30 Things People Wish They Knew Before Moving Out, As Shared By The Bored Panda Community Interview
Me and my sister just got our first apartment away from home. We haven't even fully moved in yet but I'm at a point where I'm cursing my dad for not giving us a bit of advice on what we choose. For instance, I found out that if you're going to get an apartment, it's best to choose a lower floor if you've got heavy furniture. Because lugging it up two flights of stairs? Yeah, it sucks.
With that being said, I asked the Bored Panda community to share some tips when it comes to moving out, and people sure delivered!
That it's ok to come back, to try again, to start over as many times as you need. You don't need to feel shame if things do not go as planned.
Bored Panda reached out to professional movers in Toronto, Canada to find out a little bit more about the process and how they work. First, we asked about what people should know before hiring movers.
"The better you prep, the better. Put everything in boxes that you can easily move by yourself. Anyone will become exhausted if they carry around too many heavy boxes. You can take your own stuff apart, but if it has any intricate mechanisms, like a crib, you should be ready to put it back together yourself. It would take a bit of time to figure out how someone took something apart and then figure out how to get it together, all on the clock."
First time on your own you realize just how much your parents did for you. One thing that surprised me was just how much money it takes to buy normal things like toilet paper and dish soap. As someone else stated you have to have a budget but I never realized just how much of your money goes to just supporting yourself.
The newest construction doesn’t mean the best. Sometimes finding an older apartment building will give you more space, a more sturdy foundation, and possibly less expensive rent.
"Ask what insurance covers, how much would be reimbursed for valuables like your TV or antiques, and how they bill, such as to the nearest hour, quarter hour, etc. because every moving company is different. When do the bills start to arrive? Or once they go from home base, where? Try searching for the business name on Yelp and the BBB. Anyone who declines to visit your home for a quote should be avoided. Many states (in the US) provide a brochure with instructions on how to get ready for a relocation and questions to ask potential movers. It's worthwhile to look into."
Use the time you're living for free with your parents to make sure you have everything first. All your furniture, kitchen appliances, electronics, etc. Because once you're on your own and you start to pay for the rent, electricity, cable, internet, phone, food, etc, you won't have a cent left to buy those.
Your parents aren't being mean, we're trying to teach you life skills. Cooking dinner because Mom/Dad are tired that night? Life skill. Chores? Life skill. Paying Mom/Dad for that phone bill when you get your first job? Budgeting... life skill. Learn it and embrace it.
2. Pick your roommate(s) wisely. A friend of 20 years will still eff you over.
3. And this is the biggy.... remember the difference between WANT and NEED. You NEED a roof, you don't need 7 bedrooms. You NEED dishes, they can come from Goodwill. You NEED a bed, it doesn't have to be a sleep number right now. Get what you need not just what you WANT. WANTS can come slowly. Needs are right now. You don't NEED a TV. You don't NEED an Xbox / PS5. You don't NEED the loudest stereo system. You don't NEED matching everything and the best furniture right now.
With all of that being said, believe it or not, the movers usually have a lot of interesting stories to share, as the spokesperson for the Toronto movers told us the weirdest story on the job.
"When I initially began years ago, I relocated an elderly woman whose daughter had hired us. I didn't notice the truck reeked of urine until approximately a quarter of the way through the move. The elderly woman was insane and had been urinating everywhere for years. Particularly the mattress was a soggy, foul mess. For the record, the experience with the rental truck taught me to refuse to take some things."
Buy some liquid drain unclogger right now! Do NOT wait until needed. Drains are evil. They know when the stores close, and that's when they choose to clog.
Remember to visit and call your mother. This is a difficult phase for her. She deeply misses you.
Although movers are professionals not everything goes according to a plan at times. "Believe it or not, one time a $4000 50" Plasma screen was damaged while we were trying to move it. A plasma display is different from a TV in that it is a part of a high-end entertainment system and does not include speakers. We were unable to separate it from the base and place it in one of our TV boxes for transit because the man we were moving stripped the screws on the base. It was disgusting. All of it was covered by insurance, which was so generous that his friends all hired me and joked that I could break their TVs."
Do not expect to have all the things your parent's home has, it took them years to accumulate it. Sometimes people think they are supposed to instantly have it all and go into debt. Get the basics and the rest will come a bit at a time.
Don't buy moving boxes; go to the local liquor store and ask to take some collapsed boxes. Alcohol is heavy and those boxes hold the weight very well.
Lastly, the owner of the mover's company told us about the craziest thing that happened while on the clock.
"In the city, we move uprights, but nothing bigger. Just recently, I lifted a 1400-pound crate that was 7.5 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and 3 feet deep. When the stairs were taken out of a basement for construction, we once had to press a piano up over our heads to exit. The most absurd thing that happened was probably when I had to move myself and my 12 snakes. One of my guys would not approach them in any way. It's always entertaining to try to enter and exit apartments with a dozen snakes and their housing."
