It’s Time to Move Out!
Moving out when you’re used to living at home with your parents may seem like a challenge, but it’s actually easier than it looks.
Sure, there are challenges to be met and obstacles to be overcome, but you’re an adult now, free to choose your own path and nobody and nothing can keep you from progressing if you’re ready to take the next step.
Whatever your personal reasons are for wanting a change of residence, you’re finally at a place where you’re ready to just do it!
That being said, you don’t have to invent the wheel all over again, here are 7 Tips to make the transition a little easier.
1. Write Down What You Want and Why
You probably have a general idea what you want. But have you really nailed it down? Do you know specifically what you want? Just as important as writing down the specific result you have in mind, is writing down why you want it. If you don’t know the reasons why you want it, when you hit roadblocks, you’re more likely to give up.
Knowing why you want to move out also helps you feel more in control. Nobody feels very excited when they feel like they have to do something. Knowing what you want and the reasons why you want it, will change your perspective from “I have to do this” to “I want to do this.” If you feel like you “have” to move out, chances are your parents have been pressuring you. Instead of feeling resentful towards them, flip it around and give yourself the gift of choice. When you move out, do it for your own reasons and not because they “made you.”
2. Focus On One Thing at a Time
As Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism explains, focus is not really a thing, it’s an action. Not only is focus an action, it’s an action that influences the way you feel. Try a little experiment. Close your eyes and focus on a time when you were as angry as you have ever been. Remember what you saw, what you heard, where you were and everything in as much detail as you can for the next 20 seconds. How do you feel? Now close your eyes and do the same thing, but focus on a time when you felt powerful and in control for 20 seconds. Now how do you feel?
One of the reasons young adults feel overwhelmed by anxiety when they think about living on their own, is they focus on everything they have to do all at once. Then they freeze because they feel helpless. It’s hard to make progress if you feel that way.
If you do find yourself feeling anxious and overwhelmed by everything, remember that focus is an action that you control. You can change the way you feel by changing what you focus on.
For instance, if the thought of filling out apartment applications makes you feel overwhelmed, focus on filling out just one application. If the thought of filling out just one application makes you feel overwhelmed, focus on filling out just the first line. When that’s done, focus on the next line.
When you break down tasks into smaller, more manageable bits and focus on completing them one at a time, you naturally feel better because you feel like you have more control and you’re making progress. As you successfully complete small tasks that move you towards your goal, your confidence will grow and you will experience less anxiety in your life. The great thing is that building confidence in one area of your life will bleed over into other areas.
3. Own Your Decisions
Part of this whole living your own life thing means owning your decisions. Even if other people do things that infuriate you or hold you back, it’s still your responsibility to change your life, so own it. Don’t wait for them or anyone else to make changes for you.
You can’t control what other people do and if you live with your parents, they have a lot of say in what you can or can’t do. But your parents can’t decide what is important to you. So until you have the ability to gather your own resources and meet your own needs, focus on what you want and take action to get it.
The instant you commit and take charge of your own life, instead of waiting for others to make your life better, you give yourself the power to choose what you want to do and how you want to live it. While you may need to rely on your parents help for the time being, taking ownership of your life puts you back in the driver’s seat.
4. Make a Plan
To accomplish anything you need a plan. Write down what you need to have and what you need to do in order to move out. Think about what you will need to have to live on your own. Here’s a few things to think about getting:
- a job (if you don’t already have one)
- enough money for a deposit, first month’s rent and utilities
- an apartment
- a budget
You’ll need income so finding work that pays is your first step. You will need to create a budget. A budget is simply a way to keep track of how much you’ll need for living expenses each month. To do that, add up how much food, gas, internet etc. will cost.
If you don’t have any idea how much they cost, ask your parents or someone who has been out on their own for awhile. Adding up your monthly expenses will tell you about how much you need to save up before you move out.
Finding an apartment. Do a google search to get an idea of how much rent is in your area. To get an apartment, you will need to fill out an application. Once you’re approved, you’ll need enough money to cover a deposit and your first month’s rent before you can move in. Since deposits are usually close to the same amount as rent you can double the number and that will tell you about how much money you will need in the bank before you apply.
