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How to leave the family home: A Spanish guide

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How to leave the family home: A Spanish guide
Home Sapiens authors Sergio Alonso and Alicia Aradilla. Screen grab: YouTube
12:30 CEST+02:00
A humorous new book is helping Spaniards make the massive leap from the family nest. The Local spoke to one of its authors to find out why the big move is so difficult.

How to hang a picture on a wall, the best way to stack a freezer, how to save on bills: these are just some of tips in Home Sapiens, a modern Spanish guide to housekeeping.

The book was put together by two young Spaniards, 25-year-old graphic designer Alicia Aradilla and her 27-year-old journalist partner Sergio Alonso. It started out as a blog and the pair have now printed 1,000 copies. 

But is a guide like this really necessary?

"It's very hard to leave home in Spain when unemployment rates for young people are around 55 percent. And those young people who are working are only earning €1,000 ($1,350)," author Sergio Alsonso tells The Local.

"That's why Spaniards aren't leaving home until they are 29 years old. In the UK and Germany it's 24."

On top of that, there is the cultural baggage. "Most young people just aren't prepared when it comes to moving out of home," Alonso explains.

"They wait until they are part of a couple before they move out of home," he says.

"Check how much toilet paper you have left so you're not left short."

"There is also not much of a culture of renting in Spain, so people tend to wait until they can buy something."

Alonso admits, too, that parents don't always place pressure on the children to move out. "They don't realise how important moving out is for children, that it is a key part of growing up."

Some 300 copies of Home Sapiens have now been sold and Alonso says they are "delighted" with the reaction — not just from young people but also from older people who recall moving out as a key moment in their lives.

Humour, too, has helped. "Most of these types of books are written by older people who have no idea what it's like for young people now," Alonso says. "Our guide is different."

Alonso also believes the Spanish government can help young people to move out earlier.

"The government needs to create a social housing scheme using all the empty housing in the country," Alsonso says.

"The rental prices would be symbolic, but everyone would have to pay their water, gas and electricity bills, and it would be great stimulus to the economy.

"It's what this country needs." 

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