The chores are never-ending. Dishes always need to be done. Laundry piles up. The bills keep on coming. If you get yourself into a schedule or a rhythm and do 2-3 chores a day, you'll be able to keep up.
That no matter how good that budget looks on paper, add a few hundred dollars to it because life will always cost more than you think.
Well, I was told many times but I didn't learn it until I was on my own--turn off the d*&! Lights!
Keep track of your security deposit. I lived in an apartment for 30 years. It changed property managers five times. The money was supposed to be collected interest in an escrow account. They can't find any record of it, and I don't have a copy of the original lease. I will never know who stole it, or when.
If you're buying a house, the sticker shock is real! Need to hire movers? Be prepared to spend thousands. Need to have the home inspected? Another thousand at least. Homeowners insurance? How bout another thousand, easy. That's not including lending fees, mortgage insurance, taxes, and every other closing cost.
If you need to get furniture wait till you can get exactly what you need. The first purchase should be a bed with a good mattress and a sofa. The rest once you see how it looks and the e space you have for the rest of the things. Learned this the hard way and spent too much.
Get home insurance even if you rent. Your landlord's insurance won't cover you in the event of a loss.
Do the dishes now, when you are done cooking/eating. Don't wait. Very, very few things truly need to "soak". Wash them as you make them, especially if you don't have a dishwasher, because there will only be more later.
Utility bills are not a suggestion. You can't throw them in a drawer and pay them in a few months. They will shut your dumbass power off.
Be careful to who you give your address and have the confidence to state your boundaries. Be prepared for some people to try and invite themselves over, aka the "friends" who want somewhere to crash after a night out or fight with their s/o. Don't let anyone treat your home like a hotel.
Buy a set of basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, pliers, etc.) You may be moving into a place where repairs are handled by a maintenance crew, but even then, you often have to wait. Many home repairs are simple, and you can do them yourself. Just read up and take the necessary safety precautions. Some skills can save you serious cash once you become a homeowner (if that's something you aspire to.)
Thieves. If you’re a college student, they are waiting for you like sharks in the water. Be suspicious and cautious of everyone in and around your place, hide your valuables, and don’t tell anyone where you keep your money.
Never allow anyone into your room that you don’t know and trust. Keep all valuables out of your car, even in the daytime. Never leave your moving truck unattended, and never leave your doors unlocked. I learned all of this the hard way. If possible, always lock your door if sharing a space. I wish when I moved out, I was warned of the predators around me.
You should practice basic household chores, like laundry, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, and cooking especially. Make sure to have these things in the bag. When you do, make sure you have a decent amount of money in a savings account. Start looking for places to stay BEFORE you move out. Make sure to really assess the places you check out. Ask yourself “Would I really enjoy living here?”. If all of these things are in the bag, you are ready to move out. Make sure to organize your stuff into boxes before calling the U-HAUL or before putting them in your car. Make sure to remember your new house address or apartment number. Good luck!
Triple-tape the bottom of moving boxes. One down the middle and the other two in an X shape just to the outside edge of the first one. Then tape along the ends. I have moved many many times in my life and I have never had a single box give out on me.
Never move in with your best friend, you will hate each other by the time you move out!
I moved in with my best friend of 5 years about 12 years ago for a one-year lease. Once the lease was over we went our separate ways and never spoke again, we absolutely loathed each other by the end of it.
Why my father chose my brother over me? I was living at home with my father. It was me, my husband, and my 1-year-old son at the time living there. My eldest brother had been living at my grandparent's house, but ended up in jail after he came home drunk one night, found out that my grandmother had accidentally opened an envelope addressed to him, and went off on her threatening her with physical violence....even going so far as to rip the phone out of the wall.
My father decided that my brother should move in with us so that he could keep an eye on him. My brother had been a raging alcoholic for most of his life...and very violent. I screamed at my father for putting me and my son in danger by letting him move in. "All he has to do is get drunk and hurt my son...I will never forgive you if that happens."
My father paid the cost of putting us into an apartment that we couldn't afford at that time. He tried helping us with rent...but we were also living in a neighborhood where gunshots outside weren't uncommon and someone was always getting beaten up in the parking lot every weekend.
My father finally realized it was an all-around bad situation and had my brother put into an alcohol rehab center while allowing us to move back in. Two years later and my husband and I secured jobs that allowed us to move out on our own without financial help.
LOL that your landlord is not like your parents. They aren't going to help you with anything and everything, and might not even do what they SHOULD do.
Make a budget and stick to it. Include an emergency fund and retirement fund in your budget, and allocate money to them faithfully with every paycheck. Resolve not to raid either fund for beer runs, concert tickets, or a fancy night out on the town.
