moving back home

Moving Back Home: How to Cope

moving back home

In today’s economy, moving back home has become common for adult children. After all,  staying with family members is a way of saving money. It can help you get ready for fiscal independence or help you get back on your feet after the loss of a job. Financially it makes sense, but how do you cope with the loss of independence that comes with your new circumstances?

Even if you’re paying rent, you may experience feelings of loss and failure when moving back home. This may happen even if it’s the home you grew up in.  Here are some tips to help you cope when you move in with family – and get back on your feet as soon as possible.

6 Ways to Handle Moving Back Home

#1: Discuss Your Expectations

Some of the preparation for your move should happen, if possible before you take up residence in a family member’s home. Keep a written record of what is decided. Here are some of the questions to ask when you are moving back home:

  • Are you expected to pay rent? If so, how much can you afford?
  • Does your rent include utilities?
  • Are your family members expecting you to contribute to the household in other ways?
  • How will the grocery bill be divided?
  • Are you expected to adhere to house rules – if you are living with your parents, do they expect you to let them know where you are?

It’s good to know your financial and domestic responsibilities ahead of time. If you can’t do it before you move in, schedule a meeting as soon as possible after you arrive.

If you’re not paying rent, be sure to ask how you can contribute to the household in such a way that will help everyone feel like you are doing your fair share. This is important because someone may expect you to do all the cleaning, yard work, or cooking, and your schedule may not leave you time for that. You should clarify expectations.

#2: Set Boundaries

The next step is to set some healthy emotional and physical boundaries. If you’re living with your parents, for example, it’s reasonable to tell them that you expect your room to be private. They should ask before they enter. Likewise, it’s reasonable for them to ask you to be quiet at night or in the early mornings.

You may also want to specify which topics are out of bounds. Sometimes, adults who move back in with their parents find that their parents want to intrude in their personal lives in a way that’s uncomfortable. Spend some time thinking about your feelings and make sure to articulate them.

#3: Plan Your Exit Strategy

Moving home with your parents or into another relative’s house has the potential to be demoralizing. One way to combat any feelings of depression or loss is to move in with a plan to move out.

That means looking for a job if you don’t have one, saving as much money as possible, and creating a timeline for when you want to be back on your feet.

#4: Put Your Agreement in Writing

It might seem unnecessary to formalize your living arrangements with family members, but doing it can help you avoid misunderstandings. Even a brief document that outlines your financial and domestic responsibilities can help you live in harmony.

If you feel that you’re likely to clash over personal issues, you may want to formalize those too. That way, all parties can refer to the written document if there are issues to be resolved.

#5: Behave Like a Guest

When an adult child moves in with their parents, it’s easy for all parties to fall back on old patterns of behavior. Your mom may want to feed you every night, but that doesn’t mean that you need to let her.

It can help your mindset if you think of yourself as a guest in their home. Spend time outside of the house, offer to help around the house, and remember that the living arrangement probably isn’t ideal for them either. Approaching your situation with gratitude can go a long way toward making it manageable.

#6: Establish Your Space

In some cases, there is little space when you are moving back home, and that is when self-storage comes in handy. Perhaps you can afford to rent a storage unit and keep your extra belongings there. Maybe your family has a few things that could be put there as well to give everyone more space.  


Moving back in with your parents poses a real challenge, but the five tips we’ve outlined here can help you cope – and get back on your feet again as quickly as possible.

Need to put items in storage when you move back home? Click here to learn more about Storage West’s storage services.

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