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Gift Ideas for your Kids After They Leave Home

Updated on April 1, 2012

Leaving Home

Making the Transition

When your kids leave home for college, a new job or a new lifestyle it's an exciting time, but it can also be a difficult transition. Email or telephone can keep you in constant communication but nothing says "I love you" like a package in the mail.

Here are some gift ideas for children who've left the nest.

Where's the Shampoo?

The Things They Took for Granted

When I left for university I was surprised at all the things I took for granted. There was always soap by the sink, shampoo in the shower and fabric softener in the laundry room.

Suddenly, I had to buy all those things and they were expensive. I had budgeted money for the important things like clothes, pizza and movies but not personal care items.

Why not pack up a box your child's personal favorites and ship them off? He or she will be glad you did.

Here's the list:

Shampoo and conditioner

Laundry soap and dryer sheets

Dish soap


Hand soap


Sunscreen and moisturizer

Mom's Comfort Food

The Cupboards are Bare

Nothing brings back the sense of home like home-baked goods. Properly packaged cookies, tarts and fudge will travel well to their grateful recipient. Throw in a box of your child's favorite chocolates or candy along with a book of gift certificates from a major grocery store.

If you are within driving distance bring a "starter pantry" with you. A starter pantry is all the staples you need to prepare your own meals. As with personal care items, the cost can really add up.

Here's the list:

Salt and pepper

Peanut butter

Instant noodles


Pasta sauce




Assorted spices




Kitchen utensils such as cheese grater, potato peeler and colander

An Old Friend

Memories From Home

They gave up their childhood toys a long time ago but that old scruffy teddy bear, favorite book or sports medal will be a welcome addition to their dorm or new apartment.

Send them a photo album of their childhood photos or have them digitized and added to a digital frame.


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