Minimizing Your Possessions: Moving Back Home For College Grads

This month marks ten years since we graduated college (the first-time). I so clearly remember coming home the day I walked across the stage and collapsing on my tiny twin bed.

I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I didn’t have a job lined-up yet, and I had no idea where I was headed with my life. I just knew that I would be living at home with my family. And even though this was a decade ago, many college graduates are facing the same reality. According to a poll conducted by the U.S. Census, 30.3% of millennials today live with a parent.

As someone who just recently went through all her college possessions that she schlepped home with her a decade ago, let me give you some advice that I wish someone had given me:

How to Minimize Your Possessions When You Move Back Home After College

  1. Sell those textbooks. Before the era of renting textbooks, I used to have to buy all of my books. That meant that at the end of four years I had a slew of books that I would never open again (I’m looking at you, Introduction to Organic Chemistry). Luckily there are a number of websites where you can trade in your used textbooks for cash. My favorite one to use is They make it easy to plug in your ISBN numbers, get quotes, and ship your books. If your books are fairly new and are the most recent edition, you will get more money for them.
  2. Donate or sell your dorm furniture. This is the perfect time to do this, because college students will be looking for new dorm furniture for their room or apartment. Sell those mini fridges, microwaves, futons, television console, lamps, rugs, twinkle lights (You know you have them!). This is not the time to get nostalgic. If you are having a hard time parting with the furniture, just make a plan for what you will do with the money you make from selling these items and use that to motivate yourself.
  3. Don’t forget about your extra towels and linens. Those extra long twin-bed linens most likely don’t fit on your bed at home, so decide what you want to do with those. Also, if you are like most college students, you probably bought brand-new towels before you left home. Decide how many towels you really need and get rid of the rest.
  4. Donate or sell multiples. When I decluttered the bathroom earlier this year, I found two hairdryers, two hair curlers, two hair straighteners, a hair crimper (Yeah. I know. Don’t judge.). Again, take all those extras and donate them.

Follow some or all of these suggestions and you can start your summer living a little lighter and with a bank account a little heavier.

So, what do you think? Did I miss anything? What other advice would you have for graduates moving back home (besides ditching the hair crimper)?

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