Moving Back Home After College

Students graduating from college often have big plans for what they’d like to do next, but it doesn’t always work out the way they planned. Because of the still-depressed economy, more students are moving back home than ever before. Often the surprise of needing to move back home is a lot to handle for both the returning student and the parents, and it can lead to stress and agitation on both sides.

However, with record numbers of students returning home after their college years, more and more grads are learning how to adjust and contribute positively in their family life. When moving back home, there are a few things to keep in mind that, if taken care of in advance, can reduce or eliminate the stress associated with moving back home after college.

Make a Plan For Re-Homing Yourself
It’s easy to forget exactly how much stuff you can accumulate during your four years of college. It’s important to have a plan in place for getting all your belongings back home, whether you lived in the dorms and had to pack everything up at the end of the year or lived in the same off-campus housing the whole time and have mountains of junk to sift through.

It’s your stuff, not your parents’, so it’s up to you to get it back home. Determine how much space the things you’ll be bringing home takes up, and figure out how large a vehicle you’ll need to get everything home in one trip. It might be worth some time to explain to your parents that you might need some storage space outside your childhood bedroom. Better yet, get your own storage space and put anything you don’t use daily in there. Rates are usually quite reasonable, and having your own storage can unit will make moving out on your own that much easier when the time comes.

Get Everything Moved
Often a move to college takes one or two trips in the family car, but much of the stuff a new college student brings is part of a transitional phase from adolescence to adulthood. However, the college years are when a young adult begins to gain independence. College students make lifelong friends, forge new bonds, break off old relationships and go on adventures to form fond memories, many of which involve mementos. It’s important to remember that there is likely to be a lot more stuff to move on the trip back home.

Storing your stuff can certainly become an issue, but moving it is just as important. Unless the trip is very short or carefully planned out well in advance, it’s a good idea (particularly if there’s a lot to move) to call in outside help. While parents often offer to help, taking care of it on your own—meaning hiring professional movers or renting a moving truck—is the adult thing to do.

Transition to the Next Phase
Students from your parents’ generation almost never moved back in with Mom and Dad after graduation—in fact, there was substantial social stigma against moving back home. That said, with one out of five Millennials now returning home after college, the social stigma is wearing very thin already.

Returning home after college and saving to start a new life on your own is common and nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is contributing to household expenses while you live with your parents. Graduation is a time of transition; use this time to build the financial skills you’ll need to live on your own.