Is Your Adult Child Moving Home for the Pandemic?


Distance learning, furloughs and long-term work from home arrangements are forcing adult children to move home with their parents.

The pandemic continues to disrupt our way of life, and it’s not slowing down. Cases are on the rise and we are faced again with having to adapt to an ever evolving “new normal.”

College and university students who went away for the fall semester are likely to return home this Thanksgiving for the remainder of the semester and, possibly, a spring semester of distance learning. Millennials and Gen Zers who have either been furloughed or whose employers have extended remote work plans well into 2021 are choosing to move back home with their parents – to save money and avoid being alone.

Is your adult child considering a move back home?

If the answer is yes, here’s what you need know:

Before the move

  • What to take with them (on their initial trip home):
    • Be sure your child doesn’t leave their far-away home without valid IDs (driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, social security card), credit and debit cards, prescription medications, mobile phone and tablet, laptop and anything else he or she will need on a daily basis – even if they are planning for a short visit with you. They should also pack or store items of significant or sentimental value before leaving their home.
  • Find the right moving company:
    • Depending on the circumstances, your adult child may need to vacate their living space (e.g., college dorm, urban apartment or condo) in a hurry, so you’ll want to choose a professional mover that can be flexible. While some colleges and universities may contract with the mover directly, or let you choose your own from a list of approved movers, most property management companies will leave the decision to you. For more on choosing a professional mover, check out our blog post on “What to Look for When Choosing a Professional Mover.”
    • Since there is a real possibility that the mover you choose will be moving your child’s things without your being there, you’ll want to ask about virtual pre-move surveys, packing services, short-term storage and shipping capabilities, and rescheduling flexibility.
    • And, most importantly, you’ll want to find out what the company is doing to keep their customers and employees safe during the pandemic.
  • Declutter:
    • To bring or not to bring? Your student or young breadwinner may have to move back home in a hurry, so choosing what not to bring back home will be the bigger question. Encourage your adult child to declutter as much as possible before leaving (even for a short stay away) or moving.
    • If your adult child is considering the donation of unwanted items, be sure to contact local donation centers first to learn what types of donations they’re accepting and what their hours of operation are. Many donation centers have specific requirements regarding food, clothing and household items.
    • Of course, selling clothing, household items, electronics and sports equipment on Facebook or Craigslist is also an alternative. Just remember to ask for contactless payments and remind everyone involved in the transaction to wash their hands, social distance and wear their masks.
    • Encourage your adult child to discard any opened food and household cleaning products, along with any perishable food items, before leaving for an extended period of time (moving companies generally will not move these items).
  • Clean, Clean, Clean:
    • A good rule of thumb is to encourage your adult child to clean and sanitize their dormitory, apartment or condo before leaving (even if they are only planning for a short visit with you). If necessary, it’s a lot easier for a mover to come in and pack their belongings when things are clean and neatly organized.

Moving Day

  • Be Available
    • If you and your adult child are virtual, either during the pre-move survey or the move itself, be sure you are on-time for your appointment. Most movers will schedule a virtual pre-move survey with you, to ensure nothing is missed on the day of the move and any special packing instructions are shared.
    • Be sure to provide your mover with your contact information, parent’s home address and shipping instructions, if applicable.
    • If your adult child’s belongings are being moved to short-term storage, be sure you get an address, contact information and instructions for pick-up, should one become necessary.

Home Sweet Home

  • Clean again
    • The nest is full again, but before your adult child gets too comfortable, make sure to disinfect all of his or her belongings when unpacking.
    • It’s also a good idea to dispose of all packing materials, so contact your local municipality or trash removal service for information on disposal or recycling.
    • Set ground rules regarding temporary living arrangements for your adult children, while they are living under your roof (trust us on this one…we’re parents of adult children who have moved home, too!).
    • Stay in touch with student services personnel from the college or university, the condominium property manager or landlord for updates on local conditions and instructions for a safe return.

We can help

Whatever your adult child’s move needs are, Interstate Moving & Storage are here to help you find the information you need, answer any questions you have and to make his or her move as smooth as possible.

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