Beginner’s Guide: Moving Out for the First Time

The first relocation can be simultaneously an exciting and daunting experience. The only way to stop your feelings from taking over when moving out for the first time is to be entirely prepared for what’s coming. And that’s why we are here – a successful move is achievable even on your first try with more than a few tips and tricks we will provide you.

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January 17, 2022 Posted in Plan the Move

Start Your Relocation Experience by Gathering Information About the New City

When relocating to another state alone, researching your future place must be one of the initial things to do before the move. And it implies more than just figuring out the financial aspect and the cost of living in it. Keep in mind that safety, climate, and available amenities are all factors that should be considered before you decide where to move. You can explore all of them online, so make sure not to skip it when it’s finally time to pick a city.

Of course, your reasons to move might dictate where you will live next (when relocating for college, love, a different job, and the like). Research is necessary in that case, too. That way, you can find out not only what to expect but also which neighborhood fits your current lifestyle best. Remember that one of the best ways to cope with relocating from family is to pick a place you can acclimate to quickly.

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Money Will Be One of Your Biggest Concerns

Leaving the nest means that you’ll experience all the glory of being financially independent, which is one of the main reasons many feel anxiety about relocation. The fear can be reduced if you have enough money stored aside or if your attempts to get a job in another state before relocating there were successful. Still, you must be positive that you can afford to live in a different state and cover all the expenses that come with it.

How Much Money Should You Have When You First Move Out? Creating a Relocation Budget

Too many factors must be considered before determining the amount that should be saved for the move. Will you get long-distance moving services or simply ask friends for help? Is your inventory list extensive, or are you planning to bring just the essentials? What kind of packing materials are you going to use? How expensive is your future city (neighborhood)? Do you have a position secured after the move?

All of the answers above will bring you one step closer to figuring out how much money you must have. So, what to consider when making a moving-out-on-your-own-for-the-first-time budget? Here’s a list to begin with:

  • The cost of hiring a long-distance moving company (or getting a relocation truck),
  • The rent (or monthly loan payments, if you are planning to buy a house) and the deposit,
  • Utility, grocery, and transportation expenses,
  • Taxes,
  • Internet and streaming services,
  • Insurance policies,
  • Library, gym, or any other kind of monthly membership payments,
  • The cost of furnishing your future apartment.

On top of all these costs, keep in mind that you should have a certain amount saved just in case – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting a Roommate After You Leave the Nest – Yay or Nay?

Having one person (or more of them) to help you deal with all of the expenses sounds like a great plan, as long as you’re being careful. Safety must be your biggest concern when looking for a roommate. Therefore, it’s always best to opt for living with someone your friends recommended or, even better, someone you know personally.

However, it won’t always be possible – and then what? Roommate searching websites and apps should be your next step. Roomi app, for example, guarantees the safety of users’ personal information, allows the linking of profiles with social media accounts, and, on top of that, provides the algorithm to find the perfect matches.

Two girls unpacking after cross-country moving
Relocating from parents doesn't mean you have to start living alone

Get Familiar With All the Renting Rules (and Tips)

Relocating away from parents means you have to decide about the future housing situation. For most new adults, it means getting acquainted with everything you need to rent an apartment. One of the most common relocation mistakes people who’ve never moved before make is having expectations that are too high. Your first apartment probably won’t have all the benefits an ideal one would, and that’s when we come to the first rule – think of what your future home must have and separate it from everything else that would be nice but isn’t necessary.

After finding a suitable apartment, you must determine if you can afford it. Remember that monthly rent should not surpass more than a third of your total monthly income. If the place fits your financial possibilities, here is what to do next:

  • Apply for the apartment – it’s not only you who’s choosing the apartment; the landlord is also the one who picks between different applicants. Because there is an application fee that must be paid, apply only for an apartment you are serious about.
  • Submit all the necessary documentation – landlords (or property managers) must run a background check on each potential tenant. Try getting recommendations from your professors, ex-employers, and other people of influence. Also, ensure you have a good credit score with regular payments and as little debt as possible.
  • Read the lease carefully – if you get accepted, don’t rush in signing the contract. So you can make a completely informed decision, speak with the landlord about any issue you might have. What is the length of the lease, is the apartment rent-controlled, and what are your responsibilities are just some of the answers you must find out before signing.
  • Don’t agree on anything before seeing the apartment – photos can hide something an apartment lacks, so one of the essential first apartment tips is to always inspect it before the deal is made.
Man getting an apartment key after cross-country moving
Know your obligations and possibilities before making decisions about the future home

