Leaving Home: Tips to Grow Independence

Leaving Home: Tips to Grow Independence

Leaving Home: Tips to Grow Independence

Last updated date : February 02, 2022

Many of us dream of leaving home and finally closing the door into our own space. The idea of a place to call ours, that we can decorate, and move into adult life. But, moving out of home into another can be a challenging transition.  

It’s okay if you’re nervous in the run-up to moving, then there’s the stress of the move itself. Also, sometimes feelings of loneliness or anxiety can crop up. However, it’s completely natural to go through a host of emotions whilst moving out of home, so try not to be too hard on yourself. Instead, let’s go over some great ways to grow your independence, so you can flourish out in the world.

smiling teenager excited to leave home, arms raised, listening to music

Chapter 1:
Leaving Home for the First Time

For many people, the first time moving is when we go off to college, maybe moving to a new city or town. This can be an exciting time of learning new things, paying bills, budgeting, and meeting new people. Going to college or university is like a stepping stone in learning independence.

But, not everyone’s first time is college; for some, it’s sooner and others later. The time at which you move isn’t what’s important. In most scenarios, you will need to learn to cook for yourself, clean the home, pay rent/ bills, and live with either new people or by yourself.

All the while maintaining schoolwork or a job (or both). It can be very overwhelming for some to learn how to live with a group of new people or stay on top of chores. But there are some great tips throughout this article to help the process run a little smoother.

But first, let’s take a look at the emotional aspects of moving out of home.

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Chapter 2:
How to Cope with Feelings When Moving Out

Along with joy, excitement, and anticipation are a whole host of emotions that may surface when moving home. Here are some ideas on the kinds of emotions that might surface when leaving home, and how to cope with them.

  • Stress: Make sure to plan your move well to negate the stress. A few months before, start sorting clothes and items in piles of things to keep, throw, and leave at your parents home.  
  • Sadness: Leaving our loved ones means that feelings of sadness can arise, especially on the day of the move. Notice the feelings of nostalgia and allow yourself to get tearful. It’s alright to feel sad, and there’s no need to hold it in or appear brave.
  • Loneliness: Although we know we’ll still see our loved ones, moving can feel lonely. Just remember that they’re a phone call away, and you can find activity groups in your new area to make new friends. 
  • Irritability: Sometimes, we can become irritable from moving out of home itself. The stress and logistics of moving stuff can be tiring. Remember to try to get the rest you need post-move.
  • Fear: That’s it, you’re now the adult who needs to take on all responsibility for shaping your life. Although it can seem scary at first, understand that it’s a learning process, which takes time. 
  • Anxiety: You will make mistakes when living alone, you will be late with bills, you’ll learn how to budget, and it’s all about learning how to not only survive but thrive.
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Chapter 3:
Tips for Separation Anxiety

Firstly, what is separation anxiety? It’s a mixture of being afraid to separate from our loved ones and the fear of being alone. Although, sometimes it arises in us at a very young age, some children develop a strong attachment to a parent which can linger in adulthood.  

How to overcome your separation anxiety is up to you; let’s go over some possible methods. Number one would be to remember to stay connected with friends and family after leaving home. Schedule in, video calls and trips back to see everyone.

Next, explore your area and be proactive about making new friends. You can do this at your university’s starting fare, where you can join activity groups and meet people that way. If you’re an adult, then the same applies, Google activities that you love that you can do in the area. You can also meet people at work, the gym, or even neighbours you can ask to show you around.

Lastly, make your room or your house a home. Put your stamp on it with the budget you have! Don’t forget to create a relaxing space to help you wind down. Perhaps buying some nice candles, throws, and carpets to make your space nice a cosy.

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Chapter 4:
Tips for Leaving Home for the First Time

It’s not an easy journey, but it is the most fulfilling one to take care of yourself as an adult. I wish someone had given me some of these tips the first time I moved from my family home.

Living With Others

If you’re moving out of home and in with someone else or a group of new people, it can be an interesting transition to living with your family. There’s what I call the rose-tinted excitement when you first meet them, but then the reality of living with others settles in. 

Everyone lives; differently; it’s important to remember that because you do things around the house one way doesn’t mean everyone else will.  

If any difficulties arise, the best way is to communicate them effectively. For example, sit housemates down and chat about organising house payments, cleaning, buying house essentials, etc. One big tip is don’t use passive-aggressive post-it notes, which leads to resentments, instead confront the conflict with an open mind.

Tidy House, Tidy Mind

I went to university and lived with four boys, let’s just say I’ve seen some things when it comes to how filthy a house can get. I found the best way was to set a time once or twice a week where the whole house had to chip in and clean together. 

