Leaving Home for the First Time...

Leaving Home for the First Time ...

, by Maeve Reidy, 6 min reading time

Hoping to move out when you head off to college? Here's a few tips on how to move out of your parents' home without ruffling too many feathers!

I was reminded, rather forcibly, a few days ago of something quite shocking ... (a) I seem to be getting old because (b) what I always thought was my adorable little niece is actually a responsible young lady who has sat her Leaving Cert and is currently looking at accommodation for when she heads off to College!!

Back in my day(!) you'd do your Leaving Cert in June, then suddenly remember (probably some time in August!) that your Leaving Cert Results are due ... and hot of their heels were the CAO offers when you'd THEN start thinking about the possibilities of college and, if far from home, where you might live ...

I don't like to be called "old" ... let's call it "maturing naturally"! But I can't ever remember being this responsible at that age! Ho. Hum. Welcome to Ireland in the 21st Century!

You may discover that you’re going to have to move out of your childhood home to go to the college you want … and that means leaving the security of Mam & Dad!

Here’s a few tips on how to move out of your parents’ home without ruffling too many feathers …

moving away from home for the first time


It is quite possible that you were the Cool And Mature Kid in secondary school that everybody turned to for advice. It's also possible that you were the Kid that superglued your face to the window to see what it'd be like …

Young adulthood is full of new exciting experiences and adventures, but it’s also your first chance to truly experience Adulthood.

Your Mam and Dad have (hopefully!) looked after and cared for you all your life. They are probably going to be just as fearful and nervous as you are while awaiting your results. If you’re their eldest child, they may be feeling a little sad that their firstborn is about to fly the nest; and if you’re the youngest, they may be having to get their heads around the prospect of having an “empty nest”.

Therefore everybody is going to be emotional at some stage or other – this IS a big deal!

Before excitement and mindless giddiness takes over, there are a few things that you need to bear in mind …

Mentally Prepare for the Transition

When you’re young, it’s easy to ignore potential problems or red flags and not deal with them until they are glaring you in the face. The fear of the unknown and the stress of thinking you need to have it all figured out can add considerable weight to the Move Out Process. It’s helpful to realise you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.

Communicate with your Parents

If you’ve got this far in life, chances are you’ve had a few difficult and awkward conversations with your parents. Communication is not easy when emotions are involved, and communication styles can vary. Find the time when everyone feels calm and collected and then consider the following.

Young adults — When you leave your parents’ home, you need to communicate what you want to be saved and what can be donated or discarded. If you need help with money or moving, ask. Try not to demand or expect help that your parents may not be able to give.

Parents — Talk to your children and understand what items they’d like saved. Let them know, in turn, how long you are willing to hold onto your child’s possessions. Be firm (your house is not a free self storage unit for your grown kids) but be fair (understand they’re moving gingerly into adulthood). Be open about how much you’re willing to help them get set up in their new home.

Take Accountability for your Stuff

There are certain things you need when you move out of your parents’ house, and there are other things you don’t need, but you will want. To avoid any potential conflict about belongings down the road, review this checklist before moving out of your parents’ house. It’s helpful to do this when you’re in packing mode and not just dump your belongings on your parents for an indefinite amount of time, which is what many young adults end up doing.

Some items shouldn’t be donated or discarded without the green light. Consider what you should do with the following:

  • Championship trophies. Scouting badges. These items embody memories from the most significant, character-shaping days of your life so far. Your parents need to respect this, but it is your responsibility whether these things should be stored for a future date, or dumped altogether.
  • Photographs, yearbooks, and scrapbooks. The digital age is making these items obsolete, but for those of us who came of age in that ancient era of the 1990s (hello!), hard copies of our memories are sometimes still necessary. You may have physical memories like this that you want to keep.
  • A beloved childhood toy. In all seriousness, the bond you have with a favorite stuffed animal can never be replicated. You may want to share these items with your future children. Take care to store these items safely, so they do not get sucked up during one of your parents’ decluttering sessions.
  • Select artwork, music, or awards. Again — only “the best of the best.” If you won a particularly prestigious school award, consider saving it. Every academic certificate you earned in primary and secondary school? Not so much.
  • The baby book. First steps, first words, growth charts and more are contained in these pages. You’ll want this for the rest of your life.

Save some treasures, but don’t be afraid to move on. There are still a lot of great memories to come …You’ll need the space!

Set a Budget and Stick to it!

Just because everyone on social media has expensive furniture doesn’t mean you need to have it too. One of the first lessons of adulthood is learning how to make a budget and sticking to it. Living outside your means might be fun at first, but it can quickly turn into a pile of debt that you have trouble paying off. And to be brutally honest, function is more important than style at this stage of your life … a decent sized desk and chair to study at will be more useful than some overpriced contraption that tips over every time you move your laptop!

Create a Plan for Moving Out

Moving out is stressful, and can be especially hard when it’s your first time. If you have no clue where to start, here’s our Guide to Moving House. You will also find some great resources at Box Depot and some handy tips on our Blog.


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