Packed up difficult child's room last night~

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Was it wrong of me to pack upi difficult child's room. Not all of it, but most of it is in bins or has been tossed out. I had to get the room ready for my sister and her H anyway. And I figured since difficult child will be home Saturday for my mom's birthday it might give her a little jolt to see that her room has kind of been cleared out a little. I packed away all her summer stuff, so essentially, her drawers are empty except one with pj's in it. And her closet crap has been cleaned out and I've made space for some of my belongings. And I packed up all her poetry and drawing books, supplies, etc. into a bin & labeled it. And I packed up all her many handbags. I put away all her leftover beauty stuff and nail stuff and thousands of deoderants and cleared all the shelves and dresser tops and put away some of her stuffed animals too. So it looks like her room still, but way less cluttered and kind of like a guest room.

Was that good or not? I feel good about it. I don't feel like I made it devoid of 'her' but I wanted her to see that she's made her choice and that we're not pining away for her to come home.


Well-Known Member
I do that every few months even when my difficult child is home. I think they are secretly relieved because they never could make it look as good.

Do not feel bad about it. She may react, but it will be an opportunity for her to express her feelings. Perhaps it will spark a conversation - might not happen for 2 months. Things like this get a difficult child thinking, in my humble opinion.

Good for you!


Active Member
"I wanted her to see that she's made her choice and that we're not pining away for her to come home" "it might give her a little jolt".

It sounds like you might be feeling like striking back at her for her choice to move out ... and while I understand your hurt ... I wouldn't do anything that you might regret later. Give yourself some time. Give her some time.

She may be hurt by this Jo. I know she has made some poor choices ... but try to remember that she is only 17.

I assume that your desire is to restore the relationship with her. (note: I didn't say have her move back home any time soon) I think that you are (intentionally or subconsciously) sending a rather strong message to her. It may drive the wedge even further in my opinion.

If it were me ... I may have packed up summer stuff ... cleaned up a bit ... but I probably would not have 'moved her out' completely.

If it were me ... I would put her things back in a tidy fashion and tell her that you just cleaned up a little.

If she is still gone from your home a year from now, maybe then you could convert her room.


New Member
I'm somewhere in the middle. You didn't throw her things out, you left some of "her" there and you do need it for upcoming company.

At the same time, I do think part of the reason you did it was because you are angry and hurt and wanted to give a message. If you removed something you know is truly important to her, please put it back. I also would recommend that you not put your personal things in there yet. It's just a little too soon and all wounds are still somewhat raw. Otherwise, I would simply leave it the way it is with the simple explanation that you cleaned it up for the visit from your sister not because you want to get on with your life. She is only 17 and probably a tad young for that lesson.


New Member
My difficult child is moved out, and he did all of his on his own.
My easy child daughter has stuff here sonce moved home but to go into the service. I am leaving it to her husband to do that. It may take a few months, and a couple of nags.


hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I see what you mean goldenguru. I generally go through both my daughter's rooms when they are away to just clear out the clutter anyway, so I don't think she will be completely surprised by it. I packed up easy child's room when she went to college as well. I put everything in clear plastic bins so she can find what she needs, but in the meantime, her room is decluttered until easy child comes home after college, IF she comes home. I guess I wasn't thinking about it in that way - I was thinking about it in more of a "let me clear this crap outta here and organize it" sort of way. I don't think I'm striking back at her - but I do think she needs to see that her choices not only affect her, but her family as well. I don't see anything wrong with that really.

I think my packing some of her things away will give her pause to realize *perhaps* that she is at a point where she needs to make some important decisions about her life and immediate future, you know? Some of her stuff is still there and all of her wall hangings are still up, her calendar (that was still on July! lol) and all her cows from her cow collection. I wasn't completely heartless, just wanted it very very very cleaned up. The bed is made all nice with her pillows and things. And all her jewelry is still hanging on their little stars and moon hooks. It's still her room. I don't think I over packed up her stuff, just a lot of it. You also have know that difficult child is a major packrat and every corner, nook and cranny was filled with stuff - just 'stuff'. Things she threw around or tossed haphazardly around without a care. At least this way if she does decide to move to her dad's for a longer period of time, it will be easy to just grab her stuff and go, right?

