Moving out for the first time on your own goes something like this: so exciting to be free! Terrifying — you have to do everything on your own?! Perplexing — how does one go about getting the electric bill put in your name? And where do you buy lightbulbs? There are a lot of steps and details to consider, so we’ve put together a guide for those who are moving out of your parents’ house for the first time. Follow these steps to demystify the process of your first house or apartment and get back to being excited.
- Get your finances in good order
While you’ve been living at home, you likely had a pretty solid financial safety net. Now that you’re heading out on your own you need to have a good grasp of your budget: what is your monthly income, and what will your average monthly expenses be? Start by considering the non-negotiable payments like your car, groceries, phone bill, and so on. From there you can break down what you’ll need in income, and how much you can afford and want to spend on rent. For a guide to how much you’ll need to save before you move, have a look at this blog post.
- Nail down a steady job
Hopefully, that steady job is one you’re really excited about — but remember, regardless of your education, most young adults heading out into the world start in some sort of entry-level position. Don’t get too discouraged, but rather set your sights on a career ladder of sorts. Can you find a job that advances you in the direction you want to go and pays the bills? Excellent. Move on to step 3.
- Find a suitable place to live
This step can take some time if done right, so give yourself a good buffer to find a suitable new home. First, decide if you want a roommate. This question is often easier if you already know someone who would be a great match, leading to an easy living arrangement — but there are also other ways of finding a roommate if you’d prefer not to go solo. In fact, moving in with someone else might be a great stepping stone to life out on your own: perhaps you find someone who already house the house mostly furnished, and you only need to worry about your room. Score.Regardless of whether or not you decide to have a roommate, plan ahead and start collecting things you’ll need for your new abode in advance like furniture, kitchen gadgets, and personal essentials — unless you’re planning on moving cross-country, in which case it’s probably smarter to buy those things once you’ve moved. Also consider you’ll likely have to pay a deposit as well as your first month’s rent, so tuck away some extra cash in the months leading up to your move.
- Hire a professional moving company
This is one step that many unfortunately miss: a professional moving company will take the hassle and backache out of moving that sectional you found on sale into your third-floor apartment. You have enough to worry about with the rest of the small details, so let a team of full service movers do the work and make your first moving experience a good one. Getting a quote from Unpakt will help you factor this expense into your moving budget well in advance, too — so you can stay on top of your finances and make sure you get a good deal on moving coverage to protect your belongings.
- Create a schedule of chores to help keep you accountable
Those first few months of living out on your own, it can be tempting to let everything get a little loose- dishes that permanently live in the sink, laundry that doesn’t get done very often, a bathroom that just gathers soap scum. After a while you’ll regret having let things get so bad, so create a schedule immediately upon moving in to help yourself stay on track. If you have a housemate, get them involved too so you can both contribute to keeping your house a home.
- Practice good habits before you move out
If you’ve been living the easy life without having to do many chores or watch your budget, start changing those habits now to make the transition easier down the road. Pay close attention to your cleanliness habits and step up your tidiness by a notch. Start sticking to a budget now so you can get an accurate picture of your spending habits before relocating. Perhaps the most difficult: set yourself up with a daily routine to prepare yourself for entering the work world. Yes, that means an alarm clock. Sorry.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your parents for help
They’ve likely done this before, at least a few times, so they’ll be able to help you understand what to expect. Ask them to help you lay out anticipated moving expenses, including the little things you might not think of like a shower curtain, a plunger, or a fresh coat of paint in your new kitchen. Plus, they’re probably going to miss having you around — so giving them the opportunity to take care of you one more time might just make them feel good. They’ve stuck by you this long, after all.
Whether you’re moving locally or across the country, that first leap out of your parents’ home is an exciting one. Good luck!