March 18th, 2015

Return from College Organizing

Messy bedroom with things they brought home from college

It’s that magical time of year when your kids come home from college and dump their stuff in your house! Your kids are unlikely to feel as motivated as you are to have their stuff put away, leaving you to trip over it and be annoyed for some time. The truth is that they might feel overwhelmed at the process. Here’s how you can break down the steps for them to make it easier:

Put Away The:

  1. Clothes – sort out the dirty clothes from the clean ones and fire up the washing machine. Put all the clean clothes away as soon as they come out of the dryer or suitcase.
  2. Toiletries – put them in their designated spot in the bathroom or dressing area.
  3. School Equipment– put things like plastic drawers, desk lamp, fan, etc. away in a storage area in your home.
  4. Schoolwork/Papers – go through the papers and decide what to keep and recycle the rest.
  5. Memorabilia –keep memorabilia in a bin labeled “College Memories”.
  6. Items not needed until fall – Pack bedding, fall clothes, desk and decorative accessories, etc. in suitcases, duffles or bins and put in a storage area in your home.

You may be thinking, “Okay, now how do I get my child to take these steps?” I can’t promise they will but here are some ideas to try in this order:

  1. Appeal to their intrinsic desire to please you and keep your home neat and tidy. Good luck with that.
  2. Guilt – Remind them how you’ve scrimped and saved to send them to college.
  3. Bribery – Offer money, gift cards, the continuation of your love, etc.
  4. Threats- Deny access to the car, money, food and water.

Hopefully, you (and I) won’t have to move past step two.

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