How to Help Your Child Decorate Their First Apartment
Your life used to have a busy schedule surrounding what your child needed. You had to drop them off at school, drive to their activities and make sure they had time with friends. As they grew up, you knew the time would eventually come when they’d fly off on their own. Now that occasion is here.
The weeks and months before your child moves into their first apartment or goes to college are full of bittersweet but exciting moments. They get to pack their belongings for a new beginning, and you get to cherish the family time you have left while they still live at home. Before their move-out day comes, don’t forget to think about how you can help them transition into their independent life.
The first situation they’ll need your help in is when they have to figure out their new living space. Check out how you can assist your child in decorating their first apartment without overstepping. They’ll furnish it the way they want to, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your kids has what they need.
1. Get the Necessities
While your child browses through decor inspiration online, they’re not thinking of the necessities they might take for granted. They’ll need things like an ironing board, kitchen supplies and extra sheets. Sit down together and make a list of what they’ll need so you don’t forget to buy anything.
2. Recreate Their Room
Take a look around their room at home and see if there’s anything they’d like to bring with them. Their apartment will immediately feel cozier if they bring stuff from their space at home, but remember to keep their room at the house ready if they want to stop by for a visit.
3. Clarify Your Budget
If your child’s big move happens in the fall, you’ll find plenty of supplies and decorations on sale for new college students. Even with the sales, don’t walk into stores armed with only your credit or debit card. While parents shop to decorate just a dorm room, they spend an average of $980 in a matter of days. An apartment could cost much more.
Come up with a budget that works for you and have your child pay for whatever they can. They’ll learn about responsibility and feel more ownership over their future living space. You might ask them to cover the fun stuff like posters while you pay for the essentials, so they have more control over decorating.
4. Talk With Their Roommates
Some roommates like to coordinate decor so the apartment has a unified look. Ask your child to talk with their future roommates if they know who they’re living with and discuss things like color schemes.
This is an excellent opportunity to find out what you don’t need to pay for. The other parents involved may have already bought things for the shared bathroom or living room areas. You can easily avoid spending extra money if your child opens communcation with their new roommates.
5. Offer Advice When Asked
It’s easy to take control during move-in day, but that could ruin the experience for everyone. Hang back and let your child lead the decorating process. You may not prefer the bed against a particular wall, or a picture hung above the window, but it’s their space, and they’ll ask for your advice when they need it.
6. Remind Them of Extra Supplies
Part of decorating an apartment means you have to remember commonly forgotten items to make the place liveable. Get your child an extra extension cord, toilet paper and an ethernet cord in case their Wi-Fi connection is spotty. The little things make a huge difference. Anything from a can opener to an extra phone charger will save the day and make life easier.
Expect Future Updates
Everyone goes through different style changes in their homes, even young adults. What you set up when they move in may not be what they like a few months from now. You can expect them to want future updates, but remember that they’re responsible for their space too.
Help your child decorate their first apartment and assist when they need money for essential things in the future, but give them control over everything else. They can pick out their comforter, pay for decor and coordinate with their roommates if they’d like. It’s a balancing act you’ll get used to as time goes on, so enjoy the process and watch your child grow into the adult they’re becoming.
About The Author
Dylan Bartlett writes about a variety of topics on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Check it out for more info on home improvement, DIY projects and remodeling apps. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates!