How to Move Out for the First Time and Step Into the Unknown

November 23, 2021Moving Tips
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

If you are tired of staying at your parents’ place and looking for a change, learning how to move out for the first time might be the thing you’ve been waiting for. While the journey itself won’t always be easy, you only need some patience and support to finally leave the nest, set off on your own, and start the next chapter of your life.

Learning How to Move Out for the First Time Is an Essential Part of Growing Up

From not having to pay rent to always having food in the fridge and dinner at the table, it’s very easy to see why many Americans are still staying with their parents well into adulthood. Despite all these advantages, there’s a certain point in life when you just have to move and set out on a journey of your own.

However, leaving the nest can be very intimidating, particularly when relocating to a new city in an entirely different state. If you are getting anxious about moving for the first time and want some help organizing the move, this guide has everything you need to prepare for the next chapter of your life.

At What Age Should You Move Out?

People can have all sorts of different reasons for relocating, making it almost impossible to determine the best age to leave the nest. While some move out of their parents’ house as soon as they graduate from high school, others do it only when they start planning a family of their own. Generally speaking, many agree that it’s best to move out when you’re about 25 to 26 years old.

This aligns with what many are doing today, as half the singles aged 25 to 29 still live with parents. However, it shouldn’t be surprising that young adults are content with staying at their old place for this long. Remember that relocating out of state takes a lot of resources, and this compromise gives people the opportunity to save money to move much more quickly than would otherwise be possible. Once they are financially independent, most wouldn’t mind leaving the nest and relocating to a new home.


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Focus On Getting Your Finances in Order First

As we just mentioned, one of the biggest roadblocks to people leaving their parents’ house is the lack of sufficient funds. Not having a plan will leave you penniless before you know it, which is why getting finances in order is crucial for anyone who wants to relocate to a new state alone. Start tracking your monthly expenses to figure out where you’re spending the most and what could potentially be trimmed down.

More importantly, you’ll need a stable job to provide a continuous source of income. After all, you can’t really expect your parents to give you the money as they did before. If you are currently unemployed and looking to find a job in another state before relocating there, the tips in this video will certainly help you land the position you want.

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Plan Out Your Relocation Budget

Before you start looking at apartments, try to calculate your potential relocation budget. Living alone is certainly not cheap, and considering you’re relocating to a different state, it’s essential to save up enough money to last you for three months minimum.

This sum will serve as a safety net in case you become unemployed, or an emergency occurs, so it should be big enough to cover all your expenses for this period. With that in mind, some of the most important things to consider when making the budget include:

  • Renting deposit and rent,
  • Furnishing,
  • Utilities and other paid services like Netflix and Disney+,
  • Food expenses,
  • Transportation costs,
  • Moving, renter’s, and health insurance,
  • Leisure activities,
  • Relocation expenses (including packing materials).
A woman counting money needed for a car shipping company
How much money should you have saved before moving out? Enough to cover all expenses for three months

Decide Where You Are Going to Live

Once you’ve secured an appropriate budget, apartment hunting should be the next thing on your moving out for the first time checklist. If you want to move to a big city, carefully go over all the options before deciding where to live. Be aware that finding an apartment that suits both your budget and needs won’t be easy, meaning you might have to make a few compromises here and there. Besides the rent cost, other things that you should consider before renting a place include:

  • Square footage and number of bedrooms,
  • Neighborhood crime rates,
  • Public transport availability,
  • Distance to amenities,
  • The state of the property and furniture (if any is included).

Sharing an Apartment With a Roommate Has Several Advantages

When moving out of your old home, one of the best things to know is that you don’t actually have to start living alone right away. In case you want to make some friends in a new city right away, there’s no better way to start than by getting a roommate. In comparison, while it might feel like a cheat to get a roommate, having someone around will keep you from feeling lonely and depressed after the move.

Another great benefit is that it significantly reduces your overall expenses, possibly cutting the rent and many of the bills in half. By looking for a roommate even before the move, you’ll get a chance to land a much better crib that would otherwise be way too expensive. If you don’t know anyone who’s looking for a roommate, try using one of the roommate-finding apps to find and connect with people in your area.

A man who can't fall asleep
If you are going to get a roommate, make sure that you have similar lifestyles

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address

Once you’ve secured your accommodation, changing the address should be the next thing on your to-do list. If you’re not sure who to notify when relocating, we recommend starting with the United States Postal Service (USPS). After all, the government institution is responsible for handling all your mail. The process itself is pretty simple for the most part, but even those not so good at organizing important documents won’t have any trouble following the instructions. More importantly, it can be done online, meaning you won’t even have to visit the post office.

