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It’s summertime, and that means the kids are home from school – including your college students.

The break between semesters can be pretty long, and if your college-aged kids aren’t involved in any summer classes (or if their school doesn’t offer them) they’re probably going to want to spend their time back at home to see their friends and not have to think about homework, or where they can do their laundry.

Of course, if they are coming home, they’re going to be bringing an awful lot of stuff with them. Like any good parent, you’ve probably already converted their room into a home office, a guest room, or even a storage room for all that exercise equipment you were sure you were going to use this year, but your kid’s furniture and clothes are going to have to go somewhere while they’re in town.


If this is about to be a problem you face in your next few months, we’ve got some tips on how to keep your returning college students’ clothes, furniture, and school supplies all tucked safely away:


Get cleaned up BEFORE you organize. It’s a little like showering before you get in the pool, but just like that it serves as an important preventative step. When you figure out when your students are coming home, and how much stuff they’re bringing with them (as you probably had to buy them at least a chair and a desk, if not an entire bed when they got to their dorm), you’ll want to take some time to clean out an area for them. Get some shelves and storage bins and get to work on the basement, garage, storage shed, or whatever other space you can use to help store their stuff while they’re here. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run if you do.


Make a plan: what goes where? Next, once your student has safely arrived back home, take stock of their stuff and figure out where it’s all going. Did they bring a TV or a computer that needs to be stored inside where the electronics are safe? What about any large bedroom furniture that will take up a lot of room, wherever it ends up? Sit down and map it all out so you can save time with re-arranging and storage later.


What will they need while they’re here? There’s a lot of stuff your kids aren’t going to need while they’re home from college – dressers, office chairs, etc – but there’s probably going to be just as much that they do. Everyone needs clothes, so those will have to stay inside, but their school supplies and extra laptop probably don’t need to be kept anywhere that needs to be easily accessed. Keep this in mind while you reorganize everything to get everything prioritized.


Look into some outside help. It might be a little pricey, but if your returning students have a ton of big furniture or larger boxes to stash, you should consider calling around to some local storage units. It’ll provide a great storage option in the short term and will free up valuable room at your own house.


Remember to label everything. If your student didn’t return with clearly-marked boxes (which, let’s be honest, they probably didn’t – you wouldn’t have at that age either) you’re going to want to take some time to track, label, and sort everything before they leave. They’re not going to want to leave all their video games behind, you don’t need them running off with grandma’s fine China by mistake, and it’ll save a lot of awkward drives to the campus when they remember something important they neglected to take with them.

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