When you move away from your parents for the first time, a whole jumble of emotions can develop. On the one hand, it’s exciting to have the independence that you’ve been craving for so long.
On the other hand, there are all of those bills to pay, meals to make, and adulthood’s other responsibilities to manage.
If you’re getting ready to leave the parental home as a teen (or older) to strike out on your own, these tips can help the experience be more fun for everyone.
What to Do When Moving Out for the First Time
Although it might be tempting to find your first apartment before anything else, the first step of moving out from your parent’s home is to get your finances in order. Your family might assist when you need it, but you’ll likely be responsible for everything from the phone bill to your travel expenses.
You will need to figure out how much you can afford for rent based on the income you receive, the utility bills you’ll need to pay, and other expected or unforeseen costs. Don’t forget about the security deposit you’ll need to pay!
Once you have your money figured out, you can take on these other needs.
1. Be comfortable with the location of your new home.
When you find your first apartment, it’s usually on the lower end of the rent spectrum. That means it might not be in the best neighborhood or building locations. You need to make sure that you can live with those circumstances.
If you need to walk an hour to reach the subway or your commute to school (or work) is more than 60 minutes on the bus, you might not be saving as much with lower rent as you might think. It helps to visit your new place at different points during the day to see if you’re happy with the selection.
2. Start getting into positive care habits.
Once you’re on your own, there is no one there to remind you to brush your teeth, wash the dishes, and pick up after yourself. It helps to get into these positive care habits immediately to develop a healthy routine.
This step should include the foods you eat. When money is tight, it might seem tempting to settle for cheap Ramen or mac and cheese. Your health will appreciate it if you learn how to shop for sales at your local grocery store.
3. Clean out the old stuff.
It doesn’t take long to realize that you’ve got a lot of stuff! Even though you might only have a single room at your parent’s home, that’s been your place for the last few years. Do you need to take everything you’ve collected?
If you don’t think you’ll need the items at your new place, it is time to downsize. Try to recycle, donate, or give things away. It might be useful to host a garage sale, list items on eBay, or take other steps to minimize what you bring to your first apartment.
4. Get ready for the emotional changes.
For some people, moving out of their parent’s house feels like a momentous occasion. They settle into a routine quickly, enjoy going about their day, and life feels like normal.
For others, the first apartment can be one of the loneliest moments of a person’s life. When they don’t know anyone and split time between work and home, it can be emotional.
It’s never easy to get used to a new place. The sounds and environment are entirely different! It can help to introduce yourself to the neighbors, change the locks (if permitted), or play a familiar show or podcast as you fall asleep.
5. Make sure that you have everything you need.
You’ll need a few essentials available for your first nights away from home. It helps to have a mattress, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, a first aid kit, and some curtains. If you have electronics that require charging, make sure that you’ve got the cords and cables needed. The most overlooked item is a step stool – you won’t believe how often you’ll use it!
Final Steps to Follow When Moving Out for the First Time
Most people need to do some paperwork when moving away from home for the first time. You’ll need to set up your utilities (gas, power, water, sewer, etc.), update your mailing address, and get Wi-Fi ready at your new apartment.
If you have an ID, it will need to get updated with the new address.
Should you require any help moving your belongings, hiring a professional moving team can make things a little easier during this transition.
Once you’ve settled into the new place, try to have some fun! Invite everyone you know over for a housewarming party to celebrate this big life step that you’re taking!