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Moving out of home is exciting, but leaving your family and living somewhere new can be overwhelming too. Get some tips on how to handle the transition to a new location, including what to do if you’re finding things really tough.

This can help if:

  • you’re thinking of moving out of home
  • you’re about to leave home for the first time
  • you want help with deciding whether or not to move out.
Moving boxes around

Should I stay or should I go?

When you begin to plan leaving home, it’s a good idea to think through all the things you need to do to prepare. Stuff you need to decide on before leaving home may include:

‘Do I want to go?’

You might be moving to study, to try something new, for work, or to feel more independent. Whatever the reason, be sure that leaving home is the right decision for you. If you feel pressured by other people to move out, talk to them about why you want to stay. Maybe suggest another time in the future to leave, when you’ll be better prepared and more comfortable with the idea.

'Do I have somewhere safe to live?'

If you’re over 18 and have a stable income, you can probably move into shared accommodation with friends, look at renting your own place or join an existing share house through a site like Flatmate Finders. However, if you’re under 18, your age may make it difficult to rent a house or sign a lease.

If you’re leaving home because of family conflict or abuse, then there are refuges and supported accommodation services that may be available to you.

'Do I have enough money to support myself?’

Learn about making a budget to see how much money you’ll need each week to pay the rent and buy what you need. If you don’t have a job or are still studying, you may be eligible for social security payments. Contact your nearest Centrelink office to find out what benefits you’re eligible to receive.

Coping with the adjustment

It’s hard to adjust to being away from the people you’re closest to and the environments you’re most familiar with. It’s normal to feel isolated, lonely and overwhelmed when you move away from friends and family.

Here are some strategies to help you adjust:

  • Find new ways to communicate. Keeping in contact when you move away from friends and family takes extra effort. Facebook, emails, texts, Skype and phone calls are all easy, instant ways to keep in touch.
  • Plan ahead. Plan times in advance to meet up with the people you’ve moved away from. It gives you something to look forward to. Suggest a reunion party with old friends, or make a dinner reservation for two so you and a mate can catch up the next time you’re in town.
  • Get involved. A great way to meet new people and make new friends is to get involved in activities in your area that interest you, such as sport, music, community services, etc.
  • Create your own space. Bring a bit of home to your new home. Familiar posters, your favourite doona, treasured photos, and so on, will be reassuring and make you feel more comfortable.
  • Work out some coping strategies these are unique things that make you feel better and more in control. Read how to develop your own ways of coping.
  • Give it time. Moving away from friends and family is a big thing, and it takes time to get used to. Once you’re more familiar with your new routines and start to make new friends, it’s likely that being away will start to feel easier.

If you’re still finding it tough

Talking to people about how you’re feeling can be really helpful when you’re finding things tough, so bring up what’s going on with someone you trust, such as a friend or family member.

What can I do now?

  • Learn about meeting new people.
  • Call your family or friends from back home and say ‘hi’.
  • Hop on to the ReachOut Forums and talk to others about their experiences of moving out of home.