How to Live with Your Parents (and your stuff) well into Your 20s

This is an old post I wrote on vacation that never went live, since I’m planning quite a few DIY’s for July/August I figured I’d toss up my little promo. Happy decorating!

Happy graduation! Now you’re unemployed! Wooooot!

For a lot of us this means moving back to the suburban prison of our childhood, loosing that college weight but being too broke to buy new clothes so you dig out your super cool (not) Hollister cargo pants and bedazzled tees from high school, then re-kindling all your old friendship, hanging out in all your old spots, and realizing as much as you thought you’d grown up in the last four years everything is exactly the same. Surprise! Oh and it’s now weird if you want to leave the house at 3 am, cause ya know, parents worry.

Now that i’ve blasted you through a year’s worth of self-realization we can get to the good stuff. You have changed. In fact, I bet you look back on your high school bedroom and think what a total f-ing loser. No more! Adding some style to your current abode will make this transition easier.

Nowadays more and more young people are moving back in with their parents after graduation. Aside from all of the social and financial woes, my friends have regaled me with mournful tales of vintage tea sets tucked away and dream apartments that have yet to manifest. Moving back in to your childhood home not only feels like a step back but it turns your nursery pink wallpaper into a daily reminder that you’re not where you wanted to be. In fact, for many, the last time they spent more than a few weeks sleeping in this space was their senior year of high school when nothing but dreams lay before them. While we all optimistically store our DIY pipe candleabras in packing boxes, expecting a paycheck and grown-up apartment move to be iminent, we may just be kidding ourselves – and making the worst of a bad situation. I’ve been unemployed so long I can’t even get pods for the coffee machine I bought myself in college! Holding onto things like this are silly but when they’re tucked away you don’t think about them. Time to liven things up!

Step 1: See what you’ve got. If its been a while since graduation your tastes may have changed. Not only was my coffee maker unusable but my collection of plastic Broadway show cups were cracked and dingy and well, just plain unsophisticated. It once said free wheeling college student now it said broke post grad. Another thing to trash. I also found new uses for nice things I’d thrifted and saved for my apartemnt. A vintage emerald green chip bowl makes a perfect hair and make-up repository and an ancient candle holder (was a vase but now the glass is gone) made for a perfect make-up brush stand.

Step 2: Decide what you want out and how much stuff your room can handle. Your bedroom will still need a bed, no matter how much you want to take your hamock out of storage, but this isn’t just a bedroom its now a sancuary where everything is yours and there are no rules. Stand in the middle and look around, this will help you get a feel for the space. Then think about what you do in there. I watch TV, work, read, and play make-up artist everyday. I don’t eat or cook in there. Nor do I excercise in my bedroom (who can get a rythm going when a comfy bed is right there?

Step 3: Start decorating. If you can paint its always a happy change. If not, use bold art so your focus is taken away from whatever the walls are doing. Measure out your big items. I had three tables, two chairs, a ginormous dresser, and a computer desk – all of which I had to make work. One table became a bedside table by putting a small box underneath to hide my essentials, it’s twin became my desk, and a leather shorty table got an update with a new picture frame top which was a little too big to share the walls with all my other art. Meanwhile my actual desk became a shelving unit and dressing table. Baby blue paper and Nicoletta C print upped its glam factor and the roll out keyboard desk is perfect for an eyeshadow display.

Step 4: Keep your essentials accessable. I dont want everything to be out but I also dont want to have to dig for 45 minutes it get to a pair of boots. I created a storage corner by tilting my desk against two walls rather than letting it lie flush. I can stick poster cans, hat boxes of mementos, and framed pictures which I can easily rotate with my hanging works. I also love a snuggly fitted trunk that can look built in and hide a ton of stuff. (trunks dont need to be expensive. A real vintage oak piece will set you back a few hundred but fun patterned ones sell for under $50 at Homegoods or TJ Maxx). When it comes to my closet I flipped another trunk (IKEA) on its side to make a DVD shelving unit. By pulling this forward I created an entire secret section behind where I store photo albums and off season shoes. I also hung hooks on the walls, so when you slide away my clothing you find my bags lined up and waiting to be used. I always empty them entirely before storing so I never have to play find the bronzer in a sea of bags. (side tip: keep big shoe boxes, you can fit all of your spring shoes into a boot box during winter and then can stack your boots and line up a thin parade of sandals in front of them come spring.

Coming up – my own Return to the Roost bedroom makeover! Stay tuned!

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