Whether you're returning home after the big three independent years at Uni, popping home for the weekend or moving back in whilst you save for a house deposit, there are a few things you need to remember to help you navigate the treacherous course that is your childhood home.
Here's what you will learn, or most importantly remember, almost instantly...
What soft linen feels like
Forget crispy, stale towels – the result of either being left out to dry in the cold or rusting washing machines that recycle water. A grown-up house always has a tumble-drier, the secret weapon for washing perfection. Washing back home is soft, bouncy and fresh again – how does Mum always make washing smell better? Clothes also gets separated into coloured loads, so gone are the days of grey socks and jeans, which should be white and black respectively.
What regulated mealtimes are
Prompted by the fact that parents don't allow you to lounge around till 1pm anymore, meal times are eaten in the correct order at the correct times. Granola at 7am, sandwiches at lunch and dinner is on the table at 8pm, prompt. Gone are the days of cereal lunches and 2am microwave dinners.
Here's what PARENTS learn when their kids return! 6 things you'll learn from your kids when they move back home
What a well-stocked fridge looks like
Juicy chunks of butcher bought ham, fancy cheeses from French regions you can't even pronounce and more fresh juice than Innocent's Headquarters - welcome back to the life of the full fridge. Things are de-cantered into plastic pots and home-made bakes sit under the cake stand once again!
What walking around bare foot feels like
The struggles of finding socks, slippers of flip-flops to wonder around your room are gone. Now feel free, people, to rise from bed and firmly place your feet on the floor without crumbs wedging themselves between toe cavities or hair strands chaining your ankles together.
How many utensils are available
You may have managed just fine in basic digs with a blunt knife and a wooden spoon, but once you move home all that will change. You will wonder how you ever lived without your hard-boiled egg slicer, Zesters and apple-corers that are used daily – and we haven't even got to the drawer of measuring spoons yet.
Bottles are not for display
Vodka bottles make great displays in uni digs, act as reminders of fantastic nights out or simply left on the side for easy reach. Back at your parents' house however, to display alcoholic beverages like they're decorative objects is simply not acceptable. Mums quickly scurry them away to the appropriate liquor cupboards – be warned, siblings may now steal them.
That everything has a new place
Cereals once lived on the left hand side, the fruit bowl was once in the dining room and who knows where the coffee lives now? Parents love to spring clean and have a move around when you're away. Nothing is as it was the last time you lived there.
Worse yet, you will return to a dumping ground that was once your bedroom - cue your brother's drum kit, mum's sewing mannequin and dad's climbing gear. Since when did dad rock-climb anyway?
Calendars are the family's lifeline
Mothers are organised specimens with assigned evening meals and plans which date way into 2018. Announcing, therefore, that you will be going out in five minutes time will be met with a stern look and a series of questions. Moreover, announcing you have guests ARRIVING in five minutes will be met with ‘we will talk in the morning'.
How to drive again
Three months away and your wheels been gathering dust on mum and dad's drive – navigating it off the drive is one thing, but remembering how to drive is another. What does the left pedal do again? How do I plug in my iPod? Tip: don't ask your parents these questions, they will panic and insist they come out with you for your first drive like you're a learner again.
Apparently things were built with sole functions
So, apparently ironing boards shouldn't be used at tables when you have people over, helmets are not functional bowls anymore (you have to wash one up) and eating yogurts with mixing spoons is not okay. Everything has a specific purpose, and place we might add, and should be used solely for its function.
What an empty bin looks like
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Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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