And I do think that she needs to face her choices - not in a vengeful way, but in a very matter of fact way. She's been harping about moving to her dad's when she's 18 for years and believe me, if I thought it was a good move when she was younger, I would have sent her, but it wasn't. Now it is so basically we've called her bluff and I think that she needs to know that she can't keep everyone of us hanging around waiting for her next move. When things get difficult for her at dads (if they do) and she wants to come home, she needs to know that she cannot simply bedhop and we're all going to take it lying down. This is OUR home and it can be HERS as well, but she needs to abide by certain rules and be responsible for herself. So, part of this packing her stuff up is also tied into those things and I don't think 17 almost 18 is too young to recognize that the world does not revolve around her and her whims. Many of her peers are off at college figuring it out for themselves, being responsible and doing what they are supposed to be doing for themselves. And likewise, there are many of her peers who are just like her, flopping around feeling sorry for themselves and blaming everyone else for their misfortune.

I don't think she will be incredibly hurt by this, and I don't think it will drive a wedge between us, but you may be on to something there - I'm sure it will create some reaction in her, but you know, I try to balance things with lots of love shown in other ways. I'm excited about her being here for her gramma's 85th birthday party but I'm not excited about her being here as an excuse to see her friends only. So, I don't know. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes. Thanks for the thought provoking response. I do need to see it in different ways.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Oh my, I think I gave the impression that I cleared it all out of her stuff and plan on redecorating it from top to bottom. That's not the case at all. All of her stuff is still in there, her pillows, some stuffed animals, her artwork, her wall hangings, her music and movie library, her tv, stereo - everything really. The room has her STAMP on it. All I did was clear away the clutter and put some things in bins. I only boxed up her summer things, all of her winter stuff is still hanging on the hooks and in her closet.

I did the same thing when easy child went off to college. It is still easy child's room, just cleared and neat. When easy child comes home, she usually just rummages through the bins to get some piece of clothing or old CD or something, but she doesn't mind at all. In fact, she loves that everything was packed away for her. And when we have company, I hardly have to do anything to get the room ready for them.

I am not ready to 'move on' from difficult child at all. I'm still heartbroken that she's going through this, as are H and I. But I still firmly believe that difficult child needs a wake up call and this is one small way in doing so. I should also add that we're on good terms. We talk to one another and we tell each other we love one another, as we do, but she is in a dangerous place and I am tired. I don't think there is anything mean being done or anything being done out of resentment. It's all part of a growing process for difficult child (and me).

Anyway, it's still her room and she knows that it's there for her when she's ready.


New Member
I don't think you did anything wrong at all. Your difficult child has chosen not to live home and you cleaned up her room and neatly packed and labeled her stuff away. You didn't move her furniture out and redecorate it and turn it into a different room and it's nice like you took her stuff and tossed it on the street. If your sister and her husband were coming to stay in the room you would have needed to clean it up anyway.

It's never an easy thing to do. If she's offended just explain to her that she has chosen to not live home, so for now you needed to clean up her room and use it for something else in the meantime.

I cleaned my difficult child's room when he first moved out and let it sit for probably almost a year. Only because we didn't really need it for anything else at the time, but just recently we had turned it into an office. There is no trace of his room left in there, but he hasn't lived home for 2 years and has moved on in life and won't be coming back to live. The only thing I did, which he laughed at, I have a coffee mug with his picture on it from when he was little, so I have that on the desk and that is what I keep my pens and pencils in. He laughed when I showed him that part of him was still in that room.


Well-Known Member
I think you did the right thing. You have not erased her from your life; you have merely accepted her choice and moved on with your life. Her room is still there. Her stuff is still there. But since she is not still there, you have every right and need to pack up the stuff and use the room. Sounds right to me.