What to do with your kids room when they go to college?

  • Posted by Array Design Studio
  • On March 21, 2019
  • 0 Comments

Here are my top five tips for what to do with your kids room when they’ve gone off to college, because like many of you, I too once had little ones. Four to be exact. And one day, seemingly out of the blue, I had my first college student on my hands. I found myself thinking about what I was going to do with her things, her furniture and her room itself. This fase is what I want to call “Pushing the bird from the nest”.

1 Simplify

Before they go off to their new life, make sure they go through their old one. You can of course help with this if they’d like, but they may want to do it on their own. This could be emotional for them. Go through the closest, under the bed, in ALL of the drawers and their bathroom. Have them create 3 piles – keep, donate, throw away. If you aren’t sure about how to make those decisions, I highly recommend looking at Marie Kondo’s philosophy on this.

2 Make a Schedule

Not everything has to be done at once. This is going to be a hard time for everyone. You, as the parent, and your child going off to school. Don’t pressure them to have everything organised and boxed in one weekend or even a week. Don’t wait too long either though. You do want to have that space back for yourself, but nothing feels worse than getting a phone call to say “I couldn’t wait any longer, I boxed all your things up myself and it’s in the garage.” It would feel like a total privacy violation and it would feel cold and hurtful.

3 Offering a Transitional Space

Offer a space where they can put boxes while they’re in college. When you’re bouncing from dorm to dorm to temporary housing, it’s just not feasible to take all those things with you. Offer space in the attic, garage or basement. Plastic tubs are great if you’re going to be putting things in the garage or attic, but if things are going to be seen more regularly, look into some fun/cool/designer containers. Where ever the containers are going, know they will be there for the next 4+ years (depending on schooling).

4 Regarding Furniture

If you don’t have a basement that needs extra furniture, you’re going to have to start getting rid of what’s not needed. If you have quality pieces that you don’t want to part with, but don’t fit in the room for what you’re planning, it might be worth storing it somewhere. Once your kiddo graduates from college and moves to their own home, they might like to have those pieces as a starting point rather than buying all new.

5 Your New Space

Now the question is, what to do in the interim of the 4+ years with your kids room itself while their in college? There’s a number of options, but the most common and easy to transition to is a home office or guest room. Replace the bed with a pull-out couch or futon so the room can still be used by your kiddo when they come home for the holidays, summer or if you have a guest staying. If you make it into a home gym, keep in mind this can feel cold and cut off. The home gym might have to wait until they’ve moved into their own home.

Those are my top tips on what to do with your kids room when they go off to college. Again, it’s a process. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you both, but make sure you’re not compromising the space out of fear. Your kid is ready for this next step, you are too. You’re not shoving the bird out of the next but giving them a little push. Remember, they need it as much as you do.

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