Lost and Found – The story of a clean teen bedroom

Well, having the first empty nest project under my belt, I decided that it was time to tackle a couple of larger ones.

Namely, Punky’s bathroom and bedroom.

First up was the bathroom.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many containers of hair products.

The girl HAS some hair. But considering what she carried with her, I was surprised at what was left.

I found hundreds of tiny, colorful rubber bands and about 50 hair ribbons. No doubt, she has every one she’s ever owned. I found the little teddy bear clasps with her name on them, the headbands with giant flowers, and even the bow that her Dadda picked out and bought for her when she was a toddler.

Truth is, even with all of the hair stuff, her bathroom cabinets were not in that bad of shape. She had recently organized everything one day in the summer. I remember coming home and thinking what a great job she had done.

And also thinking how quickly she had done it.


After the bathroom clean-up, I took a 24 hour break.

Well, actually it ended up being a week break.

I knew it was going to be a task, but seriously, cleaning her bedroom was just overwhelming. The child left out of here like Hurricane Irene, leaving a trail of destruction behind her.

It took 2 days of working in there before I could locate the floor and the top of her bed. You laugh, but I’m serious. I’m a neat freak and it drives me nuts. Can any of you relate?

I began behind the door with my plan to work through her closet and around the room. I thought it would take a day, but it took about 6 hours to make it through just ½ of her closet! I was in WAY over my head.

Do you remember in one of my earlier posts I mentioned that there was nothing left in her closet but about 200 empty hangers, some outgrown shoes, 150 stuffed animals, a Barbie doll house and a bag of dress up clothes? I was wrong.

Very wrong.

That was just all I could see. There was much more besides the stuffed animals, doll house and dress up clothes. Much more…as in more clothes than one person really needs and more shoes, even a coat belonging to a guy friend and, surprise…

TWO, very suspicious grocery bags of ribbons with some miscellaneous pedicure and other bathroom products.

Then it came to me…When she “organized” her bathroom cabinets in order to get it done quickly, she put everything from her bathroom out of sight in her bedroom closet. So technically, although I was cleaning her closet for a few days, I was actually still organizing her bathroom.

I have to say, that got my panties in a wad.

To add insult to injury, Punky called to let me know that she was going on her first road trip to spend the long weekend with her roommate’s family in Houston. She only called because her roomie’s mother told her she had to call me before she left campus. (Thanks, D.G. It was good to hear her voice.)

So, while she is having a little vacation, I’m spending my holiday weekend cleaning her room.

But I’m not bitter. Really, I’m not.

To be honest, I could not be. It was good to feel close to Punky in her room.


We had just moved into our current home. Punky was 10 and just starting 5th grade in a school she would attend for the next 8 years.

Sweetbuns told Punky that she would have to share her bathroom with our guests, so the decor needed to be more neutral and guest friendly than her previous under the sea motif. She frowns so he smooths it over by saying, “But I will paint your bedroom ANY color you want!”

 I’m standing behind Punky, looking at Sweetbuns like WHAT are you thinking?

Well, after looking at all the Disney colors the local Home Depot had to offer; Punky chose the brightest, rock your head off, neon green you have ever seen. It is called Sonic Boom.

Nothing else needs to be said.

 Except maybe that Sweetbuns really, really doesn’t like neon colors.

It was rather entertaining to see him paint that room.

Indeed, it brightened the place up! Some wonderful sleepovers, game times, and reading times took place in that room.

Sleep over in the Sonic Boom Room!

The Middle School years came and went, and by the time Punky was 15, she was ready for a more mature look. This time, she chose a peaceful color of bright robin’s egg blue. She, CR and I helped Sweetbuns paint this time.

from Sonic Boom to Robin's Egg- Punky and Sweetbuns painting

This would be the room where she would get ready for her first date, for proms and dances, and where she would hang her car keys when she started driving. This room would be filled with giggles and the quiet chatter and contagious laughter of teen girls as they braid hair and do makeup and stalk boys on Face Book.

Punky and M. in the Robin's Egg Blue Room

Really, how could I be angry about spending a few days in this kind of good energy? Besides, this living space of hers is very amusing. Here is a list of things I found in coat pockets, old backpacks, on her bookshelves and in that closet:

Gum (Still in the wrappers, but in various stages of decay)

Christmas mints (Take a look at the calendar!)

Gooey cough drops

Candy (Some unidentifiable)

4 packages of Teddy Grahams outdated by 6 months

Ticket stubs and programs from graduations, weddings, dances, plays, ballgames and movies

Receipts from her beloved Urban Outfitters and Forever 21

Dance clothing, dance shoes, dance concert posters and more dance shoes.

Approximately 316 Hair pins

A kitchen knife

2 dozen hair clips

20 hair bands

Coins totaling $3.21

A total of 1 dozen tampons found in pockets, backpacks, old purses

Completely used gift cards from various stores.

MY black sock I’ve been missing for 3 1/2 years

A tire gauge

A half a bag of flaked coconut, rolled up with a rubber band around it. (???)

Now I know why the 12th grade school portraits never arrived. I found the order form and check!

And, my best find of the project;

A check, written by me to one of her best friend’s mother. It was for $20.00 and was dated October 10, 2009.

I have no idea what it was for.

So, Punky had a great time in Houston, and I actually had a great time getting her room clean and organized.

She may be upset that I have moved a few things around. But she just better be glad I didn’t turn her room into a den like one of my friends did when their kid went to college.

-Behind the door

-Libby Lu


2 thoughts on “Lost and Found – The story of a clean teen bedroom

  1. Libby, Amy left for college (Belmont) in ’95 and I still have some of her “stuff” in closets at my house, that being said after me moving 200 miles away and a different house her stuff followed me. She says DON’T THROW AWAY MY THINGS CAUSE I WILL NEED THEM………..??????? HA-HA and of course I have to admit I enjoy glancing thru them every “few ” years, it brings memories back like crazy! And the same with Lindsey, she has been married almost 2 years and her bedroom looks like she still lives at home, only ALOT cleaner. Got to love them girls huh!!! Enjoy your precious girl and all your memories. Love reading all this. Theresa Gilliam Jester. aka Lady Godiva (thanks to Gary):))))))

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