Tips For Moving Out

The moment has finally arrived! You know, the one you grew up alternately dreading and counting down the minutes to. You have finally decided to move out of your parents’ house. Freedom is within your grasp. You have a U-Haul trailer sitting in your front yard, full of cardboard boxes packed with an odd mixture of your childhood memories and “grown-up” stuff like pots, pans and your alarm clock. You look at your parents, trying to decide if they are really crying or if they’re just waiting for you to leave so they can run off to Disneyland. Nope, they’re definitely crying. Their baby is leaving home!

Congratulations—you have achieved a new level of adulthood! Whether or not you actually feel mature enough to be a real-life adult is still a tossup, but you’ve done it. Somehow the tradeoff of having no money and subsisting on ramen noodles is worth it to be out on your own. However, there are a few tips for moving out of your parents’ house that I would like to share with you.

1. Give your parents more than three hours’ notice that you are moving out. I know this one from personal experience. It’s quite a shock for them when they hear you sweetly say, “Mom, Dad, I love you, and I’m moving out,” and promptly begin packing. Give them at least a little bit of notice. They’ll appreciate it later!

2. Plan a budget. I know that might seem fairly obvious to most everyone. But plan a monthly budget and stick to it. There is nothing worse than getting toward the end of the month and wondering where you spent all your money. Remember to save for a rainy day. Be a good steward of the money God has lent you. Yes, lent you! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that $10 in your back pocket.

3. Learn to cook. I know there are 20 different kinds of ramen noodles, and that pizza should be a food group all its own, but there’s an almost endless variety of other options too. Learn to frequent the produce section at the grocery store. Visit a bookstore and buy a cookbook. There are lots of cookbooks for planning meals very cheaply. Be creative! A spice rack is your friend. Ask your mom for her favorite recipes. If nothing else, learn to cook so your roommate does not starve! (Those of us who can burn ramen noodles salute you!)

4. Make time for your family. Whether or not you like it, your parents are your parents forever. Your siblings are your siblings forever. And just because you don’t live with them any longer doesn’t mean you are allowed to fall off the face of the earth as far as they are concerned. Call them once in a while so they know you’re still living. Maybe even (gasp!) show up at their house. This is a new phase of your relationship with them—enjoy it. And smile because they don’t have to know you stayed up all night watching DVDs and eating pizza.

5. Make sure God is God in your life. This is the most important one. If you grew up in a Christian home, your parents probably woke you up every Sunday to go to church. Now that you’re on your own, there’s no one there to make sure you make it to the 11:15 service every Sunday. No one is going to check if you did your devotional. No one is going to see if you skip time with God. That kind of freedom can be intoxicating. But it’s also dangerous. Today is your day to choose whether or not you will serve and love God in your household. If you didn’t grow up in a Christian home, now is your chance to live in one. The most important thing is that God remains God in your life.

6. Have fun! Freedom has a nice kick to it.

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[Lynn Renee lives in Denver, Colo., and has recently moved out of her parents’ basement. She is still trying to learn how to cook.]

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