There are a litany of questions that need to be resolved when one decides to move back in with their parents. A lot of whys are asked, but the biggest question should be, where can I fit all my stuff?
Moving back in with family after college could be relatively easy, furniture easily given away, a dorm room or shared apartments worth of belongings could slide back into an old room or basement, taking minimal space away from the garage—this is, perhaps, the easiest point of reentry into a parental abode. Not so true once we get older.
What to Do With All Your Stuff
A friend went through this problem himself. He had a house full of furniture and collectibles when he went to move back in with his parents: a house already filled with collectibles and furniture, much of it antiques, and most of it much nicer than what he owned. With the exception of his television, not one of his belongings was going to replace his parent’s things, and there was no basement.
He still had yearbooks and baseball cards, knickknacks that ranged from fossilized bones to Smokey the Bear propaganda, thrift-store globes and maps, and too many full bookshelves. He knew he had to downsize his life, but what to keep, what to pack up and store, and what to sell or donate were not easy decisions.
Ginny Underwood, Professional Organizer and owner of Virginia’s Easy Living Solutions offers good advice for anyone facing these decisions. Rent a storage unit is her first tip. Secondly, she advises you to only take the furniture and kitchen items that your parents don’t already have available for your use.
My friend followed that advice. He sold or gave away much of his furniture, but when it came to his vinyl collections, books, Nintendo games, clocks and comics, his biggest decisions revolved around what he needed day-to-day access to and what criteria makes a good storage facility for the rest.
His top criteria for choosing a storage facility involved price, location and reviews. He looked for complaints about leaks and how often the storage facility had been robbed. Price checks are easy nowadays as many storage companies advertise their price on web pages, but he still made some phone calls just to be sure. For him, having his storage close and having his material things accessible was more important than a $5-$20 difference in price. He chose a facility a mile down the street for that reason.
Maintaining a Healthy Relationship
Dealing with your physical possessions is really the easiest part of moving in with parents after you’ve already began your life as an adult. Keeping your relationship intact while sharing their house can be the bigger challenge.
R-e-s-p-e-c-t is the theme of this endeavor,” advises Angelica Holiday, owner of Organize Rescue. ”Both the parents and adult kids have to have lots of this, combined with patience.” She goes on to suggest that you avoid monopolizing the common areas, to be mindful of your parents patterns and recognize that there are times when it would be best to retreat to your room. “Helping out is another area of value,” Angelica says. “Adult children should be looking to financially contribute to the household so no resentments build up.”
The important thing about moving in with parents is to make yourself comfortable with what can be an uncomfortable situation. You don’t want to live with boxes stacked to the ceiling in a depressing maze of a room. Figure out what belongings are really worth keeping, get rid of anything unwanted, unused, or broken, then do some quick Google searches to find the most secure and affordable storage space you can. And keep the yearbooks—your senior picture is hilarious!
By Kathleen Krueger