The college kids are coming home for summer break! Did I forget to mention, they are coming back with all of their stuff. Now what?
Sending your kids off to college is the topic of many discussions. There are check lists complete with enough items to furnish a small home. We painstakingly shop for the perfect comforter and sheet set complete with matching accessories. We purchase mattress toppers that once out of their original packing barely fit in a midsize sedan. We research how to hang pictures that leave no marks on dorm walls. We worry about food sending a dorm fridge, microwave oven, and coffee maker. Our children insist on bringing ALL of their clothes to school then throughout the year they add sorority and fraternity t-shirts and formal attire to this clothing collection as well as game day attire.
Yes, all of this is coming back home and if you have several kids in college you can multiply this scenario. (By the way, this is why so many parents quickly agree to the off-campus apartment or house!)
The question is where do you store these items until the next semester. I must admit, one summer I rented a small storage unit. This particular year, my oldest daughter graduated from her undergraduate program in May and had plans to work as a sorority house director during her first year of grad school. She basically needed the same items she needed when moving into her freshman dorm room. My son lived on campus at the university he was attending and my youngest daughter was feverishly collecting items for her first college dorm room. It quickly became apparent that we had a problem as the items collected in our formal dining room.
I used plastic bins labeled for each kid to store their college items. I placed linens in one or two bins, coffee pots, mugs, etc. in a bin, accessories and décor in yet another. Then I took everything to an off-site storage unit. The storage unit might seem extreme but you can rent these by the month. They typically cost around $100 a month for a climate-controlled unit. The sense of calm we all receive from the two hundred dollars spent was well worth it in my book!!
If you have the space, you can store these bins in your kid’s closet, bedroom, or even in the garage. It is important to have your kids go through the stuff they bring home, sort items, and label everything. A lot of unwanted things get packed away in the mass exit after exams, like half eaten pop tarts, dirty coffee mugs, etc. Don’t judge. You know you raised these kids well but when the stress of exam week falls so do the cleaning standards!
HAPPY SUMMER! Enjoy these days as they pass way too quickly.