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In 2020 a record 52 percent of young adults had moved back in with their parents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing the record previously set by the Great Depression, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. And though many have learned to find silver linings in the arrangement (saving money on rent, enjoying some well-cooked meals), putting down roots in your childhood bedroom as a grown-up, whether as a temporary arrangement or something more long-term, is a complicated milestone to reach.
In some cases, your room hasn’t been touched in years—maybe decades. In others, it’s been repurposed into a hodgepodge that’s part gym, part office, part storage, part who-knows-what-else. “But having to relocate to your childhood home doesn’t have to feel like a step back,” says Leslie C. Antonoff, lifestyle expert and host of the forthcoming HGTV series Sister Fixers. “Instead you can see it as an opportunity to step into who you wanted to be as a child.”
Say Goodbye to That 15-Year-Old Bedspread
Reminder: Your bedroom is so much more than the place you cried over your first adolescent heartbreak. And there are easy ways to repurpose it without overspending or overthinking. The best starting point is where you’re probably going to spend the most time: your bed. A mattress upgrade is ideal, especially if it’s been there since you were a kid. But if a new mattress isn’t in your budget—or doesn’t make sense with your timeline—what’s on top can still make a big difference.
“One way to make your space more adult friendly is by purchasing quality bedding,” says Antonoff. “Companies like Parachute, H&M, and Target offer linen sheet sets, weighted blankets, and more, so you can easily let go of that floral-pattern quilt your mom insisted on when you were 10.”
Use Your Spare Time (You Know You Have Some) for a DIY
The same philosophy should be applied to your childhood furniture: Instead of tossing it, pay close attention to the tiny details. “Change the hardware on an existing dresser or nightstand,” suggest Antonoff. “Switching out knobs or handles can make a dramatic change for little cost. You’d be surprised what a brass drawer pull can do.”
Don’t Settle for Internet From 1996
If you’ve found yourself in a new shared living situation where the Internet bandwidth is less than desired, don’t settle for a slow connection with a cable network. Verizon Fios Home Internet offers reliable Internet with bandwidth for multiple devices. With plans that have upload speeds as fast as download speeds, you can surf, chat, or stream with virtually no buffering. And in case your parents want to go back to their basic connection, Verizon Fios’s stand-alone Home Internet plans mean you can upgrade to a fast and reliable connection without the annual commitment. Spoiler: They won’t.
Ditch the Teen Idol Posters (Sorry, Hanson)
Paint or add wallpaper where you can and “up your art game,” says Antonoff. “Posters of your crush were all the rage when you were a teen. Now sites like Tappan Collective and Society6 sell art from up-and-coming artists that will give your space a more personalized touch.” Plus you can take it with you when you move out.