5 things you need to know before you move out


movingAs mentioned earlier, I recently moved out on my own. No more parents, no more RA’s, just me and my roommate. Now I have been on my own for about a two months and have noticed a change in mindset, and a change in my daily routine. Nothing beats being independent both financially (mostly) and emotionally (mostly).

However, these are 5 five things I wish I though of, considered, and got into place before I moved out.

There is no “other” person

You hear it all of the time from your parents: “Who is going to pick up for you when you’re older?” Sadly, they are right. As you live your life when you are young, in the back of your mind you knew certain things your parents would take care of. When you move, its all you baby. Want food? You have to cook it, You have to clean it.

But it really goes beyond just cleaning. If ANYTHING gets done, you are the one doing it. No one is going to pick up the mail, send the gas bill, or keep your affairs in order. Its a strange mindset, especially from someone like me who had 8 people living in the house. Now it is just me and my roommate.

You need to learn how the world works

Sounds vague, I know. But you may not realize all of the little things you need to have under control before you venture out. Know how to handle money? Know how to set up utilities? Do you know your legal rights as a renter/ home owner? For example when I moved in, my apartment wasn’t getting mail. I had no idea who to tell that this apartment wasn’t vacant anymore.

Another example is when I moved in, my phone jack was in tatters on the floor. I wanted Internet so this was important. I harassed the landlord for days until he told me it wasn’t his problem and that it was all the phone company. I decided to fix it myself, but I still received no signal. After three weeks of harassing the phone company they finally sent someone out and fixed up my connection. To get my DSL online it took the company nearly a month. Good thing I stole a wireless connection from a law firm up the street.

Its all your fault

Because you are the only one responsible for you, if anything goes wrong in your life it’s your fault. Maybe not literally, but you have to fix it. Like the above phone situation, at first I was tempted to curse the landlord and blame him. But, thing is, it was MY fault for not acting on it sooner and my fault for not yelling at the right people. This applies to anything. Oversleep? Your fault. Don’t have enough money for rent? Your fault. Car brakes down? You better fix it.

Security Deposits = death

Before moving out I banked a lot of money. Maybe not a lot by most people’s standards, but a lot for $10-an-hour college kid standards. I thought I would be set for a few months as I moved in and started school, but I drastically underestimated how much moving out costs. This depends on where you rent, but my security deposit was 1.5 months rent, and the next months rent was due in 30 days. On top of that, you have to by all of your initial food and random basic house stuff like cleaning supplies. When all is said and done I wondered what happened to it all. And, to be honest, I got a lot of outside help such as dishes that people no longer used.

You’re no kid

You are no longer your father’s son, or so-and-so’s brother. You are now a (more or less) self-sufficient adult. So don’t take any shit from anyone. Period.

I’m sure this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some of you may scoff at me and think I’m a moron, while others (hopefully) will see where I am coming from.

Have you moved out? What did you wish you knew before you did?

2 Responses to “5 things you need to know before you move out”

  1. Eric W. Says:

    I was thrust into an apartment immediately following high school with three other guys who went to the same school I did. All in all, it was instantly refreshing and I liked having to fend for myself; I had direct control over what happened (more or less) and if something went wrong, I knew it was in my responsibility to rectify it (albeit the other roommates had their own duties and such as well).

    Just like high school, living with parents pales in comparison to that of getting your own place. Just like college, it is what you make of it. You could be a lazy slob and not bother to do anything, but then again, your apartment will fester and reek, you’ll crash in classes, etc.

    As far as living with roommates, there are the pros and cons. Largely speaking, one of them may get on your case and give you a hard time and as it says here, you can’t allow them to walk over like that. It doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole, but don’t be a doormat either. They’ll respect you later for it.

    But this is all pretty much common sense, so no sense in too much elaboration.

  2. Sar M Says:

    I took a year off before college during which time I lived in an apartment with two other random guys who had already been there when I moved in. I still had to put down my own security deposit and buy many of my own groceries. I just remember what a shock it was when I first moved in and I kept watching the money leave much faster than it was rolling in. My advice is to take every fixed cost you can prepare for (rent, security deposit, etc..) and then expect to spend at least half of your rent or deposit amount on food, supplies, and other miscellaneous items. If you’re not prepared, it can add up very very quickly!