Last week, my husband, my mom, and I moved Soleil into her dorm room at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was bittersweet for me. Things had been very tense leading up to the weeks before she left – I guess it’s just Mom not wanting to lose control. But that’s what life is about — allowing your children to spread wings and fly away on their own.
To keep my mind occupied, I decided to dive deep into planning and organizing her dorm room. It helped distract me from thinking about the real issue – my first-born baby leaving home… Anyway, when we arrived, Soleil was left with with the top bunk, a small desk area, and a shoe box closet. Her roommates had the privilege of moving in ahead of schedule because they were sorority pledges.
We started out with a cute theme – hot pink, black and white. Soleil chose her colors and her bedding. I made zebra fabric roll pillows – fun. Here is a picture of her top bunk. A metal tray clips to her bed to hold her alarm clock/iPod dock. A clip on lamp provides light. Check out the art above her bed. Those are photographs we bought in NYC in July from a street vendor.
My husband and I built the white bookcase to provide more storage. It is placed in the space between the closet and the end of the bed, which would have otherwise been dead space. Here, she stores clothes, utility items, dishware, and linens. The top of the of bookcase serves as a “nightstand” since she’s on the top bunk. A hot pink feather boa hangs over the window for fun. You can’t see it (and I forgot to take pics) but I also made a curtain with accents of hot pink, lime green and zebra to unify Soleil and her roommates’ color themes.
The desk area is so ooh la la. With Soleil’s favorite icon of style and beauty, Marilyn Monroe, setting the glamourous atmosphere, the desk is dressed with a zebra runner (made by my mom). The small university-provided bookshelf houses desk necessities, a coffee center, and make-up. This desk triples as a work space, eating area, and vanity.
Next, I had to tackle the closet. There was little hanging space but fortunately, there are built-in shelves. Storage is maximized with over-the-door hooks on the front of the closet door and an over-the-door shoe organizer on the inside of the closet door. Everything in Soleil’s area is containerized and labeled.
In the end, Soleil LOVED her room and so did her friends.
Yes, moving her in was not easy but we made it through. When I walk by her room at home, I still feel twinges of sadness and longing for the little girl she used to be. But I am happy that she has grown into an intelligent, independent young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Like I said — bittersweet. But then again, bittersweet is my favorite kind of chocolate. You can’t appreciate the sweet without a little bitter…
Until next time…