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Teenage son moving out and step mom clearing out room

somajr's picture

I am a divorced father of two sons. I have custody of them. I have been re married for several years. My new wife and son have never seen eye to eye. My oldest son (18yo) recently moved out. My wife said that she was going to clean his room the other day. Yesterday I went into his room and to my horror, the room was emptied out! She had taken down all of his posters and basically erased the fact that he had ever lived there.

I felt as though she misled me by saying that she was going to "clean" his room as compared to maybe "cleaning out" his room or "clearing out" his room or maybe even being open and saying her real intentions so that I would have the ability to object beforehand. She is aware that I have had a hard time with him moving out.

I am putting this out there to see what others may think about this???

twopines's picture

Oh hell, when I moved out my mother waited approximately 7.2 seconds before she comandeered my old closet. I dunno, maybe the difference was that when I moved out, I actually moved out and didn't leave my crap behind for someone else to deal with.

GoodbyeNormaJean's picture

Your son is 18. He moved out. Why would she leave his room intact? Actually, why would YOU?

Be grateful that your son is independent and move forward with your married life.

When my kids move out I sure wish my hubby would be proactive enough to help me haul their crape down to the crawl space. I'll probably end up spending a whole weekend doing it by myself.

stormabruin's picture

My DH started working PT at 15yo. He moved out of his parents house at 17. By 19 he had credit built up from car loans that he didn't need a co-signer to build a house on the lot next door to theirs. He worked his ass off to do it, but he wanted it bad enough.

ThatGirl's picture

Yup, just like that. Working since I was 13 and on my own at 17. I had a gas card to start building credit, married and two car loans, then bought the house. XH was just 3 years older than I. His parents did help with with loaning us part of the down (which was minimal at 3% for first time buyers). We had to pay them back immediately out of a second loan we took out when escrow closed.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

I don't know if that's fair to say that a 19y/o can't own a home.

I had the choice of using my college tuition for a really expensive private school or a state college. I chose state college. With the rest of it, I used a down payment on a building and am renting it out, which covers the mortgage and property tax.

I guess you can say it was with my parents help since they were the ones who saved up my college tuition.

I'm only 22 and have paid off more than half the mortgage to it.

ItAlmostWorked's picture

I have one SD who moved out in the natural progression of life. I have another who moved out because she believes it is so bad here (no one else feels that way). I have told DH her room is not going to be a shrine to her. The people who are staying get to use the space in the house. He agreed.

That being said, when I get confirmation this is permanent since she is still in college (I will be asking DH this question in the very near future), I plan to give DH a couple weeks to pack up her stuff she left here. If it isn't definitely permanent, but she won't be back for a year, I still plan to make it into a guest room with a reading and/or craft area. If she comes back temporarily she can sleep there like an guest would. She is the one who left, we didn't force her out. If DH doesn't do it, then I will be doing it. There's all kinds of things that room can now be used for. I will use the word PACKING so he knows it isn't just a cleaning. SD made her "adult" decision. Adults live with consequences of their decisions.

herewegoagain's picture's her house too, right? She has a right to do whatever in her house. Now, really, if he moved out, you could have "cleaned it out yourself". But you can't expect her to "clean it, so you don't have to and then expect her to keep the stuff you want". Sorry, it sounds harsh, but really, I have to agree with her. He's moved out, he's moved out. If he has, I don't understand why you need a reminder of him by the way of posters, etc. Maybe the issue here is really not the fact of the posters, but the fact you can't let it go...I understand that...but maybe you need to focus on why. I know when I moved out of my parents house and they are still married, nobody thought a thing, not even ME about my mom taking over the room and converting it to something else immediately. I did not expect the room to stay as it was, neither did my mother, nor my father...why is it that you seem to think so? I know that some parents leave their kids rooms as they are after they go to college, but really, I think that is a psychological issue/problem with the parents. Again, when my sister moved out, we cleaned out that room immediately after. She had the choice to take her stuff when she moved out and chose not to, so we cleaned it out. Simple. We all still talk.

somajr's picture

Thank you Blue Belle.

I have understood and expressed to her that it has nothing to do with him. She has sons and there are certain hot button subjects that I stay away from because I would come out the bad guy. I feel as though this is a subject that she should have stayed away from also.

The fact that he is only 18 and imo not ready to be on his own. He moved out because I told him to leave because he wouldn't follow some house rules. He then got kicked out of a sympathizers house within a week. I feel as though he still has some growing up to do. he needs to become more personally responsible. The job isn't done yet.

