There are umpteen reasons why, as a young creative, you may at some point need to move back in with your folks. Here, creatives who have returned to living under the same roof as the ‘rents share their survival tips…
This morning I woke up on the floor. Now, lest you think I’d just passed out on the ground like some drunken reprobate, let me fill you in. Stuck in the no man’s land between the end of one house and the start of another, my boyfriend and I have found ourselves crashing out for several months in my mum’s front room.
Our situation is not unique. In 2011, nearly three million adults in the UK aged between 20 and 34 were living with a parent or parents. Whether interning or job hunting, setting up as a freelancer or saving for a deposit, the decision to move back home frequently comes down to finance, and this is only exacerbated by the tough economic situation young people now face.
Although my current living arrangement isn’t ideal – sleeping on a double mattress on the floor no longer holds the same allure it did when I was a teenager – we all get on well and I count myself lucky to have a place to stay in London. But often moving back in with your parents can be a real challenge. So if you’re currently contemplating a stint back home, check out the following tips.
Curator and writer Becky Ayre: “I find the dwindling self-esteem and depression of feeling myself regress into my former teenage self is relieved by making several mini-trips to see kind friends and staying on their sofas. After all, I find I can apply for jobs from anywhere with my laptop and some WiFi access.”
Digital media professional Brendan Rogers: “The trick to living with parents and staying sane is earning their respect. [My parents] don’t understand the modern creative but they do know what hard graft looks like.”
Fine artist Kit Griffiths: “Take advantage of cracking utensils and a proper gas hob! I have already tried [cooking] ginger and sweet potato soup and butternut squash risotto. If you cook for the family, not only will you probably not have to buy ingredients but you are saving them a job.”
Illustrator Alex Davy: “[Paying] rent is important so you don’t fall into a shame spiral. I was already kind of bummed I was moving home, I didn’t want ANYONE calling me a sponge, so I insisted on paying bills and rent.”
IdeasTap marketing executive Cathy Thomas: “I kept setting myself a deadline for when I was going to move back to London but it's not that helpful a mindset to have: you can't guarantee when someone is going to give you a job so you just end up feeling stressed. So don't worry about what other people think, remember that it doesn't have to be forever, and give yourself a break.”
Actor Hayley Davis: “I had to leave London and go back to my parents in Birmingham. I just couldn't afford to support my creative job otherwise! Create your own space. Set boundaries. Help around the house. Make use of the time and do as much to further your career as poss.”
Photographer and writer Rachel Barker: “After finishing my degree, I moved back into my mum’s as a base, but kept everything in storage. Keeping everything in boxes except the essentials allowed me to save money without getting too comfortable.”
Actor Amy Sutton: “I didn't move back into my room but into the guest room instead and am paying rent. Makes me feel like an adult rather than 'back home'.”
Radio producer Mog McIntyre: “Make sure you create time to escape the house. Have a 'non-disturbable' place you can work. And don't slip into old habits.”
Artist Anna Moore: “Learn to drive! Most depressing and debilitating to be 28 and at the mercy of Dad's taxi.”
Writer Freya Morris: “I've had to move in with in-laws! Even worse. Wasn't earning enough and wanted to save to buy a house. Being married and living with family is a massive challenge. Remain as independent as possible by doing all your own chores.”
Actor Mathew Foster: “Don’t see it as a step down, just a necessary first step to position yourself for the future. Also, appreciate the extra quality time! Give yourself weekly targets, keep in touch with friends and contacts. Economise so that you can move back out faster.”
Photographer and writer Emiliano Diego-Franceskides: “Try to avoid expressing opinions, especially if you know they won’t be shared by the homeowner. As long as you live with your parents, they basically own you. You are in serfdom. Just do whatever they ask of you. Don't leave your dishes on the rack. Use them, wash them, dry them and put them back. Leave no trace of your presence.”
Have you had to move back home with your parents? What are your survival tips? Leave a comment below!
Image: Man, woman and little lad by TempusVolaton a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.
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