Now that your young adult has left the nest and is off to college, it’s time to think about what to do with their bedroom. While it’s wishful thinking to turn it into a craft room or exercise room, it’s probably a little too soon for that. Remember, your college student will likely return home during breaks and the summer. So the best option is to transition your kid’s room to a guest room after they leave for college. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
While you may have big plans for their room, your kid may not be quite so enthused by the idea. To get them on board, ask them to share their thoughts about wanting to see their room redecorated now that they are grown up. For example, maybe they’d like to change the color of the walls or replace some furniture. By engaging your college student in the process, they will not feel as if you’re getting rid of them or their memories.
Decluttering is the first step to transitioning your kid’s bedroom into a guest room. Especially if you are repainting, everything on the walls is going to have to come down. Similarly, if you’re going to be replacing furniture, you’ll need to put away all the trophies, stuffed animals, and other dust magnets. First, work with your kid to see if there’s anything they want to toss or give away. Be sure to have them choose a few things they want to keep out even when the room is being used for guests. If you later decide you want to put those items away, you can put them in storage baskets and stow the baskets on a closet shelf, then take them out again when your student returns home for visits.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to upsize from a twin bed to a full bed or even a queen if there’s room. Stay away from sleeper sofas for now, as they are better for the occasional guest, not if your kid has plans to stay the entire summer. Even if you keep the twin bed, you should at least refresh the bedding. Of course, you’ll also need a new mattress pad.
It’s a good idea to let your student pick out at least one set of sheets and a comforter. It may soften the blow of realizing their childhood bedroom is about to disappear. You’ll also need to get a new comforter. Invest in a couple of duvet covers that are easy to slip over the cover and then remove for washing, so that your student feels comfortable sleeping on a bed also used by guests. Get one that coordinates with the sheets and the room design you’re trying to create, and don’t forget to add a couple of decorative throw pillows.
To make the room feel welcoming to visitors, you may want to purchase a couple of one-size-fits-all bathrobes for your visitors to use. Hotel-style robes are perfect for this. When not in use, simply hang them in the closet or fold them up and put them away in a closet or a bureau drawer. The same goes for guest towels. If you don’t want your family using them or have the towels take up space in your linen closet, keep those in your new guest room. As for all those small toiletries you’ve accumulated on your own journeys, put them in a pretty decorative basket and leave them out for your company to use. Then, when your guests depart, take all these items and put them away in a couple of lidded bins, and tuck them in the corner of the closet.
Also, consider purchasing a new laundry hamper to keep in the guest room closet. This will give them someplace to put their dirty clothes and used bedding other than a suitcase or the floor. Make it easy for them by providing them someplace to leave the bedding and their used towels. In addition, by keeping a separate hamper for guests, your college student will still feel that the room is their own when they come home to visit.
With careful planning, you can transition your kid’s bedroom into a guest room after they leave for college without having them feel like they are entirely displaced. Happy decorating!