Not really trying to make his room a shrine...there has always been issues between my wife and him. Some is him however a lot of it is her. She has done malicious things in the past such as go into his room and "accidentally" break his computer. She has made statements to him to make him think that I don't care about him. It has just never been in front of I would never know who is telling the truth.

somajr's picture

She does have two sons. They are adults with children of their own now. In the past I didn't agree with some of what happened between her and her sons but I stayed out of it as it was none of my business. I have always felt as though she resents the life that I have been able to give my sons. As her sons didn't have some of the same opportunities. She has hinted to this.

I appreciate everyones viewpoints. I probably shouldn't have left out the fact that we already have a spare bedroom that could be converted into a guest bedroom. So there was no real urgency to utilize the space.

Starla's picture

My step kids are minors & when they are not actively living here, they do not have a room here. They know that if they were to move back, they would get their old room back. As a step mom, it has helped me let the past problems go. My husband feels the same way about it & when they move back, its a fresh start for everyone. I'm sorry for you that it was a shocker. She really should of had explained to you what she had in mind but probably feared that you would not have understood her feelings on it. I'm sure she didn't do it to hurt you but wanted to clean the room out so she did not have to be reminded of the past every time she was to walk by the room.

somajr's picture

LOL..I didn't realize that this was a stepmothers board! maybe it is her that should be posting here and not me! Ok so I am in a mine field! I do appreciate those of you that can understand a dedicated fathers point of view. Being a step parent isn't easy!

somajr's picture


I do feel as though she was being VERY spiteful! My son called me a couple of days after he moved and was very alarmed that she had texted him to come get his stuff or she would throw it out. I looked at the text and told her thatt it was very wrong for her to do that to him! Give him time to figure out what he was going to do.

A few days later he came and got more of his things. I had told her stay out of his room. It was like she couldn't wait to clear it out!

ybarra357's picture

I did the same thing your wife did. My SS21 was also kicked out for not following rules (refusing to work or go to school, smoking out in the house). He took a lot of his stuff with him when he went, leaving garbage and crap in his empty room. Well, I went in and cleaned shit out. Hell, I found some of my dishes shoved under his bed with moldy food on them. This guy was a verified pig!
Good riddens, I say.

hismineandours's picture

When my ss14 moves out I will not only be clearing the room out-I'll be throwing a party. I can tell from your posts that there are some serious issues here.

She has made statements to him to make him think that I don't care about him. It has just never been in front of I would never know who is telling the truth. This here would be my first clue. Take it from a spouse who hasnt been believed before. I'm a good person, I'm a good wife-if I say I didnt say something or do something I didnt do it. I almost left my dh over this and he has learned to never "not" trust me again. How would you feel if your wife didnt believe the things you told her?

I looked at the text and told her thatt it was very wrong for her to do that to him! Give him time to figure out what he was going to do.

A few days later he came and got more of his things. I had told her stay out of his room. It was like she couldn't wait to clear it out!

This would be my second clue. Asking him to come get his things is not wrong. In the adult world, if you vacate a place you cant leave your things lying around until you get around to picking them up. The new owners arent going to store your belongings. He really should have taken them with him. I've never moved out of anywhere and left my belongings there. I'm also thinking that telling your wife who I am assuming is owner of the house as well to stay out any room in it is probably not appropriate.

I think both of your communication must be lacking. Maybe your marital issues are being played out through your son.

janeyc's picture

If your wife is a very organised person, chores are always done that sort of thing, then she would do this, if she does have some bad feelings towards him, perhaps this has been cathartic for her, as someone else said, perhaps she dos'nt want to be reminded about how she felt in the past towards him, why don't you just ask her calmly, its better to have it out there in order to deal with any feelings on both your parts that must be dealt with. As things have been hard on her with ss she may have enjoyed removing his things, who would'nt? Im sure it was not meant to hurt you though, at least things will be easier for you both now, its time to talk about the past and put some salve on hurt feelings and start afresh.

capt_lou's picture

When my SO's daughter moved out I waited about 3 seconds and moved all her crap out of the room. She made my life such a living hell that I wanted nothing in there to remind me of her.

Maybe that is why your wife did that. Open your eyes, maybe she feels like a huge weight and dark presence has been erased from her life.

tweetybird74's picture

This was not her place to do this. Sorry but my SS is almost 18, I am in no rush to have him out of the house as I would prefer he go to college (and not end up with a huge loan to pay back) and live at home, and when he is ready to move out then he can do so. But as for HIS room, that will be up to his Dad to deal with I would never do what your wife has done and then to text him to say come get your stuff. Your wife was way out of line here.