Making Room For Your Young Adult Child To Move Home After College

These days, the promise of getting a good job straight after college is more of a hope than a promise. It takes many new graduates a year or more to find a good job in their field, and in the meantime, they can have trouble making ends meet as the student loan bills start rolling in and the income generated from several part-time jobs just doesn't cover the expenses.

If your adult child is in this situation, one of the best things you can do for them is allow them to move home for a while, giving them a break from the responsibilities of rent and utilities while they search for a job. But while you're happy to have your child home... what do you do with all of their stuff? Moving to a bigger home just isn't a wise option, so here are some better ideas.

Rent a storage trailer.

Many storage companies have begun renting out storage trailers which you can have parked on your property. You can put all of your adult child's possessions in the trailer, where they will be out of the way but still easy to access when you need them. Renting a storage trailer has a few advantages over renting a traditional storage unit:

  • You don't have to travel to the storage unit if you need some of the items inside.
  • You can keep a close eye on the condition of your items, dusting and cleaning them (and the inside of the trailer) as needed.
  • You can load the trailer up at your child's current apartment and have it driven to your home. This is simpler than unloading everything into a separate storage unit.
  • When your child finds a job and a new home, you can have the trailer hauled directly to that home -- no need to pack a moving truck!

Renting a storage container may cost about $50 a month, but being that your child won't be paying for rent or utilities, they should be able to cobble together this amount even if they're only working part time.

Just get rid of things.

Another approach is to go through all of your adult child's things, and get rid of anything that they don't need during their stay in your home. This may be the better approach if you're confident your child will be in your home for a longer period of time -- like a year or more. Often, the items students have during college are very low quality, and when your child eventually moves out on their own, they will want to repurchase newer, nicer items for their new apartment anyway.

It's easiest to do this purge before your child moves home. They can list furniture and other large items they don't need on online sales sites; other students coming in for the semester might buy them. If something does not sell, donate it to a local homeless shelter or thrift store. Try to get their collection of items down to what you can store in a spare closet or two at home. 

Lend items to friends.

This is a strategy that you can actually combine with either of the two strategies above. It works best for large items like sofas and beds, which your child may not want to get rid of and you don't have room to store. Reach out to your friends on social media and see if anyone wants to borrow these items for a time. Someone might want to have a spare sofa for a year or two, after which time they can give it back to your child and replace it with one they've been saving up to purchase.

With the tips above, you can move your adult child (and their things) back into your home, giving them the head start they need to enter the complicated job market.