Moving Back Home: What Will You Do With Your Stuff?

Moving back home. It’s what millennials do, according to the research. Some see it as a smart move that allows these millennials, who are often plagued by school loan debt, to get back on their feet and get some money into their savings account. Others see it as a problem – millennials just don’t want to face reality, and prefer the comforts of their childhood home.

In actuality, few millennials really want to move back home. Once having moved out, young adults get a taste of freedom they never got as kids living with their parents – they build a life, philosophies, and routine that may not match those of their parents. Putting boomers and boomerangers back together again, for many, isn’t a recipe for harmony.

Elizabeth Cranston, a millennial with experience moving back home, says “Living under your parent’s rules after being on your own can be especially hard to swallow. I also found that my parents and I had very different political views, which became a source of conflict as well.” It’s doubtful that when young adults move out of their parents’ home that they ever believe they would have to move back in with them. The economy has a lot to do with this situation.

The economy and boomerangers

Boomeranging is the term for children who move back in with parents after adulthood. Lauren McAdams, a career adviser for ResumeCompanion.com, explains how current conditions affect the millennial mindset on budgeting and finances. “Simply put, the economy of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s that baby boomers came up in has disappeared,” McAdams says.

“For higher-paying positions, applicants will have had to go to college, and thus are usually in debt, and the positions available pay significantly less in real terms than they did a generation ago,” she says. “Between loan payments and other necessary expenses, millennial college grads simply don’t have the money for rent, much less a down payment on a house.”

This economic reality forces many back home. But for those who have lived on their own for a couple of years, they have more than likely accumulated a myriad of home items that, while not needed at their parents’ house, will be necessary when they can afford to move out on their own again.

Millennials And Where They Live Percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds
32.1% Living with parents
31.6% Married or cohabitating in their own household
14.0% Living alone, as single parents, or with roommates
22.0% With ‘other’ living arrangements
62.0% Who lived with a spouse or partner in 1960
20.0% Who lived with parents in 1960

Source: Pew Research Center

All this raises an important issue: What to do with all of their items they no longer have room for in their parents house but don’t want to have to repurchase – things such as furniture, kitchen appliances and utensils, and general house necessities?

The ‘stuff’ conundrum of moving back home

If you are someone looking at the possibility of moving back home, you have a few different choices.

The most common option is to rent a storage unit. But when looking into renting storage, you need to be thorough in choosing the right company for your needs. Luckily, with the internet, you can check reviews and offers from different companies easily.

Some options include indoor or outdoor storage units (indoor and outdoor refer to whether you enter the unit through a hallway inside a larger building), and unit sizes based on the amount of items you need stored. Other things to consider: Do you need a climate-controlled unit; are you comfortable with security; does the price quoted include a discount period – and a steep increase; what’s the insurance situation?

Comparing your options will help you find a storage facility that both meets your needs and – most importantly – is affordable. Oh, yeah, you also need to check what happens in the event you can’t pay your bill or are late with a payment.

The mom and dad option

If your parents have the space, you can also opt for storing your home items at their house – if they have the room.

But there are other considerations. While most people moving back home hope to be as little burden as possible, considering the fact that moving back home is often linked to financial crisis, it’s likely that renting a storage unit is not feasible.

In this case, you might consider selling your biggest items that are more easily replaced, such as furniture and large appliances. A good rule of thumb is if it can’t fit in a box, it’s probably going to be a problem to store easily. Discuss with your parents how much they are willing to store for you, and make decisions from there.

A possible option is asking friends if they could use some items temporarily. Many millennials live without certain items because they can’t afford them and would probably happily use your items for the time being. They also might just have extra space and wouldn’t mind housing some of your boxes. In the same way you don’t want to you overburden your parents, don’t ask your friends to take on too much, as it eventually could become a source of conflict.

Before moving home, do your best to downsize and get rid of as much as you possibly can. Moving home to your childhood bedroom is not going to have the same space that your house or apartment did. It can be stressful but it can often be for the best. By moving home, you can take charge of your finances again, and start tackling your loans and getting money back into your savings.


Mila Sanchez is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics, living in beautiful Boise, ID. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax.

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