There are few things in life more satisfying and exciting as moving into your first apartment. Whether you're renting or buying, your new place will give you complete freedom to decorate it in a way that reflects your personality and provides the comfort you yearn for.
However, before you rush into the whole process, bear in mind that such a relocation carries responsibilities as well and a lot of details have to be taken care of so that things work out well in the end. To help you get started, here's a list of suggestions so your move goes smoothly.
If this is your first time you're going to live on your own, things can get very tricky and quite overwhelming without a proper budget. You'll need to know exactly how much space and cost you can afford and with all the security deposits, application fees, utility and moving costs, it would be wise to have a solid amount set aside.
Try to keep your living costs between 30% and 40% of your net income and stick to it for a while until you get a better feel of living on your own. Once your parents aren't there to cover your costs, money gets very tight very fast. Keep track of your monthly expenses and avoid paying by credit cards. It's often tempting to overspend and push you into debt and the last thing you want is to have financial troubles the moment you started living independently.
You'll also learn that things tend to happen unexpectedly and beyond your control so having an emergency fund is a smart move. Also, make an effort to conserve energy to keep your utility bills from skyrocketing. Keep the costs down by turning off the lights when you leave the room, unplugging your TV and computer when not in use and setting your thermostat by 2 degrees lower. It'll save you money in the long run and help preserve the environment as well.
Location is everything and it will impact both your budget and your everyday life so make a wise choice. Consider how close it is to your work so the commute is manageable if there's available public transportation nearby and what the neighborhood is like particular the local crime rates. All these things matter since you'll be living there for a while and if you don't feel safe and content, there's no point in pushing it.
When you start going on apartment viewings, keep your eyes open as there can be a lot of potential problems hiding even in spruced-up, move-in ready flats. Be on the lookout for water damage on the floor and around the windows, funky smells, carpet stains and outdated appliances. Take pictures to document everything you see so you don't get overcharged when you eventually move out.
Listen for surrounding noise from the street and neighbors, check if the apartment is an easy target for break-ins and take into account how many stairs there are and if the moving in will be a nightmare. Also, ask about amenities such as the gym and on-site laundry with modern washing machines as these can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
An apartment walk-through isn't only important for determining if you like the place and if everything's in order, it also influences your process of moving in. To make sure you know what can and can't be brought in, you need to know the exact layout and measurements. There will be a lot of fitting in and customizing of your furniture, shelves, and decor so it's necessary you know how big the windows, doors, and rooms are.
Relocation frenzy is no fun at all and if you leave your packing for the last minute, it will turn into a nightmare! The solution is preparing in advance and getting organized in time at least 8 to 6 weeks before your move. Packing isn't just stuffing things in boxes. To make it a smooth process where things don't get lost or damaged, you need to classify your possessions and pack them properly.
There'll surely be things you can throw away and donate. You'll also need to find an experienced moving company, book the date, cancel your utilities and subscriptions and get insured so there are no surprises. This is why having a good moving checklist can be a true lifesaver!
Moving always carries a certain amount of stress, but don't let it overtake your excitement. Rely on the tips listed here and have fun along the way because you're about to start a brand new chapter in your life!