Believe it or not, a common budget for furnishing your first apartment is around $3,000 at a bare minimum. This will give you some of the basics but could be a big investment for a first-time apartment renter. There are all sorts of hidden budget items that could surprise you if you’re moving out for the first time.
If you’ve never moved into an apartment before, you probably don’t have many of the basics like cutlery, lamps, or renters’ insurance. Perhaps you have an idea of where you want to move but aren’t sure if you can afford the area. You might be flexible but end up with the wrong roommates and you could end up in a stressful situation.
There’s A Lot To Keep Track Of
There are lots of things to keep track of so you might want to put together a checklist of essentials before moving out for the first time. Feel free to use our list of 7 things to consider before moving.
Set your living budget
If you don’t know how much you can afford, you might end up in a situation where you’re moving back in with your parents after a couple of months. Worse yet, you could end up on a friends couch after moving out for the first time.
Be honest and sober about how much money you make per week and how much you spend. If you’ve been saving for a while, you can use a small amount of this to help you to move but you shouldn’t end up draining your savings. You need to be honest about your budget.
Think about how much you would spend on groceries, $50-$100 per week is pretty typical. Utilities like cable, internet, electricity, and gas could be anywhere between $100 and $300 per month. If you have to pay for parking, public transportation, or any new routines, think hard about them as well.
Renters’ insurance is only about $10-$25 a month and will protect your belongings and home in case of fire or flooding. See how much you have left over and see what you can afford.
List your must-have amenities
What makes an apartment a great place to live is partially where its located. Make a list of what you need to have within a 5-10 block radius. A grocery store, post office, and laundromat are absolute musts.
If you like to get out and socialize, make sure there are restaurants and bars that you like nearby. If you’re an adventurous person, you could be comfortable trying out new places too.
Think about public space too. The Bay Area has some great places to stroll and hike around in. If this is key to you, make sure you’ve got some nature available to you.
Have a dealbreaker list for roommates
If you’re moving in with roommates, think about who you are as a person. Be honest about your flaws.
If you’re a messier person, you need to consider that a neat freak might not enjoy living with you and vice versa. If you like to get up early and go for a run, you might have trouble sleeping if someone in the other room comes in at 4 AM every night and stomps around.
If you’re allergic to certain pets, don’t assume that you’ll get over the allergies.
Think about the things that annoy you and when speaking with potential roommates, be honest about them. It’ll get some issues out of the way and you’ll be able to start your relationship off from an honest place.
Prep your space
Before you move into your new space, you should make necessary changes. Replace the locks or ask your landlord to take care of that. Regardless of what anyone’s told you, have them also run an exterminator through your apartment to get rid of any holdovers.
You’ll be living in a place someone else lived in before, so you might want to clean out and disinfect areas in the kitchen and bathroom. If you have the ability, as your landlord to replace the toilet seat in your apartment.
If you’re planning on putting some power strips around, put them in key locations before you start putting furniture in the way. Measure each room while its empty so you can shop for furniture without wondering if it’ll fit.
Call utility companies a week or two before you move and make sure you’ll have electricity on day one. Calling in advance will also ensure you can have cable or internet as soon as you move in.
Don’t forget to change your address when you’re moving out for the first time. You should get your own mail at your new place.
Make a furniture checklist
Think about what kind of furniture you need and what you already have. You could move your childhood bed into your new place, but you might want to start with something bigger and more adult.
If you don’t have a table and chairs, it might be time to invest in one. While you might be tempted to put it off, you should start your new home off with a statement that you’re out for good.
Be careful when you’re packing. Follow these 10 tips to make sure you pack up in a stress-free way.
Don’t forget to pick up some things to make your new home a safe place to live. Buy yourself a small fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen just in case. Be sure that you’ve also got working smoke detectors with some extra batteries lying around.
If you’re not sure how secure your door is, install a chain latch as an extra security measure. Double check with your landlord before you install it. You don’t want to violate your lease.
Another smart addition to your home is some PET film for your windows. This will keep them from shattering. Even if you’re not worried about having your home burglarized, you could end up in a bad storm that puts you at risk.
Moving Out For The First Time Is Exciting
No matter what age you are, moving out for the first time is the beginning of a bold adventure of independence.
You can play whatever music you want, watch whatever you want, and choose your dinner without consulting anyone else. If you’ve found a place for yourself or with close friends, you could even throw your first housewarming party.
If you’re about to move out for the first time, contact us for more tips on what you could do to make sure the whole affair goes off without a hitch.