We take a look at the growing phenomenon of parents converting their children's rooms as soon as they leave for university.

Most parents plan to convert kids’ rooms once they go to university

Kiran Dhiman

Almost two thirds of parents make plans to convert their children’s bedroom before their child has even left for university, a new report has revealed.

The research by Staples UK confirmed that, surprisingly, only a fifth of parents had left their child’s bedroom untouched, while 78 per cent of parents made changes within six months of their child moving out.

Amee Chande, managing director of Staples UK said: “Converting an occasionally used bedroom into an office or home gym can be an effective way to help avoid the need to pay for office space, expensive gym memberships or even moving to a bigger house.”

Spare guest room or a gym?

The most popular changes that were made were to convert it into a spare guest room with one in four parents admitting this, closely followed by turning it into an office or a gym.

Other options on the list included allowing other children to upscale and move into the student’s bedroom, while some parents even confessed to turning the room into a games or dressing room.

“We’re experiencing a tough time economically so it’s of no surprise that families are making the most of the space in their houses,” said Ms Chande.

She went on to explain that parents often looked for smart furniture solutions so that they could make changes to their child’s bedroom without getting rid of their bed. For many parents it was still important to keep at least part of the room as the children had known it when they left their parents’ house. 

Many Kingston University students have been lucky enough to have their rooms remain exactly as they were when they left.

Creative writing and film studies student Sarah Cook, 20, said: “My parents have not changed my room around. I still have my own room. Though in the past, it has sometimes been used for storage.”

Like many other students, who feel insecure when starting university and moving out for the first time, Miss Cook admitted that she would feel “pushed out” if her parents had changed her room because she always goes home during the  holdiays. The research also supported Miss Cook’s feelings, and revealed that 45 per cent of children would feel put out by the loss of their bedroom.

But Miss Cook would be understanding if her parents did convert the room: “If my family really needed the space then I would understand their decision from an economical point of view,” she said. 

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