still mostly theirs with Zack's treasures added in. We have a futon in it rather than a bed but it very much looks like like a room that could have belonged to any one of my sons even though its usually more of a family room/guest room. Zack was here for a month, just left yesterday so I need to set it back to order until Christmas leave.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-19-2012 - 9:10pm

I didn't change anything in DD's room--esp because I knew she would be coming home at Columbus Day weekend, which was 6 wks away.  The funny thing is that after they are away for a while, then they do end up changing things in their room at home anyway--my DD became much more organized after she got used to sharing a small dorm room.  What you are going to have to remember about using her room for "storage" now is that when she comes home on Christmas break & in the summer, she's probably going to want everything back out of her room--if the rockers are taking up space or if she doesn't want all the stuffed animals on the bed, etc.  Plus my DD brought back a ton of stuff from the dorm that she didn't use at home that also had to be stored here, like the extra linens, the posters and things she had on her walls, room decorations, etc.