Some parents have the fortune of reintroducing themselves to each other without the noise of children. Yes – we are talking about empty nesters, those lucky enough to have raised their children and reclaimed their homes. If you find yourself in this category then you may have realized how many EN’ers are quick to make changes to their current home once the kids leave. One of the first changes we see is converting their child’s room to a new hobby or guest room. Sounds awesome right? While the goal is for the kiddos to spread their wings and fly off to college, some circle back to the nest.
Should you find yourself among the number of empty nesters who are seeing a rise of returning college students, don’t freak out…just make room for them in your home. Whether for a summer or a few months as they get on their feet and prepare to take on the world, a college student is going to need a place of their own within your abode. Below are a few tips to welcoming the college student home while maintaining your home as your own.
Three Ways for the Empty Nester to Make Room for a Returning College Student
- Opt for Storage (or Selling) Immediately – Before you even pay for the plane ticket or make the drive up to campus, set strict guidelines on what’s okay and not okay to bring back home. Chances are you have downgraded your home as an empty nester so why bring in clutter? If your child student is home for the summer, store bulky furniture (e.g. futon and dressers) at a nearby storage unit close to campus. If however they have finished with college, double-check your available room to see if anything fits. If not, strongly suggest a garage sale prior to heading home. See “The College Student’s Guide to Packing Up the Dorm Room”
- Give Them Their Space – Were you so excited about having the home to yourself that you completely threw out (or hopefully donated) all bedroom furniture for something else? Sorry to say that those items may need to go bye-bye to ensure you have space for your kid. Areas like the basement or attic is ideal for an older child as they will want a room of their own away from the general public. Don’t have one of those rooms? You will have to convert an existing space into a bedroom. If you converted an old bedroom into a guest room, pat yourself on the back because the transition back to a bedroom will be easy. All other rooms will require a bit of furniture.
- Supply the Essentials – While you may or may not fully understand your student’s style, you can still provide them with room essentials. Like a dorm room, supply incoming children with the basics and encourage them to expand upon it during their stay. Here is a short list of items you should have available for their room:
- Bedding set – bed in a bag of fitted and flat sheets, a comforter and standard shams
- Fresh bath linens – bath towels, wash cloths and hand towels
- A small desk area with chair – after all, they are going to need a station to search for jobs, etc.
all photos from FreeDigitalPhotos.net