Leaving your parent’s home for the very first time is nerve-wracking but an incredibly exciting time in any young person’s life. Learning to grow up and take care of yourself, gaining a new kind of independence and starting a new chapter of your life is unforgettable.
As always with big decisions and life changes, there are a few important things to keep in mind. While the change can be exciting, there is also a lot to consider, both before you decide to leave the nest and during the moving process itself. Here are a few of the most important things you’ll need to remember.
Moving Can Be Hard
This is not intended to put you off! Moving is a great experience, but if it’s not planned out carefully, it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and strain.
It’s a good idea to try and plan your move well in advance – know where you’re moving to, how you’re going to get there, all the costs involved in the move, who is going to help you, and all those other nitty-gritty details. If you’re moving across country, looking for moving companies to help you through the process might be something worth investing in.
Budgeting is Everything
This is obviously important to do before you decide to move out: can you even afford to do it? If you have a stable income and you’ve worked out what your expected expenses will be, that’s a great start. However, if you want to stay on top of things, you’ll need to continue to budget on a monthly or weekly basis in order to make sure you know what’s going on with your finances. Moving out and living on your own for the first time will usually involve some expenses that you either didn’t anticipate or underestimated, so making sure you have some leeway is a good idea in the beginning.
Starting your life and home from scratch can get… Well, expensive. There are a lot of things you’re going to need to buy to complete your living space. From big items like sofas and kitchen appliances, down to nitty-gritty bits and bobs like t toothbrush holder, you’re going to be buying items for your home for months to come.
This is why it’s a great idea to take whatever hand-me-downs your family (and extended family) might be offering you. Even if it’s not quite your taste, you’ll be grateful for one less thing to purchase, and you can always replace it at a later stage!
Research Your New Area
If you’re moving far from home, you’re going to want to know about the area you’re moving to. Take some time to do some research about the place, or if possible try to plan a weekend visit nearby so you can spend some time there in person.
You’ll want to know what shops, restaurants, gyms and other amenities are around, which coffee shops are close to your new home, what the neighbourhood is like, if it’s safe and clean, what the public transport is like and other bits of information like this. These may seem like small factors, but the lifestyle you’ll live there will be influenced a lot by elements like these and it’s important that you are aware and at peace with them!
Learn How to Cook
Knowing or learning how to take care of yourself is an important part of leaving the nest, and one of the most important factors here is feeding yourself. Now that you’re on your own, it might feel very tempting to go out for dinner or get takeout every night. However, you’ll quickly realise that that setup gets old pretty fast. You won’t feel well, you’ll probably gain some unwanted pounds and you’ll be missing a home-cooked meal within the first two weeks.
Learning and mastering a few different meals is something you should prioritise in your first few weeks of living alone. You’ll want to get the hang of a few easy and healthy weeknight meals, some comfort food (like mom’s mac and cheese recipe) as well as something a little bit fancier for when you want to invite guests over and impress them. You can start small and add to your repertoire as you go on.
Manage Your Chores
Another thing you might be inclined to do once you’ve escaped your parent’s house is to simply forget about chores altogether. This will feel fun and a bit like freedom until the first tie you realise you have no clean underwear to wear when you go out for your morning coffee run. Staying on top of your chores doesn’t have to be ultra time-consuming or even all that unpleasant. Keeping a weekly checklist of what needs to be done and how often can help you to make sure that your laundry basket doesn’t overflow and that you always have clean plates in the cupboard.
Ask For Help
Everyone has been where you are (or will be at some point), and knows how you feel. Try to remember that there is no shame in needing and asking for help. You might want to hold onto your pride and try to make your way by yourself, and there’s merit in that approach too – you’ll learn from your own mistakes and grow as a person. However, if you find that you’re struggling or even just need a shoulder to cry on when you feel overwhelmed, make sure that you lean on your support system.
While there is a lot to plan, do and think about, don’t let the stress of it all get in the way of the joy of building your own life. The journey is an exciting one and you’re going to grow a lot as a person. Take time to enjoy your new space and the life lessons you are learning along the way – you’ll cherish these experiences even when you’re older.