A Beginner’s Guide to Moving Out for the First Time

January 14, 2022Moving Tips
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Venturing forward into an independent life is no easy decision, but there comes a point when you feel it’s the right thing to do. And since you’ll be moving out for the first time, you have no prior knowledge and experience on how it’s done. Worry not because a good guide can set you on the right path.

A young woman with a pile of packages
30% of post-graduates will move away from the area they attended college in after five years

Billy Idol once said – “If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.” This rings true especially when you’re young and rethinking whether it’s the right moment for moving out on your own for the first time. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 90% of young adults have left their parents’ nest by 27 for at least three months or longer. But it isn’t as simple as throwing your iPad and favorite pajamas in a bag and leaving through the front door. To avoid getting crushed by anxiety about moving out, you should take some necessary steps and preparations.

A Good Plan Is the Root of a Carefree Move

Being carefree is a symbol of youth, but things are bound to change when you set your sights on leaving for an independent life. Set your worries aside because a move will not kill your spirit, but on the contrary – knowing how to move out for the first time will ensure everything is under control and your stress is kept at bay. This will allow you to focus on this brand new chapter and the bright future that’s ahead of you.

Set the Compass Towards Your Dream Destination

We’ve all had those dreams where we’re space explorers, conquering unknown planets just like in an episode of Star Trek. Or perhaps bold adventurers, seeking excitement in wondrous and unknown parts of the world, just like Indiana Jones. But as we get older or, more bluntly speaking – grow up and mature, our dreams become more down to earth. We learn how to drive and how often to replace tires on a vehicle. We cook, clean, pay bills, and get groceries. And we also start dreaming about living in a completely different city, away from the dull everyday life.

Although dreams about commanding the Enterprise might be out of reach, relocating to a new city alone is a goal so reachable, you can smell it and taste it. It has a California-style pizza taste, smells just like a French Dip sandwich, or feels like Miami’s bright white sand under your bare feet.

A tattooed hand holding a compass
Some surveys found that Florida was the state that most people moved to during 2020

Set Your “Moving Out on Your Own for the First Time” Budget

Before you can picture yourself surfing after you move to a new city with pristine beaches or relocate to a cold climate that has a city bursting with job opportunities, you should make a financial plan. It can be as detailed as you want it to be, complete with a timeline, bullet points, pictures, and personal notes, or it can simply divide your preparatory steps into categories to use as a general reminder for creating and enlarging your budget.

Work on Saving Up and Adding to the Budget Way Before You Leave

Before you have a budget set in stone, try to find as many possible ways to save up as you can. It can also be a great practice prior to living on your own that will ensure you adopt as many healthy money-saving habits as you can. Here’s what you can do to help yourself create an awesome starting point:

  • Make a habit of buying groceries and cooking for yourself, and try to skip eating out and getting takeout. It will be as beneficial to your savings as it will be for your overall health. After all, learning to cook will be a skill you’ll use every day when you start living on your own. And once you master cooking skills, you should consider packing pots and pans that you’ll use in the new apartment.
  • One of the greatest tips you can implement in order to save money to move is to get used to moving around without taxis, Uber, or your own car (at least for the moment, the funds won’t grow by themselves, you know!) Familiarize yourself with using public transportation, riding a bike, and walking, and you are in for a surprise because of the money you can save up this way.
  • Besides ditching the habit of dining out, you should cut down on other activities that usually take a chunk out of your piggy bank. Avoid going out, buying coffee outside, and cut down on your subscriptions and other activities you have to pay for.
  • Additionally, when you start making a new apartment checklist and list all the things you should buy that will make an apartment feel like home, keep it down a little. You can easily go for a shopping spree later on once you’ve settled down and things start looking up.

Although all these suggestions sound as if your life is going to get quite boring, you shouldn’t look at it that way. Soon enough, you’ll have just about the right amount of cash to pay for relocation expenses and organize your move with less effort. But most of all – to start off on the right foot in your future abode.

Secure Your Future Independent Life With Sufficient Funds

If you are an avid lover of wheelers, you’ve probably already figured out which are the best US cities to drive in and considered hiring a car shipping company to take care of your car. But making a budget should go beyond deciding whether you have enough money for door-to-door auto transport or the less expensive terminal-to-terminal car shipping.

