Preparing to Move Home After College

Being away at college gives you a whole new sense of responsibility and a huge amount of freedom. I always found coming home during college breaks to be a difficult transition because of this – I was so used to having my own space, doing what I wanted to do when I wanted, and being on my own schedule that coming home and being under my parents roof, having a younger sibling in the house, and making sure I put sticky notes on all my food so no one would eat it, a hassle. I like my freedom. I don’t want to tell my parents what I’m doing every second of the day. I don’t want to get dirty looks and questionable glares when I decide to go out for drinks at the last minute even though it’s only ten o’clock and in my previous, college world, that’s early.

With my last week of college under way and my college graduation sneaking up on me fast, I am in complete panic mode about moving back home. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way and that others find it annoying when adults say “Oh, you’ll love being home, you’ll save so much money that way!” or “Live at home as long as possible, it’s cheaper!” Do these people not remember what it’s like living on your own and having complete freedom and then moving back in with your parents and them nagging you like you’re thirteen years old again?

Moving Home After College: How to Make It Work

To make the transition from living on my own to moving back in with my parents (and sixteen year old brother – who does not reciprocate my love) a little easier, I’ve made it a point to figuring out the best ways to make this new chapter a little easier on me (& you!).

1. Make a list of all your expectations

Do you still want to be able to do your own thing whenever you please? Do you want your significant other to sleepover? Making a list of the things you expect from living at home allows you to be open about what’s going on and to be independent event though you just gained new roommates (your parents, your siblings, your family pets). Take your time andย really think about what you want, what is realistic, and what you know your parents will be cool with.

2. Talk to your parents

Set aside some time that you and your parents can talk in a neutral location about what you expect from them, what they expect from you, and be sure to talk about all the nitty gritty – bills, paying rent, groceries, etc. I highly suggest you bring said list of expectations with you when you have this talk so that nothing gets left out and so you also have something to reference when you get upset and start crying because you feel so awkward (me.).

3. Make a deadline of when you’d like to move out

Whether you have a specific date or a generalized timeline (I made mine 6 months – 1 year after graduation) figure out when you’d like to move out of your parents place and into your very own shoe box. Having a date in mind will help you set your mind to saving, make you realize that you aren’t going to be living at home forever, and allows your parents a sigh of relief. When you’re figuring out what your deadline is, be sure to take into consideration your budget, moving costs, a job, etc.

4. Freshen up your space

My favorite part of all – freshen up your space. Moving back home into the bedroom you lived in for over twenty years with the same posters of the Spice Girls on your walls and your high school trophies scattered on shelves throughout your room, can make you feel even worse about moving back in with the ‘rents. Set a budget and freshen up your space – change out those Spice Girls posters for a cute gallery wall, find a box to throw your trophies in, and really make your bedroom an adult space. My first task is to purchase a new comforter, switch out my wall decor, and bring in some fresh flowers.

5. Be open to new things

Don’t be negative about the things you can’t change right now. Keep an open mind about everything, from living at home (hey, you’re saving money! *wink*), to accepting a new job position (that’s halfway across the country!), or how your relationship with your parents is maturing. An open mind is less likely to be disappointed, because you don’t have any strong expectations.

Just remember, you won’t be living at home forever so take advantage of the little things (like spending more time with your parents) while you still can!

How are you preparing yourself to move home after college?ย 


  1. May 3, 2016 / 12:16 PM

    Congrats on your upcoming graduation! It’s not coming up until a few years for me, but I definitely will be keeping this in mind when my time comes. I haven’t ruled out living with my parents, so these tips will really be helpful for me. But seriously…we should definitely count our blessings! I know some parents that charge their kids to live in their home! If we can save money by living at home, we should definitely be thankful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! XO, Sarah | |

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:30 PM

      I am definitely counting my blessings! Living at home isn’t the end of the world but it’s definitely not ideal just because I need my own space and I am VERY anal about things.

  2. May 3, 2016 / 12:43 PM

    I only lived at home for one summer when I was in college and after one summer I was done and swore I would never move home again. Setting guidelines ahead of time would have been a great idea. My mom tried to give me a curfew but I regularly ignored it and after a few arguments, she loosened up. I love the idea of freshening up the space. It’s like I am time traveling when I go home because everything is the same as it was in high school.

    Christy Marie Blog

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:29 PM

      YES! I’m like – I’m getting rid of this and that and DEFINITELY that!

  3. May 3, 2016 / 1:09 PM

    I was so grateful to have other options after college. Its hard financially, but I get along so much better with my parents when I don’t live at home!

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:28 PM

      Everyone tells me that once they move out on their own that their relationship with their parents was so much better – I can’t wait to experience that!

  4. May 3, 2016 / 3:14 PM

    I definitely feel the stress going back home for vacations! I always have to remind myself that I’ll be back to my independent life soon enough, but I’m thinking about moving in with my parents after I graduate next year so I’m not sure exactly what will happen! Hopefully I can save up some money, get a job, and move out somewhere, but it’s all in the air for now. Awesome post Rachel, and congrats on graduating!


    • May 16, 2016 / 12:27 PM

      Thanks so much Sami! I’m sure you’ll figure out how to make living at home work for you!

  5. May 3, 2016 / 3:48 PM

    Love this, Rach! When I go home for breaks, I feel a little confined. I miss my college town where I have no agenda with my plans and am free to roam about whenever I please. My parents are pretty easy going which makes things better, but I definitely plan on sprucing up my space so that it’s a place I really enjoy. I’m also on the hunt for a new (inexpensive) comforter! Let me know if you see any good ones ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. May 4, 2016 / 5:16 PM

    I lived at home for about 6 months after college and before moving in with a few friends in the city! I was okay with it since I had a deadline but I don’t think I could ever go back! Great tips!!

    Xox Dana Ivy //

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:25 PM

      Having a deadline definitely helps!

  7. May 4, 2016 / 11:16 PM

    Great tips! I lived with my parents for a few months whenever my now fiance and I were in separate cities and it wasn’t so bad because my parents respected my space but it was still a bit of an adjustment.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:24 PM

      I think the worst part is just not having your own space!

  8. May 6, 2016 / 5:55 AM

    I’ve been back at home for 18 months now after graduating. It was rough at first with my parents having very different expectations for my life than I had for myself. After many arguments and a lot of patience it has worked out. With our different work schedules I hardly even see my parents so as long as my stuff is tidy and I get some chores done around the house whilst they are out, it seems to be working.

    Hollie |

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:23 PM

      I give you major props for living at home that long! I don’t think I would last 18 months!

  9. May 6, 2016 / 6:57 PM

    I was lucky. I found it very easy living at home. My parents were often away on weekends, too. I think the toughest part was going into Boston to meet friends, because my parents were in the suburbs.

    • May 16, 2016 / 12:20 PM

      I totally feel you on that! It’s frustrating having to worry about parking and the train!

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