Helping Your Children Out (of the House)

Dorm Life

As a parent, it is always understood that eventually your children will grow up, and leave your home to start a life on their own. When that time finally comes, they may need some help getting underway. Whether it be a dorm or an apartment, they will need storage options and items that can save space and can be stowed away easily.


While your child may not be doing much in the way of construction in their dorm, they will need some basic tools to keep things from falling apart. While it won't make them instant DIY experts, it's a good place to start. Keeping the apartment clean is important, but more so, is having the supplies they will need, without taking too much space. Likewise, a handy caddy for cleaning supplies could be useful.

Finding Furniture with Storage

A smart way of storing things may be to double your furniture as storage containers. End tables and coffee tables are obvious choices, as many offer additional drawers and shelves to place things like books, remotes, and other items. However, there are more options for clothing or larger items that don’t require a new closet or cabinet. All sorts of ottomans, couches, and bed frames can be found with built-in storage options, such as hidden drawers, or compartments. In fact, you can find a lot of ideas for twofold furniture!


Everyone needs a bed when they’re on their own. But before you send them off with the wonderful bed that's served them well for years, remember that they might be hauling it up three flights of stairs, even if it fits where it's heading. To save on space, it may be easier to order a foam mattress like the one from Lull, whose mattresses ship rolled into a box the size of a mini-fridge, allowing for easy movement and set-up for use with any standard sized bed frame. Folding or slide-away frames like the Murphy Frame also offer unique and space-friendly solutions for your favorite college student. Some assembly will, no doubt, be required.

Four Walls and a Ceiling

Obvious choices when coming up with a place to store things are bookshelves and cabinets. However, these aren’t the only places you can put things. A common solution is a shoe hanger, which can hang directly onto doorways or in closets with clothing. They are easy to access and free up floor space for other things. While they are may not be the most stylish of options, overhead storage racks and various wall-mounted shelves can be a great way to provide additional storage without sacrificing floor space or adding to the potential clutter.

There are a lot of ways that you can help your children spread their wings and better prepare them for life on their own while you adjust to enjoying the life of a successful parent of a newly-minted adult. Do what you can to help out, but remember that this stage of their life, like all stages really, is just as much about the mistakes that are made as they are about the ones that are avoided. And don't worry, you'll still hear from them between financial aid disbursals.

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