For many college students, the dog days of summer are the time where they’re preparing to meet their roommates and move into their dorm rooms for the year. But what about the student who’s planning on commuting from home instead of living on campus, or even – gasp – staying behind and taking a year off to work or travel instead?

Just because they’re not getting the traditional dorm experience doesn’t mean they can’t get into the spirit of redecorating their current space. These transitional years from teenager to adult are the perfect time to finally get rid of some childish trinkets and give their bedroom a mature makeover. Here are some simple tips for cleaning up, getting organized, and renovating your teen’s bedroom into something fit for a young adult.

Out With The Old

If your teen’s bedroom is jam-packed with stuff they’ve outgrown or no longer want or need, it may be time for a deep cleaning. For sentimental items (photos, trophies, stuffed animals, etc.) they don’t want to keep or display in their room, put them in a safe, reliable space such as the attic or basement that’ll keep them from cluttering. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb when debating what to get rid of is that if it’s broken or beyond repair, throw it away, and if it’s still in decent shape but no longer wanted, have them give it to a friend or family member, sell it at a yard or tag sale, or donate it to a worthy charity.

Get Them Organized

Odds are your teen is incredibly messy, and more than once, you’ve nagged them to pick their stuff off of the floor in their room. Entering this new stage in their life is the perfect opportunity for them to hone organizational skills that will help them later in their adult life.

Custom shelving is a great way to get organized! Whether it’s for holding books or sports equipment or displaying artwork or trophies, having built-in storage will give your student more space and transform their room into something new and fitting for this new chapter in life.

For additional storage, invest in a hamper/basket that they can easily carry their dirty clothes in and also fits nicely in their closet space. For the closet, hangers made from nicer materials (such as velvet) will not only help them keep wrinkles out of their dressier items and save valuable drawer space, but their strong grip means they’re less likely to slip and fall on the floor. If they’ve already filled up their dressers and shelves and are searching for more storage, miniature baskets or crates can be stacked and tucked in a corner or under the bed to create more space.

Spruce Up That Desk

Your teen’s work habits are most likely going to have to change dramatically as they transition from high school to college and beyond, so their work area should evolve along with them. Consider building a small nook to create a dedicated desk space. Having his or her own workstation will give your young adult a taste of the down life at home.

For their study area, they’ll need a desk lamp (for illuminating those all-night cramming sessions), a small trash can they should be changing every few days (to throw away any unwanted works in progress), a digital alarm clock to help prevent them from sleeping through their classes (because you can’t always rely on your phone), a miniature printer for printing out term papers (which will save them tons of money from using the campus computer lab), and a small fan or heater nearby to keep them comfortable in any weather.

Nab a desk organizer from the supply store for keeping pens and pencils, folders, notebooks, and more within reach. Hang up a bulletin board to tack up notes and a calendar (paper or dry-erase) to keep track of important dates.

Keep It Cozy

It’s also important that your teen’s revamped bedroom feels comforting and welcoming; giving them a space that feels safe and familiar will serve as a great outlet while they navigate this hectic transition. Repainting the walls or getting new furniture might not be within the budget, but even just switching up the bedding can give the entire room a brand-new feel.

Whether you get a new comforter set or just some new throw blankets or pillows, avoid anything overly loud, bright, or trendy; instead, go for more subtle colors, textures, and patterns that’ll last for many years. Adding in an area rug is also a great idea to bring in some extra coziness and add some personality to a bare floor.

Teenagers also get stressed easily, so making their bedroom as relaxing as humanly possible is essential. Hang up some string lights for ambiance, add in a few plants, or practice aromatherapy by lighting up candles or incense.

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