How to Move Out of Home Into Your First Apartment

Finally ready to move out of your parents house? Get an apartment with a few friends or alone and you'll soon have a place of your own! When beginning this huge transition in your life, it is important to find good roommates or no roommates, cut costs, and set up your apartment for living comfortably.


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    Decide whether you will be sharing your living area with others. Having roommates is good because if you choose them right they will split the cost of living with you, help around the house, and provide useful items for moving. Be warned: doing so is also risky. The person could stop paying their share of rent, whether by choice or because of financial instability. They could also not assist in purchasing necessities, such as groceries. They could also not help around the house. You should choose a very close friend if at all possible, someone who you know would have similar living habits.
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    You should begin looking for places months before you actually move. Make appointments to view the places. Before your appointment, drive around to see what the area is like. Look for places you're going to need to go. Try to choose a place central to all these locations. Do not pick a place to live because it's convenient to your "friends" and their needs; this will be your home and must have everything you will need for a long time to come. Many teens move out and find a place because their "friends" like it and think it's cool, but your "friends" now may not be your "friends" when you pay your first month's rent for the place they liked.
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    When looking at a place, keep in mind that you're probably not going to get a palace. Compare the rate to the quality of the place and also to other rates. Do you want a cheaper place or would you rather pay more for a nicer place? If at all possible, bring a friend and a parent; both will provide you with different views of the place to help in your decision.
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    Make an inventory of the state of the house together with the landlord. Draft a letting contract (or buy one at a stationer's); read through, making sure it covers things like deposit (typically a month's rent)and responsibility for bills; and sign it. (The landlord will likely already have a contract established.)
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    Draw up a budget plan. Take into account costs such as utilities, insurance, groceries, clothing, and the occasional night out or movie rental. Will your wage/salary support this? If you are living with other people, figure out the total income per month and discuss how costs will be divided.
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    Move in. Parents are excellent sources of unwanted (for them) linens, crockery, pots and pans, bookshelves etc. Also try looking in thrift stores. Although these places may not appeal to some, you can purchase some cheaper stuff for the time being and replace it later. Try to buy as much as possible before you move in; that way you are not stuck without it.
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    Discuss your old room with your parents - you may want to overhaul your old stuff, getting rid of junk, taking your favorite and most used stuff to your new place. Anything that you don't need could be used by a roommate, so ask. Also, you could try selling the stuff you don't want online or at a garage sale to make some extra money. It isn't nice to leave all your old junk with your parents, so if you're not going to use or sell it, unless they are OK with you leaving it behind, do them a favor and take it to the junkyard.
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    Set up utility (bills) accounts for water, gas and electricity. You can often pick up the previous tenants' accounts in a new name - ask the landlord. (Again this has likely already been done.) Deposits are generally required to set up the account.
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    Last and not least, make sure you can afford to pay all your bills once you move, that your employment is secure, and that you will have enough money to live comfortably and not struggle to pay rent, utilities, food, gas for your car, and insurance. Living paycheck to paycheck is neither easy nor fun. Your monthly salary should be at least $1000.00 OR more than all your bills combined so you can be secure financially. Your parents may have made it look easy to provide for you...but it isn't. 65% of kids that move out end up back home or homeless in 3 months or less. Make sure you are ready to make the move in case your parents don't let you move back in. Do not leave your home on a bad note if at all possible; talk to your parents and work out any problems before you leave.


  • If you're moving in with friends, remember you won't be living with them forever. So if you're buying things for the apartment make sure you hold onto the receipts so when it's time to move out you know exactly what you bought, and you'll have proof.
  • If at all possible, try to have enough money saved to pay three months' worth of rent, bills, insurance, and groceries at all times. If you or a roommate loses a job, this security fund can save you from bad credit and/or homelessness!
  • Make sure you have a budget that keeps you from losing all of your money or running out of money.
  • Try to avoid splashing your cash on luxuries. Instead, save a bit of money to spend on them, but not all of it.
  • Best friends don't always make the best roommates. Be open to meeting new people and rooming with someone you don't know because seeing the same person all the time can be hard on a friendship. Also, it is sometimes nice to live with someone with an opposite schedule from yours (they work/have class in the afternoon/evening and you have class in the morning) so that you aren't in each other's way.
  • Discussing and planning house things together will make you and your housemates value the house more. If you have a sense of 'house community,' people are happier to contribute and keep the place in order. Dinner together is a good idea on occasion.
  • When the actual moving out process starts, i.e transporting stuff to and from house to house get as many friends and family involved as possible. It will be fun, and you could thank them with some homemade sandwiches and a drink.
    • Be safe
    • Love where you live


  • Unscrupulous landlords can have illegal cameras in your apartment. Check for them in areas such as the bathroom (in corners and under sinks, near toilets) as well as bedrooms.
  • Be sure to visit the apartment prior to moving in and bring an elder acquaintance, like a parent. Being independent does not mean you have to be stupid. Have this person be your back-up, checking the sinks, toilet, water pressure, etc. Typically, older adults will have had experience with horrible apartments and can spot an unworthy place. You do want the best place for your money, right?
  • Inspect the area around your potential apartment and ask current tenants how they like living there. They might save you from noisy neighbors or a crime-ridden neighbourhood.
  • Discuss RULES beforehand. Can people stay over, or does it have to be agreed by both of you? Parties or none? Music until what time at night? The last thing you want is to get up for work and have seven people passed-out on your living room floor, and come home to a still-messy house!
  • Bad housemates. If you live with friends, think about whether they have roughly the same standards of cleanliness as you do, and whether they will be able to pay the rent and bills.
  • Do not try to fit more people into a house/apartment in an effort to afford the place; if you cannot afford one particular place, then please realize there are thousands of other possible solutions.
  • Make sure you know the person who you're living with.

Things You'll Need

  • Money
  • Food
  • Bed
  • Bed frame

Article Info

Categories: Moving House and Packing