Moving Out: Leases, Furniture and Packing

For most of us, moving out on our own is the step we have been waiting for our whole life — well, at least since we turned 13.  Growing up I can remember getting in fights with my parents and under my breath saying, “Well one day I will be moved out and won’t have to deal with you” or, “Am I 18 yet?” Well congratulations, the time has come!


Once you find the perfect apartment, it’s time to take the next big step.  Most places make you lease that apartment for at least a year, so think before you sign this year away.  Make sure that everything — I repeat EVERYTHING — that they promised you is in the lease. This includes what will get done to the place (painted? stove fixed?) before you move in and the fees and payments you  agreed to. No matter how many times they tell you not to worry and that it will happen, it won’t if it isn’t on that piece of paper. This is not like your smart phone updates and you scroll the bottom and click agree to the terms, you NEED to read every word on that paper!


When thinking about furniture, the two biggest things to keep in mind are the price, and that you won’t have this stuff for the rest of your life.  Yes, this is your first apartment and you want it to look cute and be your style, but you need to keep in mind your budget.  Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if they have anything they are willing to give you, but also don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want it. When I texted my cousin and asked if she had anything, she said she would look around, and she also made a post on Facebook.  That post saved my life and bank account! We had one last thing on our list of stuff to get, a microwave.  I don’t know if you all know this but microwaves are EXPENSIVE! Her friend commented and said she had a microwave she would sell me for $20.  It actually is a really nice microwave too!  In my town we also have resale groups on Facebook.  Anyone on that page can sell stuff they don’t want, most of the time for cheap.  Just remember to always go with someone when buying something and meet in a well-lit and busy area.

(Find more resources for furnishing on the cheap here.)


PackingFor me, this is the worst part about moving.  I HATE packing.  I always procrastinate and just end up throwing everything in the car. These tips made it work out OK for me this time:

  • The first thing you need to do is get all the supplies for packing.  My favorite list is Easy-Peasy Packing Supplies Checklist on this site.  It will save you so much time if you already have what you need for packing before you even start.
  • When packing, on every box write what it is you are putting in the box and what room it will be going to.  When you move out to your first apartment, the best thing to do is get friends and family to help.  By having the boxes labeled with the room, you won’t have people asking you all day long where to put things.
  • My first apartment is on the third floor, no elevator, just stairs.  Make sure you don’t over-pack the boxes and make them too heavy, so no one wants to carry them. Or even worse, they break when your are carrying them.
  • Another thing to do when packing is when you are cleaning out your old room find things that are in good shape but just not your style anymore and sell them! When I first started cleaning out my closet, I made over $200 just from stuff I never use.

It’s now time to take a deep breath and start enjoying all the things about getting your very own apartment.  You get to pick the furniture and decorate your place in your style. And no more need to text people every day saying what you are doing, who you are with, and what time you will be home.  You have now your own place to call home.

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Author My First Apartment

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Elyse Albright is living in her first apartment with her boyfriend and her best friend. She is going full time to a community college while also working part time at a coffee shop. She is an animal lover who is trying to find a balance between work, school, boyfriend and roommate.

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