What To Know If You’re Moving Out For The First Time

What To Know If You’re Moving Out For The First Time

For those moving out and entering into a new season of life



Maybe moving out is something you’ve dreamed of doing ever since your angsty teenage years when you made a promise to yourself that you’ll make it on your own one day. Or maybe you simply dreamed of having your own space and having everything done your way. Or maybe it’s just time to leave and start anew. 


Whether you’re a fresh high school graduate moving out to a dorm near your university, a fresh college graduate relocating for a job, a financially stable person relocating because you can finally do so, or even (we hope not, though) a victim of a situation where you’re forced to evacuate, you may be asking yourself: How am I supposed to move out?


Here are a few pointers for when that season of life happens. And hey, just because you can’t move out yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it. Listen to Taylor Swift: “You're on your own, kid, you always have been.”


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Planning for the Big Move




Okay, so you want to move out. The (blunt) question is, can you actually afford to do so? Have a good idea of your cash flow. How much are you consistently earning? How much are you spending? What are your spending habits? 


Once you’ve monitored your cash flow and spending habits, decide how much money you can set aside for rent. Set a budget for the essentials and non-essentials, as well as an emergency fund. Also, consider the money you may need for moving expenses or security deposits. 


If you can do so, play it safe with finances and make sure you have more than you need. 


While we’re not the experts on finances, you may want to check out Nicole Alba’s YouTube Channel for financial advice. 


RELATED: A Quarantine Guide to Jumpstart Your Personal Financial Planning


Life skills


You’ll learn things as you go, but give yourself a good start. Be a reliable person for yourself and gain basic life skills if you haven’t yet. Learn how to cook some quick meals, clean your space and do your laundry. While you’re at it, learn how to install and repair things around your home. Pro tip: You might actually learn a thing or two from those housewives on YouTube and TikTok.


Apartment hunting

@shelbytangorra I was on vaycay but I’m back besties! to book, email me at [email protected] 🤍 #apartment #apartmenttour #nyc #nycapartment #rent #nyclife ♬ original sound – Shelby Tangorra


After you’ve figured out how much you can spend on a space, it’s time to go apartment hunting! Have a clear idea of what you want in a space and how you intend to live in your home. Do you intend to commute to work or do you have a WFH setup? Are you in the proximity of your needs (i.e. gym, supermarket, public transportation)? Is the neighborhood safe? Are there facilities (i.e. an elevator) for people with disabilities? Do they allow pets? 


Create your apartment-hunting checklist. (You might want to check out NPR’s version here.) Before sealing the deal, make sure to visit the location and check everything about the unit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure to take note of all the damages, if any. 


No matter what your *ideal* space looks like, make sure to manage your expectations and know what you can compromise. 



@baileyalthauser posting this as the trash is overflowing, but apparently we don’t see this as a problem #roommates #fyp #miamiuniversity #rules ♬ original sound – Bailey Althauser


While living alone may be the dream, you might not be able to do so just yet. Having a roommate (or roommates) would help cut down on costs, but do consider things before inviting people to live together. After all, you’re going to live with them for the next few months. Check out this Bustle piece on the qualities people look for in a roommate. 


No matter how responsible they may be, set down your expectations with them as soon as you’re settled in. Talk about house rules, personal boundaries, chores and household expenses. 


Preparing for the Big Move 


Apartment essentials

@carolinekahn1you can check out my first apartment essentials page on my amazon storefront for some of these goodies + more 🤍🤍♬ Borderline – Tame Impala


If this is your first time moving, you’ll probably have to buy a bunch of things to get settled in. Be warned: it will cost money. Have a checklist (yes, again) of apartment essentials to purchase. If you have a few months ahead of your move, you might want to make the most of those double-digit monthly sales on Shopee and Lazada or those three-day sales by SM. Buying products little by little would have a smaller impact on your finances, too.


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Consider buying furniture secondhand. You’d be surprised by what you can find on Facebook Marketplace, Carousell or even Japan Surplus stores. 


As it’s your first place, don’t fuss too much about having it all perfect. Make use of hand-me-downs, buy the things you can afford, and upgrade your place in small increments when you’re financially stable to do so. 


Updating your address and setting up utilities


Once you have a move-in date, look up service providers and set an installation date on the week you move in. Be sure to have the utilities turned on or transferred to your name by the time you move in so you can be billed for it. 


You may also need to update your address for bank and billing purposes, among others. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to let your friends know that you’ve moved. Why not throw a housewarming party once you’ve settled in?




Packing up

@everywherehome Tip #3 literally rejuvenates me on moving day 💃🏽 let me know what more you want to see #movingtips #moveinhacks #movingdaytips #movingready #homedepot #interiordesign #interiordecor #interiordesigner ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic


It’s time to go Marie Kondo and ~confront~ the things you own before packing them up. Have a decluttering session and decide what you need and what you can let go of. It’s okay to cry! 


Instead of buying moving boxes, ask your local supermarket or restaurant for some boxes you can use for moving. It’s free and environmental, too. Pack things little by little if you have the luxury of time to avoid getting overwhelmed, and label each box with a list of its contents. Pro-tip: Label the boxes with the area you'll need them in, so you can place the boxes in the proper place as you move!


You'll want to pack your essentials last. Consider packing them all in one box or one suitcase. Moving will take longer than expected, so prepare all you need for your first night there. Tip: Bring something to celebrate, too!


Moving Day


It’s the big day! 🤩 Start the day as early as possible, and remind yourself to have fun with it! Ask a trusted relative or friend to help out, and have refreshments and snacks on hand to give you (and them) energy. Play some music while you’re at it, too!


Don’t forget to have your phone fully charged, and keep your essentials and sensitive items (documents, fragile items) in a place where they’re safe and accessible. Have some cleaning supplies on hand, or go for a quick grocery run to get supplies for a few days while you unpack. Set up your bed and shower situation as soon as you can so you can reward yourself with a night of restful sleep and a shower after a long day. If your landlord allows, change the locks for safety. 


You’ve got this!


Settling In

@legallykaylapreston Hope this helps someone #fyp ♬ original sound – Kayla


Now, all those moving vlogs you’ve watched on YouTube are no longer something you just dream about. You’ve finally done it! Cheers to this new season of your life. 


Independence is a privilege, a responsibility and a burden rolled into one. Take it from Taylor Swift from her 2022 NYU Commencement Speech, “Scary news is: You’re on your own now. Cool news is: You’re on your own now.”



Words Gwyneth King 

Art Macky Arquilla

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