Living at home with my parents in my 30s was never part of the game plan. But after an unsettling experience in New York City where I lived in 6 different apartments in 10 months, I craved a simpler, more secure environment.
According to the Pew Research Center, 36% of “adult children” (ages 18-34) lived at home in 2012, the highest number in forty years. A variety of reasons have contributed to this, most notably, the recession. Other young adults have moved backed in due to an illness, a failed relationship or, more advantageously, to save money for a potential business venture or new home.
So you’re not alone, and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. If you look at it as a valuable experience, chances are that you will enjoy it and find a way to be independent sooner than you think. Here are tried and tested tips to help you survive living at home as an adult:
1. Embrace your situation.
It can be frustrating when your life plan seems to be derailed when everyone else’s is moving forward. But oftentimes what feels like a step back can actually be a blessing in disguise. Find the right reasons for you to come to terms with your living situation and accept it. Why doubt yourself when there are so many other reasons to enjoy life?
2. Reap the benefits.
Home-cooked meals. Quality time with your parents. Someone to take care of you when you’re sick. A shopping partner who will splurge on you every once in a while. Milk that is not expired. A seemingly unlimited supply of toilet paper. The list goes on and on. There are just some aspects about living at home that make life infinitely easier, don’t you think?
3. Act like an adult.
Moving in with your parents is not an excuse to be a kid again. Take responsibility around the house. Do your own laundry. Spend your time wisely. Don’t waste your days binge watching romantic dramedies or British period pieces. Offer to do the dishes or take out the garbage. Taking on household responsibilities will reduce the tension about your living arrangement for both parties.
4. Be kind to your parents.
In fact, kill them with kindness and show your gratitude. Sure, you may rip your hair out when it comes to certain repeated topics of conversation (marriage and children are some favorites…) but the single best way to keep your cool and divert their attention is to be incredibly loving and positive at these times. It will end up putting everyone in a better mood.
When you have time, do something unexpected. Water the plants. Clean out the refrigerator. Pick up some jewelry for your mom. Show your appreciation while you can.
5. Take up a new hobby.
When you move back home with your parents, you realize how much time to yourself you gain. To avoid feeling lonely, try something you’ve always wanted to do and put your heart into it. Enter a local kickball league or sign up for a pottery class. Choose an activity that will get you out of the house, help you meet new people and enable you to grow as a person.
6. Give your room a makeover.
When I moved back into my childhood bedroom, it pretty much looked like Laura Ashley threw up in there. As a 30 year-old, this would not do.
Spend time on Pinterest and browse or buy a few DIY books. Create a bedroom that inspires and motivates you. With a space you love, you’re more likely to keep it clean, work productively and enjoy the time you spend there.
7. Make it worth your while.
While some people may find living at home to be a hindrance, smarter people will see it as an opportunity. It’s a chance to save money, start your own business or follow your passions. Consider it your business incubator. You can pursue avenues you’ve always dreamt of rather than settle for a crappy one just to pay your bills.
Just because you have moved back home doesn’t mean you are any less of an adult. It is important to your well being that you see your new home as an opportunity for a brighter future.
Photo Source: Lantern