Who Else Do I Need to Notify When Changing the Address?

Once your residence has been officially changed, make sure you’ve notified all the other institutions with the new address as well. The DMV is a perfect starting point, as you’ll need to update the driver’s license, vehicle registration, and voter registration. The bank should also be notified, as well as any other services that are registered on the old address. Last but not least, to avoid committing insurance fraud by accident, remember to update the information on any active insurance policies.

A woman ordering door to door auto transport over the phone
Notify all important institutions and services about the change of address

Setup All the Utilities in Advance

While rentals often come with preset water and trash collecting services, you’ll usually be required to set up utilities on your own. This is one of the most important tasks on any first-time moving-out checklist, as forgetting to do it could leave your future home uninhabitable.

That’s why you must start looking for service providers at least two weeks before the move, as this will leave plenty of room for them to finish the installation. Some places do come with everything already working, though, so the landlord might only ask you to transfer the utilities to your name.

A stressed-out man
Don't forget to transfer the utilities before relocating

Decide Which Items and Furniture Pieces You’re Going to Pack and Move

The packing process is the longest part of the relocation, and while you can quickly pack shoes and clothing, the furniture won’t be so easy to handle. Seeing how this is your very first relocation, consider which belongings you want to move and which should stay behind at your parents’ house. If you want to move efficiently, it is probably best to bring over only the things you truly need, like the bed and a few other pieces.

Some stuff will have to be straight-up bought, though, as you can’t just take everything from the parents’ home. This is another reason why getting a roommate can be very useful. By creating a joint new apartment checklist, you’ll avoid buying the same items, potentially saving both of you a lot of money. If one person chooses to pack dishes and cutlery, the other can get some pots and pans or vice versa. There also won’t be as much packing involved, lowering the relocation expenses even further.

Consider Getting Moving and Renter’s Insurance

If you’re planning to pack a TV and a bunch of other fragile items, it might be smart to get moving insurance just in case. While you might be confident that the belongings are appropriately packed, you can never be entirely sure that nothing will get damaged during transport. The same can be said for the renter’s insurance, which will cover any damage or loss of property that can occur in a burglary.

A woman doing inventory
Make an inventory list of everything you intend to bring over from the old place

Get Some Moving Services From Professional Movers

Booking a professional mover is easily one of the best relocation tips for a person who’s just leaving the nest. Moving companies provide all sorts of services, allowing you to prepare for the relocation without even lifting a finger. While some people avoid hiring a professional to save on moving costs, paying for a service is often the only way to have a stress-free relocation. If you’re wondering how to choose a relocation company, get a free quote from several different movers and pick the one that suits you the most. Try to stick to those whose prices are closer to the average, as significantly cheaper quotes might not be legit.

Don’t Forget to Have Your Car Shipped

Do you have a vehicle that needs to be moved? Considering it can take up to several days to drive from one part of the country to another, drivers should contact a USA auto transport company and ship the car to another state. You can choose to have it moved in an open trailer, which is cheaper, but we recommend enclosed auto transport for anyone with a more expensive vehicle.

Don’t forget to choose the delivery method. There’s the terminal to terminal car shipping, but this would require you to drop off the vehicle at the nearest car shipping company terminal and later pick it up from the one that’s closest to your delivery location. Door-to-door auto transport is the more convenient option, as your car will get picked and delivered to predetermined locations.

Two professional movers
Relocation becomes substantially easier once you hire professional movers

Figure Out How to Do Basic Lifestyle Tasks

Many get surprised that the laundry doesn’t do itself or that dinner doesn’t magically appear on the plate every day. That’s because most people are not aware of how dependant they are on their parents for even the simplest of chores until they have to move out. If you truly aim to become independent, start getting used to the idea of doing the chores regularly as soon as possible.

Learning how to cook is a top priority, as you can only survive on take-out for so long before depleting your budget. Making a few simple meals several times a week is more than enough to get you started. If you haven’t so already, get used to scrubbing the toilet, as there won’t be anyone to do it for you.

A man washing dishes
Get used to cleaning the dishes on your own

When in Doubt, Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Although this guide offers many neat tips for moving out for the first time, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask your parents for help when the need arises. After all, they did raise you and are probably more than happy to provide helpful advice and relocation hacks of their own. There are a ton of things that you could still learn about relocating, but there will be plenty of chances for that in the future. What matters is that you finally managed to move out, and that is a feat that anyone can be proud of.

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