Of course, if you’re by yourself, a great way is to clean the dishes right away and tidy the home twice a week. There’s something relaxing about the act of cleaning and seeing your home in order, especially if you work from home.

Save Money For Unexpected Bills

One thing I learnt when leaving home is water bills seem to crop up out of nowhere, or that unexpected car repair that sets you back a couple of hundred. A great tip to save your money for a rainy day is creating a savings account, calculating what money you can part with, and just throwing it in there. 

For example, look at your earnings, take out what you will be spending on rent, bills and food. Then calculate how much you need for spending on fun and activities, and whatever you have left, throw it in your savings account. Make sure it’s the kind of account you can withdraw from easily in case a rainy day comes.

Budgeting Is Key

At first, I didn’t have any kind of budget, and when you don’t budget your spending, you’re probably going to overspend. So it’s worth taking ten minutes to write out what money is coming into your account and what’s going out of it.

Have a solid budget for your food shop spend, eating out, toiletries, pharmacy needs, office or school supplies, home decorations, clothing, etc. You can plan monthly and every few month budgets – some things like home decorations won’t be as important as the food you’ll be eating.

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Chapter 5:
Familial Difficulties

For some, living at home isn’t a safe or nurturing place, with familial tensions in its place, and leaving home becomes a must. Some young people need to move because life at home is just too difficult or even dangerous. You may feel like a desperate need moving out of home, in fact, forced to leave.

In this case, it’s best to speak to organisations that handle familial difficulties and can help you transition. For example, there are great charities like Childline, that helps young people with moving out of home. Or Crisis that helps adults either get out of homelessness.

The emotional turmoil of family issues is difficult to bear alone sometimes. That’s why finding advisors or support is crucial in helping you find your stability. Know that you’re not alone in this, that there are others out there struggling too, but that you can find your independence. 

An idea might be to outline what you need to find that independence. Start to create a plan on paper. Ask yourself what you need to get your own place? Do you need more money? Do you need to create more or less of a separation between you and your guardians? Who can you turn to for help to get you on your feet?

Then plan towards how you can communicate these needs with the right people.

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Chapter 6:
Life Once You’ve Moved Out

There’s nothing like closing that door in a space that is yours. Whether that’s a room or a whole flat. Whether you’re renting or buying, the space is now yours to do what you want with. Yes, it can be stressful to be responsible for everything, but it is also incredibly freeing. 

“Dare to be brave. Move out of your old house, and leave everything behind to start anew. You’ll be surprised at the great things life will have in store for you.”  – Unknown

Adulthood is difficult, it’s beautiful, and it’s a journey towards becoming yourself. You will learn so much about yourself and your capabilities when you begin managing your life. Set routines that help you stay active and rest enough to come back the next day even better.

Time is now yours to focus on your career, your relationships, your self-development. 

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Chapter 7:
The Importance of Self-Care

Many articles explain the how’s of moving out of home, and the logistics, but the most important to me is learning self-care. Whether that’s caring for your mental health, physical health, or financial health. In your spare time, put yourself first and cultivate the things that make you happiest. Leaving home is a transtition that you should prepare for before, especially in regards to self-care.For mental health, you can speak to a professional mental healthcare provider. Around that, try techniques like meditation or yoga to create a deeper sense of relaxation. The kind of peacefulness that comes from within. Physically, look at new ways to move your body that also create strength mentally. Food is also vital to your mood, thoughts, and body. The best nutritional advice I can give as someone who isn’t professionally trained is to cook from scratch. Yes, it takes more time, but if you spend your Sunday preparing for the week’s food and cooking in batches, it can save time throughout the week. Try to avoid overly processed food, but also enjoy the food you eat, I like the idea of 80% highly nutritious food, and 20% enjoy the yummier but not considered healthy foods. Lastly, be aware of the money you spend, and try to find ways that grow that money rather than spending it too much. Life is about balance, enjoying the moment, but being prepared for the next moments.
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Chapter 8:
Asking for Help When Leaving Home

Yes, you’re on your own now, but you’re not alone. The hardest lesson I learnt was that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. So if you’re low on money, need emotional support, need help leaving home, or require any other kind of help, ask for it. Whether that’s getting funding from the government, parents, mental health professionals, friends, never be afraid to seek the help you need. You would be surprised how willing those around you are to help you get back on your feet. Also, remember, you have got this. There’s nothing to fear about living out in the world. You might fall down at times but then get back up. We wish you the best, most exciting move into independence. See you out there.