Home Organization: What To Do When The Kids Are Away At School
Your home organization plan has suddenly changed. Now, with your student in college, you have a new opportunity to have space for the things you want to do. If your child had their own room, you may be able to repurpose this room for something you would like to use it for. Of course, this depends on how much the child will be home for school and what their goals will be in terms of coming home for summer breaks.
For many, a few good home organization tips can help you to free up the space to use as a reading room, an office or just about any other need you may have.
What To Store
One thing becomes apparent as the student goes to school: they had a lot of items. Over their lives they have likely collected a wide range of things that may have little to no meaning to you but for some reason they have hung onto them. What should you do with these items? Prior to digging through your child's bedroom, do take the time to talk to them about your plans. Let them know you are planning to put some of their items away so that you can use the room for something else. They may be offended at first, but reassuring the student that they are always welcome home will help.
Once you get their help to go through items, set up three bins. One is for give away items, which could be anything they no longer need and want. The second bin should be for things that they plan to keep and use later. The final bin should be for rubbish and anything that they may no longer have any use for but is not good enough to give away. Slowly work through the room together. Set aside a good amount of time for the task. Even the neatest of teens is likely to have a wide range of things stored throughout their room that will need to be gone through.
It is also likely that your new home organization plan is going to dredge up memories. You may find yourself crying over a teddy bear or sobbing over a picture they drew in kindergarten that you had forgotten about. These are things to keep, but it may take some extra time to go through them.
Use totes with lids that lock into place to protect all of the items that you should keep. Place in a storage area of your home or even into their closet. Storing and labeling all of these items will allow your child to come home and find just what they want. You can often pack away clothing and other personal items like this for the long term. You are not giving it away, just putting it away.
For larger items like dressers and the bed, you may need to keep these in place especially if your student will be coming back home on weekends or during the summer breaks. Home organization here is difficult in these situations since you may want to allow enough room for them to be comfortable when they are back. Some families convert these extra rooms into rooms for guests so that anyone that plans to stay over can do so easily.
For large moves and home organization that will completely transform their bedroom, you may want to consider outside storage. Storage facilities are available in most towns and are generally inexpensive to keep. Be sure that all items are stored off the floor in these locations and that the security is enough to protect your child's items. This will help you to feel good about these items and will protect your family's memories.
As you consider all of your options for home organization, be sure to keep your college student in mind. Let their room stay as similar to their room as possible, if this is what will help you to hold on to them while they are away at school. On the other hand, if you need the room for something else, there is no reason not to put their items away and use it as you see fit to do so.