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19th Nov 2017

How to survive moving back in with your parents in 9 easy steps

There's no place like home.

Matt Tate

It’s not always fun but for many of us, very necessary.

Lots of people begrudgingly move back in with their parents while they decide on the next stop, while lots of others might be back in the family home while trying to save money for their own gaff.

As someone who, at the age of 25, recently moved back into the family home after six years of independence, I can assure anyone in the same position that it’s strange and sometimes tricky transition to make. Those heady days of playing pass-the-pad FIFA until 4am and watching someone you’ve never met come into your flat and drink beer out of your shoe seem like hazy memories, and it becomes all about what time you want your evening cup of tea.

That’s not to say it’s a terrible thing. There are obvious advantages of returning to the nest from which you drunkenly soared: food, functional dishwashers and sparkly clean bathrooms to name just a few. And then there’s the company. You’re going to wind each other up, but being back amongst family on a regular basis can be pretty enjoyable.

There are a few things you’re going to need to think about it before you make the jump though. Follow our guide and everything will be fine.

1. Set a timeline for how long you intend to be there

You’ve got to remember that this isn’t a permanent arrangement. If you’re a graduate who has just spent the last three years becoming a connoisseur of Super Noodles and stale bread, having a full-to-bursting fridge again is some luxury.

But make sure you keep reminding yourself that moving back home is just a stopgap while you save or plot your next move. You need an exit plan. Set yourself a timeframe and reassure your folks that they will have their freedom again… eventually.


2. Their house, their rules

It’s a tough one to swallow, particularly when you’ve just left an environment that made a game out of seeing how many dirty plates you can fit on one pile, but if you’re living under your parents’ roof again you’re going to need to play by their rules.

Make sure they tell you what they expect from the offset and just keep your head down. One day you’ll be back in your own place and free to eat leftover pizza in your underwear whenever the hell you like.

3. Be considerate

It’s no longer okay to invite half of the dingy little club back to yours for an afterparty. If you’ve really got to cook a bag of potato wedges when you roll in, make it stealthy and without the usual racket. And depending on how liberal your household is, Netflix & Chill might have to revert to its literal meaning.

You’re not expected to stop having a social life just because you’re back at home, but get practicing your subtle entrances.


4. Offer to pay rent

If you don’t get in there early it’s only going to become the elephant in the room – and not one of those cute baby elephants you saw fall over at the zoo. We’re talking about an ugly and awkward elephant.

Your parents hopefully aren’t going to suddenly morph into replicas of a dodgy landlord intent on squeezing every penny they can from your hopelessly empty pockets, and showing that you’re happy to pay your way is probably a good approach.


5. Try to save money

Self-explanatory, but you’ll be amazed how quickly you start allowing yourself ‘little treats’ when you’re no longer budgeting for toothpaste and teabags.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional payday purchase when you’re feeling impulsive but a clear advantage of being at back in your family home is that it should be easier to save for when you really need the dosh.

6. Help with general household chores

Remember that Henry Hoover you acquainted yourself with no more than three times a year in your old digs? Well it’s likely your parent’s Henry gets out a bit more. Take the smiley vacuum cleaner for a spin.

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And as for the washing up? Well, you’re going to need to start doing that.

7. Cook a meal every now and then

In all those years spent away from home you’ve surely at least learned how to whip up a good egg. Now could be the time to make use of it. Nothing will cement you a place in the good books quite like offering to don the chef’s hat for a night, so unleash your inner Ramsay/Oliver/Blanc and show the people that raised you how well you know your way around a kitchen.


Just make sure you know where the smoke alarms are in advance.

8. Pick your battles

If you’ve lived away from home for a considerable amount of time, the chances are your parents have probably got used to having the extra space. Clashes can and will happen, at least at first.

Sometimes an old-fashioned family ruck is a great way of blowing off some steam, but knowing when to shut up and accept your wrongdoing is key to keeping the peace.


9. Your parents might suddenly want to be your mate: embrace it

As you get older you realise that your parents are actually interested in being more than a walking, talking cash machine, and living with them in adulthood means you have a lot more to chat about than you used to.

Ask them about their days, their jobs, their hobbies and their opinions on the latest series of Orange Is The New Black. We’re being sincere when we say that – as long as you’re willing to overlook the occasional, politically incorrect drunken outburst – having the chance to live with your parents again can actually be a great thing.

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