My Kid's Room Renovation- Lessons & Regrets

By Courtney Daly-Pavone February 19, 2021

* This article is a 5 minute read

I am a terrible mother. I could have done so much more for my kid.

Do you ever feel that way?


Five years ago we planned to update my son's 10x10 room. We did a great job designing his nursery years ago, and updated it for the toddler preschool years, but by age five his room consisted of old furniture pieces and was in a rut. 

I had packed his toys in plastic bins. Those bins were in the closet in a precarious fashion about to tumble if you decided to get a Lego. This is temporary, I thought. We planned on buying new bedroom furniture, but something always came up, and it was put on the back burner until 2021, after spending a year stuck indoors. 

Toys R Us Threw Up In My Child's Room 

Toys covered the floor. Mountains of stuffed animals were like huge snow drifts on my child's bed. We would clean his room, and a friend would come over and toys were thrown about all over again. Our efforts to be clean and together were fruitless. There was no place to put anything. Was this room getting smaller, or did we have too much crap?

My son never liked his room, he never wanted to play in it.

We decided to make his room so amazing, he would never want to leave. We went all out, and bought a high quality bunk bed, new bedding- throw pillows, and a something called a "Euro Top Mattress" promising a good night's sleep. We bought him the desk he deserved. I felt like a game show contestant who had to shop before a timer went off. Buy! Buy! Buy! While we waited for the delivery it was time to get rid of the clutter.

Here's What I Learned

Letting go of stuff is a lot easier for me than my child. He's a hoarder. Memories were attached to his menagerie of stuffed animals, and I was the ice queen banishing them to Goodwill. He remembered every story behind each plush.

"Remember we got that Teddy Bear at Build a Bear. I was with you and dad, it was such a great day. I never want to forget it," he said clutching his the sweet faced bear. 

"Okay, you can keep that one. What about his green dolphin, he can go," I said with the empathy of a sociopath. 

"No mom, daddy won him for me at the SeaWorld arcade." This went on and on, animal after animal. 

In a desperate attempt to achieve space, I negotiated a deal with my ten year old. "We need to reduce stuffed animals by 35%. He agreed to my proposal, but only after leaving the room torn. While I put these adorable plushes' in a cardboard box, I had the haunting feeling that I was doing something wrong.

Books Never Give Away A Book!

I am happy to say that my child picked up reading at a young age, and skipped several levels. The problem, we had so many books below his level. He never had a chance to read them. I don't want to think about the money I spent, or the plans I had reading these books to my son under an apple tree. Instead, I'll donate them to someone in need.

Puzzles & Games My Kid Outgrew

Another unexpected situation, where did the time go? Living in San Diego with endless sunshine, and an abundance of outdoor activities we weren't exactly home playing board games. Dilemma, my child outgrew these great games. Thanks to Covid we play games again, but some of them are more suited for younger kids like Candyland so it's time to go. It was also time to get rid of puzzles that were no longer challenging. My kid put together these puzzles three or more times. He needs new stimuli! Adios 500-1,000 piece puzzles!

The Results Here's What Happened After His Room Make-Over!

My son never thought his room renovation was going to happen until the delivery truck pulled up. He had designed his own room plans and dreamed about them for years! Now that his dream has come to fruition he loves his new room. He spends hours in it every day. He has even matured a little since the renovation. The animals are still there reduced by 35% as per our negotiation. He has room to play, create, learn, and entertain. Space is so important especially during these times. Now his only problem is keeping his parents out of his room.

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