That first move can also be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of your life. Something almost always goes wrong, leaving you feeling disorganized and helpless.
Although it feels frustrating when you’re in that moment, moving out for the first time is usually a time that gets remembered fondly. You can increase the chances of that outcome by following these tips as you get ready to explore life.
How to Manage Your First Move
1. Have your finances prepared for the experience.
Moving for the first time means your financial safety net may disappear. You must have a budget, know your expenses, and earn enough income to cover your needs. It helps to begin this process by starting with the non-negotiable items you must pay, such as your rent, utilities, and insurance.
Once you know how much money is left after paying those obligations, you can plan meals, decide on entertainment, and save a little each month whenever possible.
2. Get your employment secure before moving.
Unless you’re independently wealthy, most landlords in NYC require a specific income level based on the monthly rent. If you don’t earn enough, your application for a new place will likely get rejected. An entry-level position isn’t going to pay much, which means it may be worthwhile to find a roommate.
Once you have a job, a place you can afford, and some income security, you’re ready to pay for professional movers or go through the DIY moving process.
3. Find a place in a neighborhood you like.
You’ll find numerous neighborhoods in NYC that may fit with your personality. The best places to live tend to be near a favorite bakery, a park, or where you work. If you can walk to your job, you’ll save a lot of cash each month – and that could help you to afford a better place!
Although it may be tempting to choose something a little pricier than what your budget can handle, stick to what you can afford. What happens if you lose your job, and unemployment benefits don’t cover your monthly obligations?
Although you may need to lower some expectations, check the living conditions of the new home thoroughly before agreeing to a lease. Open the cupboards, see if the hot water is operational, and realize there are no stupid questions.
4. Get the essentials that you don’t already have.
Your first place needs a few essential pieces. You’ll want some cooking utensils, dishware, and personal things. Most people get hand-me-downs or shop at thrift stores for these items to save some money.
Don’t forget about the everyday items. Most people forget about needing items like dish soap, washcloths, garbage bags, and curtains. Although you don’t need to have them before you move, it is helpful to keep them on your list of must-have items.
5. Leave the furniture for last.
Although it helps to stock up on essential items when you can afford them, some things can be left until after the move. Details like a bed, a couch, or a washer and dryer combination are more of an investment. You’ll be using the items for a while, so it is often better to save up some cash to get a high-quality piece.
6. Pack your boxes with unpacking in mind.
The biggest complaint about a first move is that stuff can get lost for a long time. You can avoid this issue by clearly labeling each box and container with its room destination and contents. Having Post-It® notes available that you can cover in packing tape ensures that you know the inventory of each unloaded item.
Once you finish the move-in process, you can unpack your belongings for each room. That means you can start with the crucial toiletries first, such as your toothbrush, shower supplies, and toilet paper.
7. Keep a separate overnight bag.
Your overnight bag should include a change of clothes, essential medication, a few snacks, and whatever comfort items you need. It may be helpful to have a bar of soap and a towel so that you can take a shower without hunting through boxes. Any critical documents you need should get included here as well.
Moving out for the first time should be a fun experience. When you take these ideas under consideration, you’ll minimize the risk of having something go wrong.