Moving Out of the Parents’ House
OKAY, EVERYBODY, CALM DOWN, AND NOBODY GETS HURT! THIS IS AN INTERVENTION. MA’AM, PLEASE STOP CRYING; YOUR CHILD IS NOT GOING TO DIE; THEY’RE JUST MOVING OUT!
Moving out of your parents’ home can be stressy and messy. No, not for you, for your parents. You’ll probably be thrilled – or at least excited and full of anticipation about the future. Moving out for the first time is a big step towards independence. There’s no deadline as to when you should do it, but when you do, you’ll be curious to see where your new life alone leads you.
I won’t deny that having mum’s homemade meals has its perks, as does the sense of family life, but living on your own for the first time is actually good for you. It’ll give you a sense of autonomy that you’ve never experienced before. From choosing what to eat daily to increased privacy and reduced family duties, living alone is a great way to learn about yourself and who you are when you’re on your own.
The first step towards this is clear communication with your parents. Tell them well in advance that you’ll be moving out (unless it’s clear, i.e. when you need to move for your studies). Parents have an ambiguous relationship with their birds leaving the nest: They’ll be happy for you, but also kinda sad. Don’t be discouraged by this, though; better start working on more pressing matters.
Moving Out – Checklist for Your First Steps
After you’ve made it clear you’re moving out, you should endeavour to ensure your move is a painless experience. Plan and make sure you’ve crossed all the items off the following checklist:
- New place. You have to know where you’ll be moving (living under a bridge is not particularly pleasant, as I hear).
- Steady monthly income. Someone needs to pay rent, and while I do hope your parents are willing to help you out, it is reasonable to have an income of your own. What kind of independence is that if your parents are still coughing up your rent money? Whether you have a student job, a scholarship, or some savings, be ready to pay your share.
- Plan your budget. Moving out is not a breeze. There are things to be bought, sold, and carried. Deposits, down payments, decorations, and don’t forget – damages. No move goes through without at least something being broken or otherwise incapacitated. Set aside some extra cash so that you’re not caught off-guard once things start happening.
- Transport. Figure out how you will get to your new place and whether you need to hire a van/truck to transport your things. You can often count on your family and close friends to help you out, but if you need to involve movers, make sure to book them in advance.
- Packing supplies. Boxes, crates, suitcases, and enough duct tape to hold it all together. Lend some to your parents in case they’re of the crying kind so that they can hold it together too.
- Set up the necessary utilities in the new place. Unless you want to freeze in a dark dump for a while, it’s time to arrange basic utilities for your new home. Electricity, heating, and internet are your first stops in making a new flat hospitable. Especially with the internet, I suggest contacting your provider well in advance, unless you wish to play Lion King with your phone and laptop around the neighbourhood for the next couple of months.
- Change your address and details. Your mail still needs to find you, even if you don’t live at your parents’ place anymore.
- Start packing. I suggest planning a practical array of clothes for the first move, accompanied by some basic pots and pans and cleaning supplies. In case your new place doesn’t have furniture, start by acquiring a bed (or at least a good mattress for the first time – roughing it is a part of life sometimes). Make sure you have several shirts, trousers, and warmer clothes. You’ll also need some bedsheets and pillows. For a complete list of supplies, check our article about packing for the first move.
As you’re about to depart, you can plan a housewarming party. Or a get-together. Any celebration, really. If you’re moving to a new city where you don’t have any friends, at least buy yourself a cupcake to mark the occasion.
Not Moving Out for the First Time – Tips for Leaving a Flat
No matter how much you loved your first flat and how emotionally connected to it you are, sometimes you have to find a new place to live. It’s just how it goes. Whether you’re done with your studies or simply wish to live with someone else or somewhere else, there are a few things to consider.
Most procedures for moving out of a place are always the same: You have to get your packing supplies, plan the logistics, organise transport, and have somewhere to move to. Cancel your utilities or redirect them to your new address – no need to pay for someone else’s electricity. Decide what you’re bringing and what can be sold or given away (consider a local Goodwill). In the meantime, make sure to scrub the place from top to bottom and inform your landlord.
