It has been a while since I last posted, believe me, I know. I must admit, maintaining this blog as regularly as I first anticipated has been more difficult than I thought it would be. What can I say, life gets busy. A lot has happened this year. I mean A LOT. Some good…some not so good, but I’ll spare you the details of the latter. One of the biggest things that has happened (or I should say currently happening) is that I’m moving out of home for the first time.
The thought of this makes me feel a lot of things. Excited, overwhelmed, daunted, financially stressed and to be honest, a little scared. But in saying that I know that everything will be ok in the end. I mean, if thousands of other 21-year olds can survive out of home, surely I can manage? Yes, it may mean that I’ll have to forego almond milk in my morning coffee (but perhaps my barista will love me better for that) and curb my impulse buying habits (time to accept that 10 pairs of converse are sufficient). I’ll definitely have to pick up an extra shift at work during the semester and devote an hour of my weekend to grocery shopping, but, in the scheme of things these compromises are not so bad at all.
There is no doubt that the next few months are going to be filled with challenges and lessons learned. So, here is what I am hoping to do. I’m hoping to use this blog as a bit of a platform to share my experiences with you, and perhaps offer some helpful advice on what to do and what not to do when it comes to moving out of home.
To start off with, here are some of the things I’ve picked up so far:
When you find a place you like, get your application forms in quick! No, I don’t mean in a few days, I mean now. Because, chances are that if another suitable applicant gets their forms in first, then they’re going to get the house.
Think about what’s important to you in terms of location or the quality of the house. While spending hours trolling through realestate.com it was interesting to see the contrast in price between a nice house in a suburb slightly further from the city than say, a dilapidated shit-hole in a suburb like Parkside. Think about what you want and find a balance between location and house quality.
If you’ve got a pet, finding a rental property is going to be 10 times harder, especially if it’s a large dog!
Make a good impression with the property manager when you go to inspect a house. Make sure you introduce yourself and ask questions to show that you’re truly interested in the property. Building up some sort of rapport will improve your chances of being considered as a potential tenant.
The rental market is a bitch for those that don’t have a past rental history. I mean, it makes sense. Landlords want to be able to trust the people that they’re leasing their house to and what better confirmation do you need than references from past landlords!
Before moving out, be absolutely certain that you’re going to be able to live with the people that you’re intending to share a house with. Whether you’re moving out with close friends, strangers, mutual acquaintances, family members or a mixture, you want to be certain that you can all get along for the most part and that everyone is going to pull their weight when it comes to maintaining the property and paying the bills.
Moving out of home is no small feat, and there are so many things that I hadn’t even thought of that require deep consideration (like which toilet scrubber is better value). So, I’ve created a little bit of a checklist of all the things that are important to think about when first moving out.
Moving Out Checklist:
- Phone Connection
- Think about what the necessities are and what you can do without for a while.
- Look for budget items on eBay and Gumtree.
- If someone offers you something for free (and it’s somewhat functional), take it!
- Kmart, Target and Big W are your best friends for cheap decor, furniture and appliances.
- Get contents insurance
- This is something I didn’t even think about until the property manager suggested it, but if something happens to the house (a fire, break-in, flooding), you’re gonna want to make sure that all your valuable shit is insured.
- Budget, budget, budget!
- This is going to be key when it comes to dealing with the expenses of living out of home. It will also hopefully relieve some financial stress if you’re able to create a budget (and stick to it). Consider things like bills, rent and other household expenses.
- If you’re renting with family members, perhaps consider opening a joint bank account and each transferring a set amount of money into it each week to create a pool of funds for household expenses and bills.
- Take it as a chance to get rid of all the shit you’ve accumulated over the past decade. Be ruthless. Treat it as a cleanse. But don’t be lazy and just chuck everything in the bin. Recycle what you can and give anything that is still in reasonable condition to charity. Also, take it as an opportunity to make a bit of extra dough by selling any unwanted items on eBay or gumtree – who would have thought one could get $25 out of a 20-year old keyboard.
- Organise removalist if you’ve got big-ass furniture items like desks and double beds. But, if you can, try and get some mates together to help out (especially ones with trailers or utes) and pay them back with a slab of beer (it’ll be cheaper and you can nab a few for yourself).
- Redirect your mail and update your address for things like your driver’s licence, bank details and Medicare.
My final tip is to accept that it’s going to be challenging and stressful, but at the end of the day, everyone has to move out at some stage, so what better time than now?