You’re Going to Need Plenty of Organizational Skills During the Whole Process

Relocation is said to be one of the most stressful life events, and that’s especially true if you’ve never moved before. There are seemingly countless tasks that must be completed before or even after the physical move is over. Creating a moving-across-the-country checklist may tone down the relocation stress, at least a little.

Before starting with the preparation, make a list of tasks and create a schedule. Putting everything on paper and thinking through the timetable instead of remembering everything that must be done will lift so much pressure off your shoulders. Then, all that is left is to finish one task after another and mark them as completed.

Save Enough Time and Energy for Packing

When thinking about relocation, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is, usually, the packing process – and not without reason. Out of all relocation tasks, it’s bound to be the most challenging one (if getting packing services is out of the question).

First comes decluttering and deciding what to leave behind. Find out if apartments in your future city commonly come furnished to get a better picture of which items should be packed. Bring only those things that spark joy, as Marie Kondo would say. If you want to pack efficiently while saving on relocation costs, box up only those items you’ll actually use. After all, remember that most relocation companies set prices based on your inventory.

Protecting your belongings so they don’t get damaged during transport is necessary. If you don’t want professional assistance, you’ll have to learn how to use plastic wrap, how to pack fragile items, what the best-sized boxes are, and other relocation hacks. Don’t miss plenty of packing-related tricks presented in the video below:

Choose the Right Cross-Country Movers to Help You Relocate

If you’ve chosen to move efficiently over finding the cheapest way to move out of state, googling the best long-distance movers near me must be on your checklist. Make sure to choose a company with plenty of positive reviews (especially on third-party websites). After selecting a few companies with the best recommendations, request quotes to get familiar with their prices.

Be aware of teams with an offer too good to be true. It is one of the well-known tactics of scamming companies – they lure customers with seemingly low costs only to charge them with hidden expenses later. Using a US DOT number to check if a company is legitimate is necessary, but ensure not to miss BBB reviews and check for recorded complaints at FMCSA’s website so you avoid scammers successfully.

After you’re confident that the company you’ve picked is the most trustworthy one, consider what type of offered services you’ll need. Keep in mind that many reputable companies can offer auto transport and even storage services, aside from professional packing.

Updating Your Personal Information Is Necessary After the Move

Your relocation tasks don’t end on the day of the move. Besides unpacking, updating documents is one of the things to do after relocation. Here are the most important changes that need to be made:

  • Update your address at USPS,
  • Purchase a new healthcare policy (when relocating to a different state, there is a high possibility that you’ll have to find another insurance provider),
  • Update the driver’s license and car registration,
  • Get a pet license if you own a pet,
  • Change your voter’s registration.

On top of that, you should also count on finding a different primary care doctor, a dentist, or even a mechanic. If you want to live on your own, you must become self-reliant as soon as possible.

Don’t Forget to Bring Essentials on the Moving Day

Documents are part of the relocation essentials, so they must be separated from furniture, appliances, books, and other non-necessities you decided to keep. Think about everything you’ll require for the trip and the next couple of days in the future home. Aside from important documentation, consider packing aside items like a change of clothes, essential toiletries, electronics, and, of course, snacks for the road.

How Do I Cope With Moving Out for the First Time?

It’s not all about being physically prepared for the road ahead – emotional preparation is just as important. Prepare yourself for the emotional rollercoaster you’ll experience, from sadness and fear to happiness and excitement. However, remember that the key to coping with leaving the parents’ house is to focus on positive emotions and the many relocation benefits that await you.

Simultaneously, try to actively adjust to the new town. How to do so, you ask? Decorate the place to feel like home, explore the city, and meet people. Putting down roots while keeping in touch with loved ones is the ultimate recipe for a successful move. Well, that, and getting the most reliable relocation company in the business so your move can pass smoothly. Combine all three and be ready for the amazing end result.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.



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