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):
    • Ensure your child carries essential IDs, cards, medications, and tech devices daily, even for short visits away from their distant home. 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.”
    • In case the mover handles your child’s move alone, inquire about virtual surveys, packing, storage, shipping, and flexible rescheduling options.
    • 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? When students or young earners move back home suddenly, deciding what not to bring becomes the main concern. Encourage your adult child to declutter as much as possible before leaving (even for a short stay away) or moving.
    • IBefore your adult child donates unwanted items, contact local centers to confirm accepted donations and their operating hours. 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. Request contactless payments and ensure all participants in the transaction adhere to hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
    • Before leaving for an extended period, urge your adult child to dispose of opened food, cleaning products, and perishables (not movers’ items).
  • Clean, Clean, Clean:
    • Advise your adult child to clean their residence before leaving, simplifying the packing process for movers if needed later.

Moving Day

  • Be Available
    • For virtual interactions during the pre-move survey or the move, ensure punctuality. Movers typically schedule virtual surveys to avoid oversights.
    • Be sure to provide your mover with your contact information, parent’s home address and shipping instructions, if applicable.
    • For adult children’s belongings in short-term storage, obtain address, contact details, and pickup instructions if needed.

Home Sweet Home

  • Clean again
    • As the nest fills up again, disinfect your adult child’s belongings upon unpacking to ensure cleanliness.
    • Contact local authorities or trash services to dispose of packing materials responsibly, ensuring proper recycling or disposal.
    • Establish ground rules for adult children’s temporary stay at home—trust us, we’re parents who’ve been through this too!
    • Keep in contact with college personnel, property managers, or landlords for local updates and safe return instructions.

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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