Moving out doesn't mean you have to be alone. Still call home for help, hang out with your parents, and spend the night in your old bedroom. It's one hell of a shift so give yourself time to adjust especially if you move out as soon as you are 18.
Never move into a place without all the utilities ALREADY ON. Water, power, gas, etc. should all be working perfectly already or don't move in. I once lived with no water for 3 months because the new landlord told me he would fix it, never did. I moved out over it.
Look at Google reviews of the apartment you are considering as well as the management company that owns it.
Hire movers. For long distance moves it can cost significantly less than moving yourself.
Don't move into your first place with a significant other. Learn who you are on your own first. You can always make changes to your and your SO's living arrangements down the road.
1. Make a list of things that are important to you. Not just necessary things but little things that mean something. While you may not be able to afford everything, little things end up meaning a lot more than you think. So while most people don't care about having a long hot shower- I do. So it's important to have good water pressure and a good heat setting on the shower. Do you live in cold weather? You'll need a place with a garage or plowing services. I wouldn't want to have to go to a laundromat every week so having a washer/dryer hookup is important to me.
2. If you're overweight, disabled, or just aren't a skinny athlete, you'll want to live on the first floor unless there's an elevator. You might think going up and down 3 flights of stairs is no big deal once in a while, but you'll end up getting lazy about taking out your trash, and you'll constantly be thinking about how you're going to carry it up in one trip. It might also change your activity in a negative way. The idea of going up and down the stairs in 90-degree heat might make you stay home instead of going out and doing something. So you procrastinate or become less social. You also have to check the weight of everything you order online; if you can't carry it up then you shouldn't order it.
2. Look at the apartment before you move in. And by the look I mean, check the water pressure, check the windows (this is a big one), and notice any damages. If the apartment doesn't look like it's been taken care of, then chances are likely the landlord doesn't care and isn't going to fix things-- but it might not be something you necessarily care about if you're getting a good deal. Taking a long hot shower is important to me, so crappy water pressure is a big deal. If the windows aren't new or if there are gaps in the screens, expect to have higher heating and cooling bills ....and bugs.
3. Everyone says to pack a box with things you'll need right away, but I recommend more than that. Pack the things you'll use in the first week. Otherwise, you're going to force yourself to try and get it all done quickly and you'll be shocked at how tiring a move is.
4. Schedule a grocery delivery if you can for the day before or for the following day after the move (get delivery the first night. That's moving law, lol). Rather than going to the store, have groceries delivered so you can relax a little. Also, prep your fridge by putting in liners or organizers. You'll appreciate being able to not deal with groceries. Your body will be sore.
5. This one applies if you live in a house on the first floor currently and are moving to a higher floor. If there are any heavy items you want to buy, get them before you move so that the movers will be able to carry them up for you. This applies to furniture, and pantry items you can pack. So stock up on soups and heavy cans and bottled water. Also, does the place have central air? Is it hot in the summer? Then you'll need an air conditioner. Buy it before you move so the movers will carry it up and you'll be good to go for when summer comes. Otherwise, you'll have to go downstairs and lug them up yourself when they are delivered. Don't forget that deliveries in apts don't come to your door...they leave them in the mailing area or outside the front door. So any larger or heavy items you might need... get them before you move!
6. This one applies to me but I'm sure to others, too. I would highly recommend only renting if the landlord lives on-site. If there are crazy neighbors causing noise or fighting or damaging the property, the landlord won't put up with it. But he doesn't live there, they won't care. It's the single biggest complaint tenants have is noisy crackhead neighbors and you'll be miserable having to call the cops over and over while the landlord does nothing. If he's there, though, then he won't put up with it and they'll be evicted. People are also better behaved when they know the landlord lives there.
Washing clothes. It takes time to wash, hang & fold/iron stuff. You might start buying a whole new wardrobe based on this information once you live by yourself...
Your name is on the bills you create (rent, utilities, phone, cable, etc) so you are the one whose credit is affected by paying (or not paying) them. Good credit goes further than cash every time, and bad credit can sink you quicker than being broke.
I've lived on my own since I was 17, and of course, I had to adjust. I'm not sure if this applies, but I do wish someone told me how much you have to compromise, all the adjustments you make when you move in with your significant other. I'm independent, so sharing my life with someone was something I had to work at I moved in with my boyfriend 10 years ago, and it was really difficult at first. Sleeping in a bed with someone was really hard for me. I barely slept the first few weeks.
Also, buying things. I'm not talking about big purchases like a car, or paying bills, just buy things I want. I'm pretty impulsive, and honestly not great with money, so if I was at a store and saw something I wanted, I would just buy it. But now, it's not just my money. I can't spend $200 on games, or clothes, because it's not just my money, it's our money. I figured it out, and we're still together, but we've both in the beginning had to learn how to live together.
