We all remember that pivotal moment: standing in the middle of an empty room, your precious belongings packed in boxes, and a strange sadness coupled with the thrill of that first taste of freedom. It’s an interesting twist. For weeks, months, or even years, you’ve been dreaming of this moment (and asking everyone you know for tips for moving out for the first time); but now that the day has come, you almost wish you could stay.
Or maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’ve been absolutely dying to move out for years, and taking that first step out the door is nothing but an exhilarating rush.
Either way, you got this. If you’re feeling a little nervous about the transition, keep reading for our best tips for moving out for the first time.
Let’s Talk About Money
Before you pack a single box, or plan the perfect apartment decor with your best friend, you need to get a thorough understanding of your finances. Here’s some essential tips when it comes to understanding exactly where your money is going.
Our #1 Tip For Moving Out For the First Time: Create a Budget
First, you’ll need to create a budget. To do this, you’ll have to figure out how much money you bring in per month, as well as every single expense you have: car payments, phone bills, groceries, upcoming vacations, morning coffee runs, and everything in between.
Once you’ve noted your monthly income and every possible expense, you can figure out exactly how much money you will have to spend each month on rent. Don’t forget to include taxes and utility bills in your calculations. Here’s a super important tip for moving out for the first time: if you’re unclear on how much something will cost, round up, not down! It would also be wise to ensure you have extra money leftover for emergency situations, and keep adding to your savings. A general rule of thumb is to have three to six months of living expenses saved up before you move out.
Moving Costs Money
On top of figuring out your monthly income and budget, you’ll have to take into account the cost it will take to move. Are you going to hire movers? Rent a truck? Do you need to buy a lot of cardboard boxes? Packing tape? Bubble wrap? Do you have the basic necessities to live on your own or will you have to buy them? The small things add up quickly, so be sure to not underestimate the little expenses.
Where Do You Work?
Will you have a steady income? Do you feel secure in your job? Are you currently trying to change jobs? All of these are important questions to ask yourself before moving out. If you’re in limbo job-wise, it could be a smart move to hold off moving out until you’re in a secure position.
Come Up With a Realistic Timeline
We all know how fast the time can fly when you’re on a deadline. Save yourself unnecessary stress by having a complete and thorough plan, and write it down! When will you need to start paying bills? What day do you need to be completely packed? Schedule out every task you need to complete in a planner, and check it at least once a day.
If you’re hiring movers, be sure to confirm your moving time about 24-48 hours before your move to! This will help avoid any unforeseen scheduling changes.
Are you moving into a small space? If so, check out our blog on how to live in a studio apartment (apartment storage solutions)!
Create a Weekly Chore List
Moving out and living on your own requires a lot of cleaning. Dishes don’t do themselves, and towels won’t magically appear folded in the linen closet. Practice good cleaning habits before you move out to avoid a shocking workload when you’re on your own.
Write Out a Chore Schedule
One major tip for moving out for the first time is to create a chore schedule, and stick to it. Write which chores should be accomplished on which day on a whiteboard, and hang it somewhere easily accessible, like your fridge. This is a helpful reminder and will prevent you from forgetting to do important household tasks.
If you have a roommate, make sure they’re on board with the chore list, and know what days they’re responsible for their chores. Make sure you’re on top of it too; you don’t want to be the reason the trash wasn’t taken out one week!
Looking for more cleaning tips? Read this: The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning!
Try Cooking a Meal (That Isn’t Frozen)
There’s a lot of us who aren’t exactly aficionados in the kitchen, and that’s okay. There’s tons of healthy and easy recipes you can learn to cook painlessly! Eating out less will end up saving you tons of money, and learning to cook a few nourishing meals will benefit you in the long run. We’re not saying completely ditch the frozen pizza, just be mindful of what you’re eating, and how much you’re spending.
Measure Your New Home
Before you try to pivot your bed through a slim door frame, measure it. Measure everything: furniture, doorways, hallways, stairways, railings, and so on. You don’t want to invest in a piece of furniture that just won’t fit in your new place. A lot of virtual tours now come with built-in measuring apps too, so take advantage of those!
If you’re still unsure, try recreating your potential new home or room on grid paper. Every 1×1 square will be 1-foot by 1-foot. Recreate the room to the best of your abilities and then add your furniture. So if your couch is 6 feet long and 3 feet wide, then you know you’ll be taking up a 3×6 gridspace!
Steer Clear of Those Tempting Home Decorating Aisles
We get it — the pillow section of your local Target is calling your name. We’re here to tell you to hold off until you’ve actually moved into your new place. Acquiring lots of new things before your move will just turn into more clutter you have to pack and transport. Save yourself the hassle and get the essentials moved first, then you can have the time of your life in the fake plant section.
Thanks for reading! We hope you feel a little better about moving out for the first time. We at Albuquerque Self Storage are here for all your self storage needs. Contact us today at 505-431-6747 or click here for more information!