When you decide to leave the nest, you probably experience a range of emotions. You feel excited about the new experiences you’ll encounter, but you also feel a little nervous at the responsibilities you’ll face once you live on your own.
With the proper preparation, moving out for the first time can give you confidence in your abilities. When you take the time to make a clear plan before you throw your belongings in the moving van, you’ll reap the benefits of independence without sacrificing your comforts.
Read our first-time mover’s checklist of seven things you should do before the moving van arrives.
Item #1: Save Your Money
In order to pay for your own place, you’ll need to put down your first and last month’s rent in advance. You’ll also shoulder the costs for your electricity, water, and phone bills. If your parents have typically paid these expenses in the past, you might want to save up your paychecks for a little while before you take the plunge and move out.
Item #2: Make a Plan
Once you’ve saved up your cash, create a detailed plan for your move. Include every task you want to accomplish, and give each task its own deadline to make sure you stay on schedule.
You also should set a monthly budget for all your expenses. Financial experts recommend that you save 10% of your income each month, so you’ll want to budget for a rainy day in addition to your regular expenses.
Item #3: Store Your Valuables
After you decide on a plan, you can start sorting through your belongings. Your first apartment might not have the closet space for all of your stuff, so choose wisely.
Remember, anything from your distant past-scrapbooks, memorabilia from elementary school, or vacation souvenirs-will still be there at your parents’ house when you want to visit. Don’t feel obligated to take every sentimental item with you into your new place.
Item #4: Toss Your Junk
Next, identify all of your possessions that you don’t want to bring or store. If you can’t recall a good reason to hold on to your old stuffed animals or swimsuits that no longer fit, get rid of them.
For gently used items, consider donating to a thrift store. You can feel good about letting go of your old stuff, and your goods can benefit someone new.
Item #5: Furnish Your New Place
Ask your future landlord about the status of your apartment or home. Even if you’re not the first tenant, you may have to provide your own furnishings.
Set apart part of your moving budget to cover basic furniture and supplies for your bedroom. Keep in mind that depending on how far away you move, you may prefer to buy large furniture items, like mattresses and tables, once you arrive.
You also want to remember to outfit your kitchen and bathroom too. Even if you know exactly where your parents keep the cleaning supplies, as soon as you move out you’re on your own. Make a list of kitchen basics to buy in advance, and expand your grocery list once you settle down.
Item #6: Pack the Bare Minimum
Once you’ve rid your closet of unwanted items and put your childhood toys safely in storage, you can begin packing. To save money when the movers come, you can opt to pack your own valuables. Wrap up fragile items in tissue paper or bubble wrap, and make sure not to crush these items with heavier objects.
For all your other clothes, books, and gear, you’ll want to sort your stuff into piles and then place them in boxes with other similar items. That way when you go to unpack, you won’t have to take everything out before you find what you’re looking for.
Invest in some quality packing materials, like boxes and Styrofoam peanuts, and tape up your boxes to make sure they don’t burst open in the moving van. Also take care to label any fragile items with clear instructions for the movers.
Item #7: Call the Experts
Schedule an appointment with your local moving company a few weeks prior to your move-in date. Give your company enough advance warning to make sure that they have the moving van or trailer available in your moment of need.
Movers can also help you transport fragile items that you wouldn’t be able to get out of the doorway on your own. For specialty items like musical instruments or antiques, consult your moving experts beforehand and request the necessary equipment.
Moving out for the first time gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself and simplify your life. When you remember these seven tips before moving day, you’ll enjoy every step of the moving process without getting overwhelmed by the task at hand.
For more information, call a moving company to help you understand the cost of moving all of your stuff out of your parents’ basement and into your own space.