Moving out of your parents’ house is a major milestone! Maybe you’ve lived away from home temporarily (if you went to university, for example), but moving into your own, permanent home where you’ll be the “grown up” is totally different.
First time movers need to be prepared emotionally as well as practically for moving out of their parents’ house. We’ve previously put together a moving out checklist, which lists all the things you’ll need to take and do before you leave, and below are our general top tips for moving out for the first time.
We’re starting with the assumption that you’ve done all the hard work:
- you’ve decided where to live (based on closeness to work, what local amenities there are, ease of access to public transport or car parking, etc.),
- you’ve found a home that’s within your budget,
- you’ve secured a mortgage or saved up enough for your bond and first month’s rent.
Now you’re ready to move out of your parents’ house, and presumably have a few weeks to get organised. (Buying a house or moving into a rented property can take weeks to organise.)
Practical tips for moving out:
- Learn to cook the basics, if you don’t already know. If your parents have always cooked for you and there are some “comfort” dishes you want to be able to make for yourself, ask them to teach you how they make them.
- Make sure you have at least the bare essentials for each room of your new house, from toilet paper, to a bed and bedding, to pots and pans. Print out our moving out checklist, tick off everything you have and highlight everything you still need.
- Prepare for moving day well in advance:
- The first step when moving out is to get rid of anything you don’t want to keep. Your parents might agree to keep some childhood bits and bobs in their loft or basement, but try to be ruthless about what you need and don’t need. Sell, recycle, gift or donate any excess belongings before you move out of your parents’ home if you can - you’ll have less to have to load and unload! If you’re not sure whether you want or need to keep something, consider renting a self storage unit for a few weeks until you’re settled and know where you want everything to go.
- Gather cardboard boxes - you can find free cardboard boxes to save a bit of money, and if you’re keen to reduce the carbon footprint of moving house you can use eco-friendly packaging materials. Label all your boxes clearly!
- Arrange transport for all your belongings. You probably won’t need a removals company - you’ll probably be able to get all your belongings in a small van or make a few car trips with the aid of friends or family. If you need to hire a van, it’s worth knowing that van hire companies usually charge by the day or half day - to save money, you could get a cheaper price by paying for a van by the hour from one of the large high street DIY or furniture shops.
- Pack a separate bag of essentials, as if you were going to stay in a hotel for a couple of days, so that you have easy access to everything you need (e.g. a change of clothes, medications, toiletries).
- Make sure you know which utilities companies you’ll be using at your new home and make sure they have your moving in date. Set up your direct debits for a couple of days after payday, so you don’t accidentally go overdrawn.
- If you’re installing broadband, there might well be a delay in getting it set up in your new home - see if you can buy extra gigabytes from your mobile provider and use your phone as a WiFi hotspot for a few days.
- As soon as you get into your new home, take photos of the gas and electric meters. Iif you’re renting, you should also take photos of all the rooms in case there are disagreements later on about anything that might be damaged.
Emotional tips for moving out:
If this is your first time moving and you’ve never lived alone before, you’ll probably really enjoy the freedom and peace and quiet for the first few weeks after moving out of your parents’ home. You can watch whatever you want on TV, eat whatever you like for dinner, go to bed and get up at whatever time you choose (working hours permitting, of course).
There might come a point, though, when that novelty wears off and you need to be prepared for the reality of living alone. Obviously, if you’re moving in with friends this won’t be an issue, but if you’re alone then you might feel lonely. This is especially true given that so many of us now work from home most of the time, so you may not even be able to socialise at work.
Have a few plans and ideas in place before you move out so that you’ll reduce your chances of getting lonely or anxious, such as:
- Arrange to visit friends or family at least once a week, and stick to your plans. Have a back-up plan in case they have to cancel!
- Consider joining a gym or sports club to create opportunities to interact with others.
- If you’ll be living far away from home, your parents will probably miss you even more than you miss them! Set up a weekly video call at a set time each week so that you can all feel a bit more secure.
- Keep a positive attitude. Moving out is the right thing to do if you’re craving independence and to be an adult. As much as your parents love you, when you’re with them you’ll always be their child and will fall into a habit of relying on them to do everything from cooking and cleaning to making decisions for you. If you want to feel like a grown up and be treated like one, you’ll need to act like one - moving into your own home is the best way to do just that!
If you’re going to live with friends, loneliness probably won’t be an issue, but tensions can still run high at times. A good way to reduce stress and tension is to agree on a chore schedule - who will be responsible for which chores on which days/weeks? If someone isn’t pulling their weight, address it early and don’t just do the work yourself, or you’ll be making a rod for your own back!
Remember the positives of moving out
There may be a lot of new responsibilities you’re not accustomed to when moving into your own home, but there are a lot of positives, too.
Yes, you’ll need to make sure you always have enough money in the bank to pay the bills, buy food and have the boiler repaired if needs be, but you’ll also have loads of privacy and freedom. Also, not everybody has positive relationships with their parents - if yours is a toxic relationship, moving out will do wonders for your mental health because you can choose to live according to your own rules and standards.
Moving out of your parents’ home for the first time is your chance to make choices about how you want to live and what kind of adult you want to be. You’ll learn lots of new skills and it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you deal with them straight away. Asking for help is perfectly okay - every independent adult on the planet has asked for help at some stage or another!