You should think ahead and project a budget that will cover a couple of months after you move to a big city. It will take a lot of worry off your back and secure your independence until you land a job. Not to mention that if you go broke, you’d have to go back to your parents’ house and all your plans will go to waste.

If savings are a completely fresh term to you, you can check out the following video and get a few ideas on how to fatten that piggy bank of yours.

YouTube video

Spruce Up Your Resume and Start Applying

It may seem like a good idea to move first and start searching for the perfect job right after, but to ensure you become independent and stay that way, start looking for work before the move-out date. Here are some tips to make it work:

  • Let your resume shine. Add each and every prior experience, additional courses, and gained skills, however insignificant you think they may be.
  • Don’t lie about your whereabouts; instead, leave out your current address and mention where you are from in the cover letter. Add a general date when you believe you’ll move to that city so your future employer can be aware of when to contact you if they are interested.
  • You’ll need to create a LinkedIn profile and start joining various groups so that you can expand your list of contacts. Also, ensure to widen the search for a job to a geographic area you plan to move to.

Job hunting is one of those obvious items on the to-do list that will enable a great starting point for successful autonomy, so ensure that you do it on time.

A man happily throwing papers in the air
You may be surprised to learn that Colorado ranks the highest for job opportunities

Once You Hire Movers, You’re on the Right Path

Well, you are already on the right path, but as an inexperienced individual, it’s better to consider hiring professionals to help you move. Once you contact a company of your choosing and invest in their relocation services, you can get a definite answer to “How much money should you have when you first move out?

But movers will not only help you pack; they will also allow you to move safely because you’ll avoid hurting yourself (and your precious possessions!) by carrying and loading stuff all on your own. You won’t even have to organize packing to move, because you can pay for a professional packing service. If you want to lower the costs some more, you can always create a list of what to get rid of, declutter, sell, and give away unwanted items. The less you transport with you, the lower the price will be.

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Figure Out What to Do With Your Car Before the Move-Out Day Comes

Additionally, you can finalize your budgeting plans by deciding on an auto transport company. You should also choose between the more affordable open trailer auto transport and the pricier enclosed auto transport that will give you complete protection of your vehicle. It all depends on how much you love your car and perhaps the season you are relocating in. Enclosed car shipping is the perfect option for the winter months and luxurious vehicles.

A mover carrying a bulky green sofa that will get transported with USA auto transport
Professionals can give you the much-needed help and relieve you of unnecessary stress

Change Your Address and Cancel Subscriptions (Except Netflix, of Course)

Although you’ll be able to keep in touch with friends via video chats, messages, and social media networks, you should still pay a visit to your local post office or simply change your address online. Your voter registration and driver’s license are also vital, as well as health insurance. Keep in mind that if you’re younger than 26, you can stay on your parents’ insurance plan.

Don’t skip notifying your bank and other financial institutions, and cancel all your subscriptions so you won’t have to continue to pay for them after you’ve moved away to a new place. The IRS should be notified of your whereabouts, too, and in the end – don’t forget to let everyone close know that you are leaving.

A woman with a laptop
If you cancel all your subscriptions on schedule, you'll avoid unwanted costs

Choose an Abode That Fulfills Your Dreams or at Least Fits Your Financial Plan

It isn’t simply about finding an apartment to your liking; it’s about picking the perfect neighborhood that suits your lifestyle. You should check what amenities are available in a neighborhood, if it is in close proximity to your workplace, and above all – how expensive it is.

After you decide on a future home, you should figure out what you need to rent an apartment. Check with your future landlord or property manager whether you’ll have a parking space and if you can live with a roommate. Getting a roommate is also one of the ways you can live more comfortably with what you earn. You’ll split expenses, and you’ll have someone to talk to until you manage to make some friends.

A lovely bedroom area in an apartment
Little things can create a cozy and homely atmosphere in any place, big or small

Moving Out for the First Time Can Be an Adventure if You Prep Properly

You’ve planned and organized and managed to save up. You’ve said goodbye to everyone, and now you are waiting for movers to come and pick your stuff up. But you’re left wondering – How do I cope with moving out for the first time? Besides packing a TV so you can relax by watching your favorite shows, you should socialize with people as much as possible. Don’t say no to any invitation, because, after all – this is your chance to learn things, see the world outside of your comfort zone, and grow as a person.

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