Decorating for Boomerang Kids

A bedroom with a bookcase.

Whether they are fresh out of college or in-between employers, a lot of parents are raising boomerang kids these days. Boomerang kids are those young adults who come back home after being away for a while. If you are experiencing a boomerang kid, here is a quick guide on preparing your home — and their old room — for their return.

A New Start

Your child may be sleeping in their old room, but it does not have to look the same. Cleaning the room and removing their childhood items will give you a clean slate to work with. It will also make your kid feel like you see them as an adult and gives them a nice welcoming present. You can change as much as you like in the room, but swapping out the curtains and clearing the walls is a good place to start. If you insist on keeping some of their childhood decorations around, consider installing a display case somewhere in the home.

Swap Out Their Old Bed

If you still have an old bunk bed or twin mattress in the room, then it is time for a change. But instead of going with a traditional bed, opt for something like a day bed and couch combination. A sofa can make the room seem more comfortable and inviting, which means they will be spending more time in their room and less in yours. Adding a small end table or a coffee table will really complete the look.

Transforming Their Old Room

A bedroom with a desk.

Turning your kid’s old bedroom into a multi-purpose space can encourage them to get work done. If the room is large enough, consider putting in a small desk where they can keep track of their things or a microwave where they can heat up snacks. Think of it like you are turning their room into a mini-apartment, which should give them a sense of independence without encroaching on your territory too much.

Clean the House

While you are redoing your child’s room, you might as well give your entire house a look through. Before your boomerang kid returns home, you should sift through everything in your home and get rid of things you do not use anymore. This will help declutter your life and create more space for when your kid comes home. This step becomes even more important if you have converted their old room into a hobby space because you will have a lot of things to rearrange.

Make a Work Space

One of the biggest priorities for your child is landing a job so they can get on their feet again. You can encourage the job hunt by providing them with their very own office space. This could be in the form of a desk in their room or something as simple as a bulletin board, which can help keep track of their applications. You can even consider partitioning a larger room in the house to create a separate work area.

Storage Space

Blue bins used to store items.

Your child is likely to have accumulated a few things while they were away — and you will need to find somewhere to store their personal belongings. You could always rent a storage space for their items, but stackable bins are another option. Depending on how much they have, you could get away with just storing their items temporarily at your house.

Outlining Boundaries

Privacy is another key ingredient to successfully deal with a boomerang kid. You and your child need time alone, so coming up with clear boundaries and expectations will help keep things running smoothly. One way to do this is to establish an outdoor work area for your kid. This will only work when the weather is nice, but it will do wonders in retaining your sanity in the long run. Start by putting a few chairs and a table in the backyard. You can also build a small fire pit for when your kid wants to have friends over.

Creating a Lease Agreement

You need to determine from the very beginning what your child will pay for rent, laundry, food, and utilities. You may be planning on paying for everything, but you need to come up with an agreement either way. If your child cannot pay for anything, they could pay their way in the form of chores. Just make sure they know exactly what is expected of them and when things need to be done.

Target a Move-out Date

A calendar with a red pin on it.

Setting a potential move-out date is a good way to set a limit with your child. Having this conversation also opens the door to setting goals with your kid, whether they need to pay off student loan debt or save up for a house of their own. When setting a move-out date, have a realistic conversation with your child so they understand exactly how long it will take to reach their goals. Remember, the move-out date can always be adjusted down the road.


Open communication is one of the biggest keys to successfully living with a boomerang kid. From the beginning, it is important to let your child know that you are there for them and outline your expectations for their stay. You should keep this communication open throughout their stay. Doing so will help decrease the number of confrontations and help everything run as smoothly as possible.