Been There, Done That: When a Baby Bird Leaves the Nest

The following is a guest post from Kathy Tyson, who has been there, done that and whose advice I’m more than happy to take.

Kathy says:
My oldest daughter was recently shoved out of the nest. She left kicking and screaming – very unhappy because I made her move into a college dorm room rather than have her face a daily commute. I mean come on! She got a full ride scholarship so why not enjoy it on campus? Besides, as anyone who has attended college anywhere in the U.S. know, parking is a son-of-a-gun!

But the real knife in her back was when we told her that she was losing the big room upstairs. Her little sister who started high school at the same time she started college was moving on up. One baby girl was elated, the other baby girl was highly peeved. The challenge was sifting through the piles and piles and tubs and tubs of stuff she left behind. Here are my tips on how to make a move like this:

mess1. Tell the kid moving out that whatever they leave behind needs to be presorted OR there’s no guarantee that their stuff won’t go into permanent storage … possibly never to be found again.

hangers2. You’ll be both delighted and horrified by what you find. The delight was when I discovered one daughter was highly organized at some point in her life. The horror was knowing that all those labeled hangers were empty so somewhere a fail occurred!

3. Crusty cat barf found behind the TV does come clean with Scrubbing Bubbles.

storage4. Big plastic garbage bags work almost as well as the $10 storage bins. Don’t be afraid to pile clothes you plan to donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army in trash bags. But you might want to put a masking tape label on them to be sure you don’t accidentally haul them to the curb.

mess25. Hidden among all the posters hanging on the wall may be little surprises

baby photos– pictures of you as a young Mommy holding your little precious – that could incite tears.

6. If you have allergies, the paper towels you’re already using are just as good as regular tissues!

paper paint7. When personal belongings have been packed and/or changed, you may discover that PAINT is the only solution to covering white board markers that strayed from the white board and stained the wall. Or is it? Look carefully and you’ll see where – in a crunch with company coming and no white paint – I taped plain white paper on the wall to cover the stains. That’s just how I roll, people. If you don’t have a solution to save yourself from embarrassment, invent one!

behind the door8. Finally, when you think you’re done you may be wrong. After the room was all put together, baseboards cleaned, cat barf eradicated, curtains, sheets & blankets washed, spider webs cleaned, and you *think* you’re done… you might discover you forgot to clean behind the door.

I still haven’t done it, either. I’ll get it done before our next round of company arrives!

To read more from Kathy visit her at Shak and Jill.

If you’re interested in contributing a guest post send an email to Heather@Home-Ec101.com.





10 Comments

  1. charmingdriver on September 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I know it's not the point of this post but congrats to your daughter getting a scholarship!!

  2. Kathy T. on September 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for your nice comments. College girl can stay in the guest room at Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer so it's not like we're making her sleep on the porch! Haha! The bad news is I'm still staring at four plastic bins full o'crap… I don't want them in the guest room. To get them OUT of my bonus room, I have to clean out our attic storage and at this point I think I'd rather stare at the bins than to tackle THAT.

  3. liz from new york on September 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    hah, we just went through this a few weeks ago, son #1 couldnt understand WHY his room had to be given away to son #2…ummm, since #2 has been bunking with his 3 y.o. brother forever??? quite a transition, but life at home has settled, and so has he, at least he HAS a bed to come home to, with the 3 y. o. !

  4. Becca Tuck White on September 30, 2009 at 12:46 am

    How cool is it that your daughter had a photo of you and her on her wall? That is truly a testament to you, I hope you know! This was an enjoyable post……we just finished cleaning out everyone's "bagged up" items and having a yard sale over the weekend, now we have new couches (yay!!)

  5. Stacy on September 30, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I'm nowhere near doing this yet since my son is only two. However, I laughed out loud at the paper taped to the wall to cover the white board marker mishaps. You gotta do what you gotta do, right? I did something like that in my classroom a year or so ago when one of the high school students from another teacher's class drew on my wooden bookcase, with a Sharpie thank you, some male genitalia. Lovely. With a Sharpie, did I mention? I tried to clean it in vain, and finally settled for cutting out one of my art calendar pictures and taping it over the spot. It sort of worked until that same student, you have to appreciate the persistence I guess, recreated his masterpiece on the calendar page. Foolishly hopeful, I cut out another page, and he decided to give up.

  6. Linda on September 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I wish I had the "scrubbing bubbles works on crusty cat barf" tip 4 years ago when we moved my husband out of his bachelor pad…

  7. Erin on September 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    My first baby bird moved out last year and came home for the summer completely confused. What did I mean that he couldn't just leave his stuff "wherever"? What did I mean that the kitchen "closed"? It was quite an adjustment. Now that he's back at the dorms, I honestly think we're all happier. As for the stuff I'm keeping for him? I made him go through it all this past summer and now it is neatly packed in a plastic steamer trunk. Do I think he'll want it down the line? Honestly? No way. For now, it is helping him straddle his adult life and his childhood. It works.

  8. gracie on September 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    lol, i couldn't wait to move into a college dorm………..until my parents decided that all my stuff had to go with me!! they just didn't understand how small a college dorm is, and the fact that you're not supposed to take all your stuff with you!

    but for my younger sister who didn't go to college until she was in her late 20's early 30's (but did move out at 18) mom kept all her stuff and mom was very upset when she found out my sister didn't want any of her stuff, and just told mom to throw it all away.

    (ok if this posts 3 times i'm sorry ….it keeps timing out on me)

  9. gracie on September 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    lol, i couldn't wait to move into a college dorm………..until my parents decided that all my stuff had to go with me!! they just didn't understand how small a college dorm is, and the fact that you're not supposed to take all your stuff with you!

    but for my younger sister who didn't go to college until she was in her late 20's early 30's (but did move out at 18) mom kept all her stuff and mom was very upset when she found out my sister didn't want any of her stuff, and just told mom to throw it all away.

  10. Rebekka on September 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I've done the plastic bag thing, too – only I put save-able things in clear plastic bags instead of in black: 1) you won't throw it away by accident, 2) you can see what's in it. If you're a self-mover you can just as well pack clothes and linens in plastic bags (doubled for strength), it's waaaaay cheaper than buying all those boxes.

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