By the time you go flatting, you should be able to take care of yourself financially, physically and emotionally.
Do a checklist on those three areas to be sure if it’s the right time for you to leave home. If you owe your parents money, make sure there is a clear understanding about how this debt will be handled. Your expenses will probably go up when you leave home, and you might have to live on the ‘bones of your bum’ – so make a realistic plan for paying off the loan.
When you leave, you’ll probably take some of your belongings with you – but not all of them. Many young adults move out and leave their stuff for Mum and Dad to sort out. Sometimes this even includes pets and, in one case I heard of, the daughter moved out and left her boyfriend behind! Your parents are not a storage company, so it’s good manners to ask and not assume that they will look after your gear. So, be ruthless – sort through your stuff and get rid of anything you’re not likely to want in the future. Here are three options for unwanted gear: sell it, give it away, or toss it. Then neatly pack your remaining odds and ends.
If you are leaving a pet behind, you could offer to share in the cost of looking after it. Your parents will probably fall off their chairs in surprise! They might refuse your kind offer but, either way, they’ll be incredibly impressed with your level of maturity.
Ask your parents if you can keep having your mail sent to their address. They can collect your letters and give them to you when you visit. You might wonder why you would have to ask. These small details are part of changing the relationship from child-like entitlement to adult-to-adult respect.
Once you’ve moved out, you’ll probably miss some aspects of living at home. But beware of slipping into having one foot in each camp – your flat and home. Mum will probably be stoked to see you when you visit, but not if you’ve only come to collect your mail, do your washing and clean out the fridge.
Things are never quite the same once you’ve left home. You may come back and then leave again a couple of times, but each time you’ll find that you’ve separated yourself a bit more from being dependent on your parents. Hey – that’s how it should be. Just re member that each time you come home to live again, your parents have to re-accommodate you into their routine.
Eventually, the time comes when you can’t move home again. Your parents still love you – you just both need your own space. Don’t be offended if they turn your old bedroom into a spare room for guests or an office. It’s just the way life develops and moves on.
Yvonne Godfrey, is the founder of MIOMO (making it on my own), the 4-day life skills, leadership and independence programme for young adults aged 16-24 years. She is also the author of 'Parenting Yadults’ - How to Set Up Your Young Adult for Independence and Success in Life! and 'Making it on my Own' - 52 Smart Ways to Smash it in the Real World. Yvonne and her husband Simon have 2 daughters in their 30s, and 2 grandchildren - 13 and 2 years old.