After you’ve found your new home, set a date and taken care of the necessary steps listed in earlier chapters to make moving day a reality, it’s time to prepare for how to move out. Your future is just around the corner.
Prepare for Moving Day
When figuring out how to move out of your parents’ house or how to move out for the first time in general, it all starts with organization. Use the steps below to get started.
Start to pack
It may feel overwhelming when trying to determine how to compact everything you own into several boxes, but you can do it. Start by contacting a local grocery store to ask if any boxes are available. Be sure to take extra precaution with fragile items like glassware. Use newspaper, paper towels or bath towels to add extra layers of protection. Start by packing the items you don’t need in the immediate future, saving those you use every day for last.
As you begin to fill boxes, label where the boxes will go in your new home. This will make it easier if you have help on moving day, freeing you up to focus on more important objectives.
Get rid of anything you haven’t used over the past year. Look for a family or an individual who may be in need, or donate to a qualified organization. Be sure to speak with a tax professional about potential tax deductions that may be available for your donations. Many organizations will provide a donation receipt.
Set up your utilities
Take an afternoon to set up the utilities for your new home. To start the process, ask your landlord — or previous owners, if you’ll be buying a home — for information on utility providers, and run a quick online search to see if you can price shop. In Pennsylvania, you can shop for your electric provider, for instance. If you’re buying a home, utility information may be available on the seller’s disclosure form.
Be sure to call or visit the utility providers’ websites at least two weeks ahead of your move to get situated. Be prepared with your credit card and driver’s license information when you make your calls.
Forward your mail
Visit the USPS website to have your mail forwarded. You may be charged a small fee. Note how long mail forwarding will last, and be sure you contact organizations that send you important mail to notify them of your new residence.
Set up a private Facebook event or ask friends to help you on your anticipated moving day, and on any days that you’ll be working on your new home before you move in. Offer pizza and refreshments as a thank you. If someone makes an offer to help, take them up on it — especially if they have a truck!
Make a plan
Think about the layout of your new apartment or home while you pack. Just because you currently keep something in your bedroom doesn’t mean that’s where it will fit in your new home. Pack according to your new home, not your existing home.
To make it easy on moving day, draw a rough sketch or layout of each room and think about where you’d like to place your larger items, like furniture. Make copies for those who will be helping you move so you don’t need to direct each item, or move it after help has left.
Consider a moving company
If your move will be a long distance away, or if you have limited assistance, working with a moving company may be a worthwhile investment. The cost will vary depending on the number of items you’ll be using, the distance of the move and whether storage will be necessary. This should be factored into your savings plan as you make your decision.
Moving Day: Moving Out for the First Time Checklist
Once you’ve taken care of the previous steps, you’re ready to make your move a reality. Consider the information below to understand what to plan for and expect when the day arrives. Your goal is to make the day as simple and stress-free as possible.
Arrange to rent your moving truck as early as possible, or even the night before the move. The more time you give yourself, the less stress and rushing will occur. Stay focused to achieve maximum efficiency, but remember to be patient. You have a long day ahead of you.
Do a walk through and explain your packing technique
Your friends and family members may not be familiar with your new home and layout. Bring them into your new space and share the drawings you made. Take the time to explain your packing technique. If everyone understands the end goal and where to place boxes without asking for your direction on each item, it will save time over the course of the day.
You’ve waited a long time for this day. Being patient will help make it a success. Don’t forget — there are hiccups involved with most plans. Don’t worry if something doesn’t go exactly how you envisioned it. This is only day one.
Don’t expect perfection
While it may be tempting to want your entire space to be set up and unpacked on day one, that’s likely not how your day will end. Focus on your necessities, then unpack a little more each day.
Focus on survival
What do you absolutely need to live — a dish or two? Your bed? Your computer? Focus on these items first, then leave less important items — décor, artwork, non-essential furniture, etc. — for later.
Make a goal
After day one, organization still matters. Focus on unpacking at least a single box each day and concentrate on ways to stay organized to reduce overall levels of stress.
Settling In: Living on Your Own for the First Time Checklist
Once moving day has come and gone, it’s time to settle in.
First, take the time to enjoy your new area. Get out and about. Meet neighbors by going on walks or saying “Hi,” in passing. Strike up conversations by asking which local restaurants they’d recommend and the best places to go for groceries. Over time, you’ll settle into your new routine.
The importance of meeting your neighbors cannot be understated. According to a Pew Research study, individuals who know and trust their neighbors are 71% more likely to feel safe in their neighborhoods. Because safety is a top priority, this should take precedence as a part of your new lifestyle.
Other ways to get to know your neighbors, aside from asking questions, include:
- Walking the dog. You may meet other pet lovers.
- Stopping to chat on the way to your car in the morning. Leave extra time for conversations.
- Spending time outside in common areas. Bring a book and settle in for a little while.
- Walking your children to the bus stop in the mornings or neighborhood parks in the afternoons.
- Hosting an open house for old and new friends. Everyone could use an excuse to have fun.
When you move out for the first time on your own, being deliberate about safety is important. A few safety tips to consider include:
- Purchasing a home security system. Burglaries accounted for 8% of property crimes committed in 2010, the FBI’s most recent year of study. Additionally, according to the same study, 73.9% of all burglaries occur on residential properties. A security system could possibly lower this risk and may lower the cost of your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, as well.
- Keeping your information private, especially online. It’s easy and natural to share your current location and updates on social media. But, this practice broadcasts your whereabouts — and if your residence is vacant — to the world. Advertising your home is empty is not something you want to do.
- Using common sense. If something feels wrong, stop and reconsider. If you arrive home and something looks like it’s out of place, you feel as though you’re being followed or you feel something is out of the ordinary, call the local authorities for help. Practicing caution while living on your own is valid and valuable at all times.
In addition to meeting those around you and practicing common safety methods, it’s important to have a plan. In a new location, understanding exit routes from your new home and planning for various unexpected scenarios — including natural disasters, fires and other events — matters greatly.
If you have questions about escape routes or other concerns, speak to your local police or fire department.
Proper preparation, planning and patience before and during your move, followed by deliberate actions and a focus on settling into your new environment safely will make the entire process a bit smoother.
Read Our Other Chapters
- Chapter 1: Questions to Consider Before Moving Out
- Chapter 2: How to Budget for Living on Your Own
- Chapter 3: How to Save to Live Alone for the First Time
- Chapter 4: How to Find Your New Space
- Chapter 5: How to Move Out and Get Started
- Chapter 6: How to Manage Groceries, Cleaning, and More
- Chapter 7: What College Students Need to Know Before Living on Their Own
- Chapter 8: Tips for Living Alone