Did you just move back in with your parents? It’s time to start the clock.
A survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that parents think 20-somethings can live at home up to five years. After that, it’s back to the real world and the vast unknown — or, you know, the pull-out couch in a buddy’s apartment.
A combination of student debt, the tough job market and a desire to save money have Millennials returning home at a record pace. A study from Pew Research reveals the number of people between the ages of 18 and 31 living with mom and dad rose 36 percent in 2012.
As we cohabitate, let it be known far and wide — these are the official ground rules for moving back with our parents:
1. We are a family and also roommates. The arrangement may be tricky at times, but we’re all grownups and will make it work.
2. I, your child, will never, ever complain about a (free) home-cooked meal — no matter how it tastes.
3. I don’t need to tell you where I’m going on a Saturday night, and you certainly shouldn’t stay up until I get back. I will, however, keep my phone on if you need me.
4. We can exist in the same space without constantly making small talk. And it’s OK to come and go without necessarily saying “Hi” and “Bye.”
5. You must always knock before coming into my room. Even if the lights are off and there’s no sound. Even if you’re 100 percent positive I’m not home.
6. While I only need five hours of sleep and a Red Bull to function, I realize you need a solid eight to nine hours, so I’ll keep it down at night.
7. I promise to save money because I know my time in our house is temporary.
8. If the grass is getting long, I’ll mow it. If the floors are dirty, I’ll sweep them. If the sink is full, I’ll load the dishwasher. Thanks for letting me live rent-free.
9. The words “curfew” and “you are grounded” no longer exist. I don’t enjoy hearing the phrase “pick your clothes up off the floor,” but I can’t stop you from saying it.
10. You can go out of town for the weekend and trust that, while I will throw a party, my friends have matured and won’t break expensive things like they did in high school.
11. If you need me to chip in for bills or groceries, just say the word.
12. Whether it’s for one week, six months or five whole years, I will never forget to thank you for letting me come back home when I need it most.
This post originally appeared on News to Live By.
Danny Rubin is a PR professional in Virginia Beach. He also writes News To Live By, a blog that shows us the career advice that’s hidden in the day’s top stories. Follow him at @NewsToLiveBy.