how to tell your parents your moving out

How to Tell Your Parents That You’re Moving Out

Even with the knowledge this day was coming, your parents might not feel ready to have an empty test. Here’s how to tell your parents you’re moving out, without making it too hard on them.

Anticipate their reaction

Telling your parents you’re moving out can generate two very different reactions. Your parents may take the news with looks of joy and pride. They’re sad to see you go, but proud you’re taking such a huge leap toward independence. They also may be just a tiny bit happy to have the house back to themselves.

The opposite reaction can also occur. Your parents may enter into a rollercoaster ride akin to the stages of mourning. They’re losing their baby, after all, to the big wide world. You may have to watch your parents go through denial, anger and grief until they finally reach acceptance.

Many parents have the same concerns, no matter how they react, but if you can anticipate what they’ll think about the news you’re moving, you can better prepare on how to have the talk.

Do the grunt work first

Even if you think you know how your parents will react, before rushing to drop the bomb you’re moving out, make sure you have everything set. “Having a set plan helps you avoid getting stuck in a dead-end situation and also gives you the motivation…to complete what you need to accomplish your goals,” writes Noelle on We Have Kids.

You should already have a move-in date set by the time you’re breaking the moving news to your parents. This way, you don’t risk telling them and then having the whole deal fall through. Saying you’re going and then not leaving could give them more time to try to convince you to stay. It could also make it seem like you’re not really ready to go since you didn’t take care of everything first.

Before you speak up, prepare by:

  • Locating an apartment you love and can afford
  • Filling out a rental application and getting it accepted
  • Finding a roommate, if necessary, to help cover costs
  • Budgeting for moving costs and whatever new you’ll need to purchase for your apartment
  • Figuring out whether or not you’ll need a co-signer since this is your first place

You want there to be nothing left but actually signing the lease and getting the keys when it comes to talking with your parents. The more prepared you are, the more confident they’ll feel that you can handle this boost to your independence.

girl talking to parents

Have the talk

No matter how “cool” your parents are when it comes to change, how to tell your parents you’re moving out requires finesse. You’ll also need patience because they’re going to have a million questions for you. When it’s finally time to have the talk, have as much information ready for them as possible. This conversation is as much about sharing your big news as it is convincing them you’re making the right decision.

Answer their questions

You’ve told your parents the big news. Now, here come the questions. Parents want to know you’re prepared for this big change, so prove it. Be ready with answers to anything and everything you can think of that relates to living on your own, including:

  • How you’ll pay bills
  • Who you’re living with
  • What your monthly budget is for everyday things like groceries

Share your move-in plan up-front and begin immediately highlighting all the benefits of your new place. Talk about its location, the neighborhood, your improved commute to work, everything.

No question goes unasked when it comes to parents feeling reassured their baby is making a good choice. Think of everything.

Your finances

While living at home, how often do you pay for your food? How often do you do your own laundry? Are you still managing a few basic chores on your own while your parents take care of everything else?

You may feel a lot more capable than your parents see you in all areas, but one way to prove yourself is by having a financial plan in place before you move. Take some time to do the math for your parents. Show them a sample budget you’ve worked up that estimates monthly costs from bills to rent to groceries. Prove you can afford your new cost of living and that you know how to separate your clothes into darks from lights.

Roommate details

If your parents don’t already know your roommate, but you’ve got one, introduce them. Invite your future roommate over for family dinner so your parents can get to know them. If you’re living with someone they do know, there may still be concerns.

Living with a person isn’t the same as being friends. Convince your parents you’ve thought of all this by filling out a roommate agreement. This document puts into writing all the possible scenarios where disagreements can occur between roommates. It maps out how you’ll pay bills. It can even talk about how to break up chores each month.

Having a contract like this will not only make life with your roommate easier but will further prove you’re really taking everything seriously.

Living alone

No roommate? No problem. Instead of convincing your parents your roommate is a solid citizen, switch tactics and talk about the safety features of your apartment. It’s only natural for your parents to show concern about you living alone. You’ve never, ever done that before.

Focus on the safe entry into the building, how you’re protected going from your parked car into your apartment. Share details about the neighborhood and why it’s a safe place to live. Again, let your parents know you’ve thought of everything and already took the time to explore why your new apartment building is so safe.

Explain why

After all the questioning, your parents may simply want to know why you’re telling them you are moving out. Especially if they’re taking the choice personally. Give open and honest answers as to why you’ve made this decision, but stay mindful of everyone’s feelings. Talk about how you need more space that’s all your own rather than telling your mom she’s smothering you. Demonstrate your maturity by confidently communicating your plans and why it’s time to go.

It can take some convincing to reassure your parents that this was a well-thought-out choice but stay strong. You can even defend your decision by reassuring them that you’re only ready to go because you have such amazing parents. Compliment them on raising a strong, independent person, who’s ready to leave the nest.

Parents will feel less upset, “if you praise them for being the best parents on the planet,” writes Michelle Mayer from All Women Talk. They’ll also appreciate you more if you take a minute to ask how they’re feeling about everything. Make sure to give them time to express their own emotions as you share your own.

moving out

Have a moving plan

You’ve defended your choice to move and complimented your parents on the job they’ve done preparing you to live on your own. Here come more questions. These will focus on what comes next. Your parents will want to know your moving plan and moving timeline. Share all the details, down to whether you’re hiring movers or bribing friends to pack up the car. Talk about whether or not you’re buying new furniture and what you hope to bring from home.

Work backward from your scheduled moving day and ask for help when you need it. It may make your parents feel part of the choice if they can do things for you leading up to the move. Maybe your parents can bring home empty boxes from work. Maybe they can make suggestions on what goes and what stays. Involving them in the process can smooth the transition you’ll all feel living in separate homes for the first time.

Move out, but don’t leave forever

It’s time to go, but before you leave, remind everyone that you love them and you’ll be back. Promise to get better about answering the phone and responding to texts. Make a plan for the next time you’ll come home, whether it’s for a meal or a longer visit. Assure them how important family remains to you and that you won’t miss any of the important events coming in the future.

Figuring out how to tell your parents you’re moving out isn’t easy, but with enough planning and enough communication, they’ll support your choice as you walk out the door.


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