23 Best Gifts for Graduates Temporarily Stuck at Home

Graduation is a momentous occasion that celebrates the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next phase of life. However, the pandemic has thrown a wrench into the plans of high school students heading to college and college grads moving across town or across the country to pursue careers.

Instead, a lot of graduates are staying put at home, while some are even moving back home into their childhood bedrooms. And we understand that many of these grads may prefer to spend the majority of their time sequestered in their rooms. So, we searched for graduation gifts that could help to make their bedrooms more comfortable and functional, as well as items that can be useful when your grad eventually moves out.

Below are the best gifts for graduates temporarily stuck at home, and at the bottom of the article, we’ve also included some advice from experts on how to choose the right presents for your special grad.

 

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Tips for Choosing Graduation Gifts

There are no one-size-fits-all gifts for graduates. The best gifts will be applicable to them as individuals and speak to their particular situations and interests. These are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Dorm Decor

Remember that your grad won’t be at home forever. If they’re headed to college, Katy Winter, founder of Katy’s Organized Home in New York, recommends helping them prepare to style their dorm room with some fun art. “A framed shirt or poster from their favorite concert is one idea,” she says. “Another suggestion is battery powered clip string lights for their dorm room – the grad can hand some of their favorite photos on the clips.”

“A blanket or throw for their dorm room is always a winner, as is a fun pillow,” Winter says.

“And a bedside caddy is great way to organize electronics.” Storage chests and trunks can also provide organization and storage options, as can gifts for a small bathroom.

Entertainment

Consider that homebound grads may be bored. “Because we’re all stuck at home, anything that entertains will be especially appreciated by new graduates,” explains Lisa Dooley, an organizing coach, owner of Your Organized Life, and author of “More Space. More Time. More Joy! Organizing Your Best Life.”

She recommends Bluetooth speakers and earphones, which can be shipped right to the recipient.  “Gift certificates for streaming movie services like Hulu and Disney+ and music platforms like Spotify would be a big hit – be sure to confirm the graduate doesn’t already have this already (siblings are good sources for this kind of information).” In addition, Dooley recommends gift certificates for Uber Eats or GrubHub. “These are also thoughtful gifts as they benefit both the grad and the restaurant,” she says.  

A freestanding hammock that can be set up in the grad's bedroom is another entertaining option.

Tech

Liz Jenkins, owner, consultant and lead organizer at a fresh space in Franklin TN, warns readers against going overboard on presents. “In our experience, the generation that is graduating now isn’t as big into stuff as prior generations,” she says.

Jenkins says finding gifts can be a challenge since these grads are more focused on tech and virtual experiences than physical items that can end up being clutter. “We often recommend gift cards/subscriptions for iTunes, Spotify, and the like, in addition to Air Pods or other types of tech, like rapid chargers or charging cables.” And she agrees with Dooley that meal delivery is a good idea.

Additional Ideas

Amy Vance is the owner of Eco Modern Concierge in Houston, TX. She provides the following graduation gift ideas:

Money - everyone likes money

Stocks - they may not appreciate it now, but they will in the future and now is a great time to buy stocks.

Subscription/Membership gifts - Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix, Audible, Disney+, Hulu, BroadwayHD, magazines, newspapers, consumable subscription boxes like food, wine, etc. 

Hire a photographer to take porch graduation photos (this being done in many cities).

Gift cards - some of their favorite stores like clothing stores, food delivery, XBOX, Playstation, Amazon, Etsy, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

Jewelry - get them a piece of special jewelry that they will have for years to come.

Doorstep deliveries - for items like personalized cosmetic bags from Stoney Clover, monogrammed catchall trays, balloon arches or giant confetti filled balloons.

Books - Audible subscription, gift certificate for a local bookstore.

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