You will also need a way to get around. If your job is close to your apartment, you can get away with walking or biking, but if it’s further away, you will either need a vehicle or access to public transportation. When you’re making your plans, don’t forget to take transportation costs into account.
5. Do Something Different (and Feel Better)
If you’re feeling really down or anxious, it’s going to feel overwhelming at first to look for a job or find an apartment to live in, but you can change that over time. If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself, do something different today than you did yesterday. It needs to be something proactive and positive, so watching a new series on Netflix doesn’t count. Doing something different means changing your routine and if you do something that gets you outside and moving that’s even better!
Even a slightest change in your routine can help you feel better. If you normally get up and lounge around the house in until noon before getting dressed for the day, try getting dressed right after you get up. Pay attention to how it makes you feel. If you move around and do something physical, you will be amazed at how much more energy you have.
If you usually sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games after breakfast, take the dog for a walk, go for a bike ride or enjoy a good swim and you will notice that you feel better. Keep doing the things that make you feel energetic and empowered. Once you have some momentum, pick just one thing to help you move out. You don’t have to make big changes to make progress, you just need to consistently do the small things to see improvement.
6. Focus on What You Can Control
Just like focusing on everything you had to do all at once makes you feel overwhelmed, when you focus on all the things that are going wrong with your life, it will make you feel frustrated, angry or depressed. Yes, it’s important to recognize why you want to move out so that you will motivated to change it, but if you focus solely on the dissatisfaction you feel being stuck at home. It may seem hard to have to deal with all the problems of your life, but it’s easy to shift your focus.
Think about it this way. If you owned an old beat up car, but wanted a new one, what would be more productive to focus on: the fact that you don’t have that new Mustang GT or the fact that you have a car to get you to and from work so you can save for a down payment on that new Mustang?
So if you find yourself feeling frustrated or stuck, shift your focus away from the situation to what you can do to change it.
If you focus on something you don’t have control over at the moment, it just makes you feel more upset.
By shifting your focus to solutions and away from problems, your mental and emotional energy is freed up and available for getting you what you really want.
7. Ask for Help
Moving out on your own for the first time or even a second or third time can feel overwhelming, but the good news is, you don’t have to do it on your own.
There are lots of people who want you to succeed and be happy, starting with your parents. Whether you are struggling with bigger issues like social anxiety or depression, or you just have a hard time getting a job or figuring out what the next step is, asking someone to help you work through it can help get you on the right track.
One thing that might stop you from asking for help is feeling embarrassed or ashamed that you need help. This may be especially true if your friends or classmates are living on their own and you compare yourself to them. But here’s the reality, nobody got to be successful without help, nobody. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
While admitting that you need help may seem to be too difficult or scary, people who accept that they need help are pleasantly surprised by the relief they feel when they can finally acknowledge it. In most cases, contrary to their expectations, their need for help is met with acceptance from others instead of rejection as they feared. If this is something you struggle with and you just can’t bring yourself to ask your parents or friends for help, consider finding a good therapist or counselor to talk to.
Bonus Tip: Commit!
Once you know what you want and you commit yourself to getting it, hold nothing back! The world will seem like a different place and you will be amazed out how the world changes to make your dream possible. Of course it isn’t the world that changes but you. True commitment is a powerful thing and you can harness it when you’re ready to take action. Commit, apply these 7 Tips and take the next exciting step in building the life you want to have.
About the Author
Eric Hatton has spent most of the last six years working as a field staff in wilderness therapy where he coached students on primitive fire skills, making and setting traps and other important wilderness skills. He also coached staff as they learned leadership skills and as they learned to disrupt dysfunctional behavior in the students. Eric loves brainstorming with people. He loves to help people organize their thoughts and change their dreams and desires into tangible, achievable goals. He loves to help people to discover their passions and to help them find ways to use their passions to realize their goals. He is passionate about building great teams and organizations and helping others succeed.