Leaving Home Gifts

Leaving home is a major step at any stage of life. Whether a high school graduate moving onto college, a college student graduating to the work force or an older adult moving to a new city, leaving home is both exciting and frightening, not to mention, expensive. Gifts for those leaving home can be practical, sentimental and motivational.

Household Items

Practical items such as towels, tools, cutlery and other household items may seem boring, but actually make great gifts for a person leaving home. Setting up a new dorm room, apartment or first home is usually more expensive than the move anticipates. A gift basket of spices, dish towels, olive oil and vinegar makes a nice gift for a new kitchen. For a son or daughter moving away from home for the first time, consider gifts of bed linens and pillows. Dishware, pots and pans are also good choices for gifts. Gift certificates to nearby grocery and one-stop shopping stores, such as Target and K-Mart, are also good, practical gift ideas.

Sentimental Gifts

Moving away from home can be emotionally difficult. Send a friend or loved one off with a scrap book album full of pictures and other memories from home. A photo of family or friends in a nice frame will add sentiment to new home decor. Sentimental gifts are often home-made. A jar of quotes inspired by the person leaving home can remind her that she will be missed.

Motivational Gifts

For someone leaving for college, graduate school or a new job, motivational items make great gifts. Consider a book of quotes that relates to the person's area of interest at her school or in her career. A poster or framed motivational quote to hang on a dorm room, apartment or office wall can provide inspiration on a daily basis. Consider a book related to her new career that provides tips, techniques and secrets for succeeding.


Though cash as a gift might feel impersonal, people leaving home can always use a few spare dollars in their pocket. Cash can help to offset moving expenses, purchase that unexpected, but needed item for a new home or help fill the kitchen cupboard for the first time. If you feel uncomfortable giving cash, then consider helping to offset moving costs by paying for the U-Haul, giving a gift card for gas or buying the first round of groceries.