Moving Back Into the Nest: A Survival Guide

Moving back in with your parents is hard. I should know – I did. After 7 and 1/2 years of college and law school, I’m back in the nest and it sure is small these days. This is the first of many Augusts in which I will not be packing up most of my belongings (and fun stuff) and moving back to school. And, let me tell you, it is a really weird feeling. About this time every year, like clockwork, I’d be saying my goodbyes until Thanksgiving, getting pumped about seeing my friends at school and yes, living out on my own. But, things change and loans come knocking on the door and jobs are hard to come by, and like many of my friends, I was forced back into my old bedroom at home. Not to worry though, I’ve come up with a list of things that have helped me, and will help you, survive the transition.

A space of your own: This is key – in order to survive living under your parents’ roof, again, you need to have a space that’s all yours. Be it your old (and now current) bedroom, a den, an office, a mancave (girlcave?), whatever. Seriously. Coming back into a house where you’re  no longer alone is jarring, and a space that’s all yours will be a welcome sight. Repaint it, redecorate it, buy some new pillows, do something to make it feel new and homey and put your mark on it.

A good set of headphones: Noise canceling if you can afford ‘em. Because, no matter where you are in the house, there’s always going to be something going on (especially if you’re like me and you have a big Italian family where drop-ins are a regular occurrence). Headphones are a GODSEND. You can tune everyone and everything out (in the space of your own), or still spend time with your parents, but engage in a new and different activity.

A workout routine: Trust me – even if you’re not a regular, having an exercise plan helps get you out of the house, keeps you active and can help alleviate any stress you may feel being back at home. Even just daily walking around the neighborhood, biking or your regular gym routine. Plus, it’s a great way to maybe meet new people. Or just get out into society a little bit.

Good storage space: Prioritizing what you can feasibly move back with you and what is going to need to go into storage is super important. There’s no way all the stuff you had when you were out on your own is going to be able to come back in, or even get used. Selling some of it before you move back home (old dishes, books, DVDs, clothes, that ratty couch you had with weird food stains on it) is a good way to pocket some money and save on some space. Figure out what you can’t live without, what you can live without but want to save and what you just don’t need anymore and stick to it! Finding good storage space, whether it’s a rental or the garage, will save you some stress.

Now for some of the fun stuff:

Alcohol (if you’re 21+, duh): No, I’m not condoning becoming an alcoholic (times aren’t that hard), but it’s nice to have some beers or a nice bottle of wine set away for those times when you’ve just had it up to here. Or, it’s also a nice way to bond with the ‘rents again. Open that bottle and watch the funny come out. Crack open a beer with Dad while you watch the game with him (it doesn’t matter which game, which sport or even if you like it), sharing that family time will make you both feel good. Unless your house has somehow managed to include a Yankees/Red Sox or Cowboys/Giants or Celtics/Lakers split. Then, the beer might be a necessity.

A shoe budget: If you’re living at home like me to save money (no rent, no groceries), then you might, MIGHT, have some flexibility to set aside some money each month or couple of months for some much needed retail therapy.  Who doesn’t like new shoes? Or purses? I mean, make sure you can still cover your loan payments and your phone payments, and don’t add too much onto that credit card that’s burning a hole in your pocket, but get out and have some fun.  Hitting sales with mom is a good way to kill a weekend afternoon, and again, engage in some bonding. Especially if you’ve been away at school for a while. And hey, you might even get some swag out of it. Or at least a free lunch.

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