Letter to Landlord – Moving Out Legally
When you moved in, you signed a contract that stipulates your monthly rent, accompanying expenses, and your notice period before moving out. Common practice can range between 30 and 90 days, depending on how strict your landlord is, where you live, and whether the place is known for homing students. Check your lease in order to avoid surprises and extra expenses (i.e. double rent). If you’ve missed your deadline for quitting your current place, you still need to contact your landlord ASAP and see if you can come to an agreement.
The letter to the landlord is another common practice. It’s a formal letter in which you announce you are moving out on a specified date/by the end of a specified month. You can send it to your landlord by post or by email.
Before You Move Out – Cleaning like Levi on Drugs
If you don’t know who Captain Levi is, you seem to have survived one of the biggest anime hypes in history. To remedy this, check out Attack on Titan and marvel at the absolute clean freak Levi is.
Let’s leave Levi for a moment (he has better things to do) and discuss cleaning. Before you leave, make sure your flat is in a spick-and-span condition – or at least as close to it as possible. If you leave your place in shambles, the landlord is perfectly within his rights to keep your deposit and even charge you extra in case of damaged property. Now, I know that student life gets wild sometimes and that your flat has probably seen some things you’d rather not share with the landlord, so let’s get busy.
- First, pack up. You cannot clean a place if your clothes and abandoned socks are lying around. Pack everything you can and store it in a way that doesn’t take up too much space.
- Vacuum the place. Each tiny surface, including corners, walls (sorry spiders, we’ve had quite a run, but it’s time to go), as well as bathroom and kitchen.
- Sweep the floors. Dust and grime are just a part of it, but there are things only soap and water can do. Time to be a Cinderella.
- Dust and clean all surfaces. Get a nice cleaning spray (any brand will do) and a piece of cloth and get sweeping. Play some music to help you through it, and don’t be deliberately superficial.
- Clear out all cupboards and scrub them inside. Kitchen cabinets are especially known to suffer from spills. Do your best to get rid of all evidence.
- Deep-clean the bathroom. Every tiny detail. Bathtub/shower, sink, toilet, mirrors, and windows – everything should shine. Or at least not have leftover fingerprints or yellowed stains. Scrub the floor too and sweep it with a dry cloth; you don’t want to invite mould.
- Remove all nails. If you had some pictures/paintings hanging, it’s time to remove all the nails and fill the holes. You can get a hole-filling paste at your nearest home depot.
- Paint the walls if necessary. This depends on your lease; some landlords demand that you do, and others ask you not to paint anything.
- Clean up the fridge. Defrost it, sanitise all surfaces and compartments, and make sure you don’t leave anything in there.
- Put some muscle into kitchen appliances. Stovetops, ovens, microwaves – no matter how often you clean them, there’s always something new there. Before you move out, make sure you’ve scrubbed every bit of your kitchen appliances with appropriate cleaning supplies.
- Bonus: Check that all appliances work.
Ideally, you’ll do all of these after most of your furniture and belongings have been shipped off to a new location. In case that is impossible, you’ll have to clean your flat in segments and occasionally move boxes around. You could also plan the cleaning spree for the last day of the month – by then, you should move your things. Alternatively, you can hire a cleaning service.
Moving Out of State or Moving Out of the Neighbourhood …
… the procedure is always the same. For a swift departure, make sure you’ve communicated your intention clearly. Don’t forget the following:
- Organise logistics: plan, pack, call up moving services or friends. Be ready to huff and puff until everything is done.
- Clean up your place. It’s just rude not to.
- Arrange your household utilities. Gas, electricity, internet, address change – make sure your new place is equipped with the basics.
- Consider what you need to bring and what can be left behind.
- Prepare some extra cash for any unforeseen circumstances.
Take a deep breath. Moving is never easy, but it’s always exciting – it’s a new beginning, after all. Celebrate and cherish that! Best of luck!