Moving back home with your parents doesn’t have to be a source of shame. In fact, more and more people are deciding to return to the nest to regroup, strategize, and ultimately head back out into the world to tackle their goals. As the adage goes, sometimes you need to take one step back to take two steps forward.
Regardless of why you want to move back home, make sure you don’t rush back into it without first deciding if it’s the best decision. Weigh some pros and cons, and if you opt to move back home, make sure you discuss some key points with your parents or guardians. We’re going to outline some of the most common themes and how you can tackle them head on to save yourself unneeded stress due to miscommunication or mismanaged expectations.
Before you pack a single box, go through this list of everything you should address and sort out so moving back home is seamless and productive.
1. Acknowledge the pros and cons of moving back home.
Each circumstance has a different set of factors to consider, whether you’re moving back home after college or because you just lost your job.
Sometimes, whatever is bringing you back home can be a heavy emotional burden to process, which will without a doubt make this transition even more difficult. Other times the decision is strictly a financial or logistical one without so much emotional weight.
Regardless, it’s essential to make a list of all the pros and cons of moving back home. Here are some examples to get you started.
Some Pros to Consider:
- The child moving back home can return to a secure base to work on future goals.
- It’s easier to save money when living at home either for free or for a discounted rent.
- Moving back home can be highly beneficial during financial or health crises so that the child can help support the parents, or vice versa.
- Forming a strong adult bond between parent and child can be a beautiful thing when both parties respect each other’s boundaries and treat each other as adults.
Some Cons to Consider:
- The transition can be hard to navigate emotionally both for parents and children. Boundries will need to be set.
- It can be easy to become unmotivated when everything is provided for you.
- You will have much less personal space to work with if you move back home.
- Depending on the parent-child dynamic, a parent might want to know more about the child’s whereabouts if they are living under their roof.
2. Discuss how the finances will work.
Don’t immediately assume that just because your parents welcomed you back home that it’s going to be a completely free ride. Have an open and honest conversation about what will be expected of you financially. Some parents may want you to contribute but feel bad asking.
If your parents say you won’t have to pay a dime, offer to pay what you can reasonably afford while still saving for long-term goals. Make sure they know it’s okay for them to lean on you for some financial support.
Some benefits of contributing to the household financially include:
- It creates a more authentic adult relationship between parent and child whereby the parent isn’t providing everything for the child.
- Contributing to the home financially makes you more accountable, which will make you feel more like an adult living at home and not a child.
- Paying even a minimal amount based on your current situation will help you with budgeting and getting yourself on track.
This isn’t to say that it’s terrible if you move back home and pay nothing. Every situation and family dynamic is different. Do your best to honor what makes the most sense for you and your family.
3. Create some house rules and boundaries that everyone agrees to follow.
Moving back home can become a lot more complicated when the child goes into it expecting complete freedom and autonomy, then they are met with what seems like an overbearing parent.
Sometimes with parenting, out of sight out of mind plays a significant role in adjusting to empty nesting. However, when the child is back in the mix of the everyday home, it can be easy for the parent to fall back into the parenting role and want to know where the child is at all times.
Remember, the child is an adult and deserves their space. But both parties should strive to foster a healthy relationship and cohabitate. Everyone needs to have a safe discussion about boundaries and house rules. Come to an agreement where everyone is going to feel comfortable expressing their needs. Maybe that means a text update if the child won’t be coming home for the night.
Whatever the case may be, make sure you discuss before you move in so everyone can take the appropriate steps to adjust.
House Rules to Discuss:
- Will there be a home curfew?
- Can a significant other spend the night? If so, are separate rooms required?
- Are there chores that will need to be done, like bringing out the trash?
4. Make an action plan for next steps.
If you decided to move back home, chances are this wasn’t meant to be a permanent thing. Unless you’re transitioning into a long-term care situation, keep your eyes set on next steps. This advice doesn’t mean you have to rush into anything, but make sure you stay motivated and continue to work on your future.
Maybe this means saving for a house or job hunting or working out a personal issue. Whatever the case may be, check in with yourself and your parents every so often to see how far you’ve come. Create small goals and check them off the list as you approach them. This strategy will give everyone something to move toward, which is usually a positive thing.
How to Stay on Track:
- Make sure you make an effort to get out of the house every day. Don’t let yourself get complacent!
- Create a list of short term and long term goals then check in with them every so often.
- Make sure your parents are on board with your plan so they can be an extra source of motivation when you’re feeling lost.
- Don’t forget about the basics of self-care, especially if moving back home is an emotional process for you.
5. Figure out what to do with all your excess belongings.
If you had an entire dorm or apartment filled with belongings and you’re moving back into your childhood bedroom, you’ll likely have a ton of extra things. Before moving, make sure you create a game plan for where everything will go.
Does it make sense to keep your furniture in storage or sell it? A lot will depend on the length of time you plan to be back home and whether many of the items have sentimental value.
The easiest way to keep your clutter from taking over the home is to rent an offsite storage unit. Take a quick inventory of what won’t fit into your parent’s house, then use this space size estimator to see how large of a storage unit you’ll need. Perhaps your parents have some items like seasonal equipment they would like to put in storage too, and you can split the bill.
We hope this article helped guide you to a more peaceful transition back home. It’s important to be able to fall back on family, but it’s also equally as important to communicate with them, so everyone knows what to expect when moving day comes.