Moving Back Home During A Pandemic: A Young Adult’s Perspective

Moving Back Home During A Pandemic: A Young Adult’s Perspective

Deborah Hutchison

There is a special kind of fear that comes when you get the notice that you are being furloughed or laid off due to a severe drop off in business from COVID-19 closures.

And then another emotion: the calculated logic of figuring out how you are going to make it financially through the next few months of living. 

Finally, there comes an idea—what if you packed up your belongings and moved home temporarily to save money and come up with a game plan? Instead of draining your savings living in temporary housing or with roommates who may be in the same exact boat as you…

The new fact is that 52% of adults under 30 are living with their parents at home—many due to COVID-19. To me, this was an insane but slightly comforting statistic to read—HALF of the people in my age bracket are living at home. It made it a little easier as an independent, young professional to begin to consider going back home again as the unemployment checks got delayed again and again. At one time that option was synonymous with failure in my mind; now, it feels more like a reset button and a welcome backup plan.

While there are many financial benefits to moving home, all of the potential issues that COULD come with “returning to the nest” as a grown adult weighed heaviest in my mind. We’ve all experienced disagreements of varying degrees over Thanksgiving and Christmas trips home to see family, but got to retreat back to our own sanctuaries at the end of the trip. Moving home would now mean my retreat is the room I grew up in—AKA the exact place I used to be sent for timeouts. Talk about epic irony.

Avoiding this tension in order to preserve a sense of peace in my living situation remains my top priority as I decide on what to do next, especially while chaos continues to unfold in the world around me and COVID cases don’t show signs of slowing…yet. 

In my panicked research, I came across Family and Friend Agreements – The Young Professional Moving Home Agreement. Reading through the different sections about money, chores, and even house rules made me realize that talking through some of that stuff might make the move home easier if it comes to that. An added bonus: showing them an actual plan might even impress them! 

I don’t have plans to have my parents sign anything or to treat it like a binding agreement as I would do with a roommate or landlord but it's great practice for when I do. My parents are graciously opening their doors and are excited to have me back without even needing to hear my rehearsed speech about how many times I would take out the trash or mow the lawn. My family has been good most of my life about sticking to an agreement once we talk about it. 

But, it is comforting to know that the framework is exists to work off of for a proven, smooth transition and happy boundaries for my (temporary) return. I don’t want my parents to feel taken advantage of and I ultimately want to keep my freedom (and sanity) intact. Using an agreement like this will help me achieve both of those goals, and turn moving home back home during a global pandemic into a welcome retreat.

- Written by Shannon Hunihan, guest writer for Family and Friend Agreements