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No matter how much you love your family, moving back home after being on your own doesn’t sit well with most adults. However, rising costs or older parents who need help forces some people to consider the advantages of a multigenerational house.
How Do I Cope With Moving Back Home?
The Pew Research Center estimated between 1971 and today, the number of multigenerational households quadrupled, with 18% of people living with extended family. There are many reasons for deciding to live with family.
Perhaps you want to save enough to have a down payment for a home of your own. Some people are single parents and need the support and help of their parents to raise their children, especially in the early stages of child development. Others have aging parents or grandparents who need some extra help.
Whatever your reasons for moving back home, there are some things you can do to ease the transition and make the experience better for everyone involved.
1. Store Your Stuff
If you’ve lived on your own for a while, you likely have furniture and other items that might not fit in your childhood bedroom. Perhaps your parents have additional space you can use as a home office or sitting room, such as a spare guest room. Don’t just assume they’ll let you have that additional space.
Talk to them about where you can store things to figure out how much you need to keep and what the monthly costs might be. Renting a storage unit incurs a monthly fee. Figure out what needs storing and what can go to the new place.
2. Death Clean
Unless you’ve been living in a tiny dorm room, you likely have many items you’ll need to part with. Start by doing a death clean, which means you look at everything as though you died and other people need to let your stuff go. Changing your perspective helps you release things you may be holding onto for emotional reasons but don’t necessarily need.
You can also take a digital photo of these items for your memories but let the physical thing go to a thrift store or someone in need. Too much clutter can impact your mental health and cause anxiety. Now is the time to do some decluttering before you move.
3. Set Some Ground Rules
One of the biggest problems with moving back home with your parents is that they may still see you as a child. On the other hand, you’re now an adult, and it’s fair for them to have certain expectations, such as you helping clean up the household you share.
The best way to avoid conflict is to sit with your family and discuss the upcoming move and what each party expects. Talk to them about household hours. If you work nights and come in at five in the morning, will it disrupt their sleep, and what can you do to avoid waking them?
Talk to them about your independence and whether you want them to be aware of your comings and goings. It’s natural for family members to worry if you stay out late. Do they want to know if you’ll be coming home? Do they understand why you may not always tell them who you’re with and what you’re doing?
Discussing situations before they occur helps keep everyone on the same page and the living situation peaceful.
4. Talk Finances
What are their financial expectations from you? Some parents want the adult child to pay a certain amount each week to help with added water, sewer and heating/cooling costs. How much do they expect, and do you feel it is a fair amount?
You should also discuss food. Will you eat at home? If so, should food be kept separate, or will you contribute to the grocery budget? What can you expect for your money?
5. Make a Savings Plan
If you plan to move home and save for a house of your own, you’ll need to save around 3% of the purchase price of your future home for a down payment. It’s tempting to do all the fun things you may have denied yourself while living on your own.
However, you should have an exit strategy and a time frame for how long you’ll live with your parents. Extenuating circumstances, such as someone’s declining health, may make it a permanent living situation. Outside of that, try to set some goals for how much you’ll save each month and how long it might take you to move back out one day.
6. Discuss Conflict Resolution
Talk to your family about how conflicts might get resolved. No matter how much you communicate beforehand or how good your relationship is now, there will be misunderstandings at some point. People get tired, grumpy and frustrated. If you have a plan for solving issues, it will be easier to navigate those minor frustrations as they crop up.
What if you park in your dad’s regular space, and he’s furious? If you’ve set out some guidelines for communication, he might write out the problem and let you think about it before the two of you sit down and talk. Allowing some cooling-off time helps everyone gain some perspective and avoids significant conflicts.
7. Organize Your New Space
Since you’ll likely have a smaller space, spend some time thinking about how to organize it better. Don’t forget to add shelves and hooks on the walls. Look up for more storage space.
Sell current furniture and buy multifunctional pieces, such as a chair that converts into a bed or an ottoman that adds additional storage for blankets and other items.
Enjoy This Time
Although moving back home with your parents may not be your first choice, it can be a positive thing that brings everyone closer together. You’ll spend quality time with them as an adult rather than a child. The relationship should be different at this level. Most parents shift to friendship and mentorship as you grow older.
Spend time having deep discussions about things you otherwise wouldn’t know. Ask them where they lived when they graduated from college or had to give up their first apartment. Find out if they ever moved back home and the struggles they overcame. Moving back home can be a financial and emotional perk. Enjoy the time and embrace the change.