Make sure that you have lights/lamps installed after you move in, otherwise, you'll be sitting in a dark apartment on your first evening.
Also, for me, putting my 1000 books in paper bags instead of one big, very heavy box made moving in much easier. I would use this generally: Do make sure that your boxes are not too heavy. It required more trips, but it's so much easier, healthier and also prevents you from "accidents" where your boxes floor opens because they're too heavy...
If you move in with someone then make sure that you're on the same page concerning general cleanliness, cooking, and lifestyle (e.g. bedtime, being able to be quiet when the other's sleeping,...)
I wish someone taught me how to mop. I still feel I’m doing it wrong and I’m 39.
Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army,
Next Door App, FB Market Place (be safe and take someone with you when you go to these places-such as a persons home)
These places will save you so much money on appliances, clothing, shoes, art work, home decorations, etc etc etc
**PLEASE get RENTAL INSURANCE.
**Stock up on your cases of water, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Dishwashing Liquid, Detergent, sponges, body wash, soap, hand soap, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, lotion, paper plates etc on each pay day...NOT when you are low on these things or low on money...
--buy them at least 2 at a time until your stock pile is at your satisfaction.
***Have an EMERGENCY KIT in your place:
a lot of batteries (every size)
Battery operated Radio
(emergency stash) Pet food
**Have a GOOD Relationship with your Leasing Office Agents/Landlords, Maintenance Crew/Grounds Keepers, Security Officers, and Neighbors
Put things away after you use them. This will keep your house fairly tidy and a tidy house is better for your mental health.
That there are people who rent out illegally (their flat belongs to the city and by law, only them or their immediate family can inhabit it), and the contracts you sign are just between you and them, with zero validity in the eyes of law. I was dumb as hell and it was cheap, also the family renting out seemed nice and decent. Lasted a year, then me and my roommate were kicked out with zero notice. We learn by our mistakes, I guess.
Caretakers are not landlords and not authorities to evict you. They can't just hand you an eviction notice because you don't have rent available yet on the morning of the 1st and always get a receipt or some proof of payment when you hand in the rent.
Never accept an illegal eviction notice.
You will get discriminated against for your age when you're searching for a place and after you move in.
Changes to how you pay utilities (included to not included with rent) are not normal, and the utility company will find it suspicious you're setting up an account for a place you've already been living at for some time.
Utility accounts can be stolen from you by someone else posing as you, live somewhere in your name, rack up debt on the account and you'll be on the hook to pay the debt when you move and do need to set up an account for the new place.
To prevent this, keep your old lease even after you moved. Keep any documents, such as taxes or anything that proves where you've lived during those years, and when you moved.
If a landlord does make a strange change to the rent agreement, get it in writing, call the tenant board, and contact the utility board to confirm of the changes are valid.
Keep all documents regarding leases, lease renewals, and damage inspection reports before you moved in and just before you move out. Take pictures. Speak up about even the smallest things, such as chipped, peeling paint, and stains.
Look for signs of infestations. Ask about infestations. Sometimes a landlord will spray for bugs before you move in and then later, when the insecticide wears off the bugs come back because they weren't properly exterminated. (Happened to some friends.)
Go to the local library archives department and do some sleuthing on the property. Sometimes you'll uncover untimely deaths on or around the property that have been forgotten.
Get tenant insurance!
Sit down with someone who has a household set up and make a list of things you need. I'm talking about the things you take for granted: dishes, silverware, cups, dish soap, wash clothes, broom & dust pan, TOILET PAPER!!, body wash/shampoo, toothbrush, shower curtain, etc. You just don't realize you're going to need those things. Also, thrift stores are a great resource when it comes to getting a lot of first-time essentials like dishes, cookware, furniture, and lamps. Buy it used and upgrade to new if needed when you have the money.
Whether you just met or you’ve been friends for years, roommates share a place to save money, for companionship, to feel secure, and to enjoy a stable home life.
Planning to share a house or apartment? Before you unpack the boxes, you and your new roommate(s) should agree on how the household will operate. Simple rules help everyone know what to expect, eliminate conflict, and make a house or apartment into a home.
The owner or primary lease-holder (“owner”) decides whether to hire a house cleaning service, and how costs will be divided. If no service is hired, then cleaning expectations for common areas should be part of the rental lease or addendum.
10 Roommate Rules:
1. The living room is neutral territory, setting the tone for your home. If only one room is always tidy, this is it. Each person must remove their things before going to bed each day. No one should ever worry about what the room will look like if they bring friends or colleagues over unexpectedly. Don’t feel
embarrassed by a mess or (worse) nag each other.
2. Bedrooms & desks are private territories. NEVER enter their room or touch their desk. Never comment on any chaos in their room. It is their space.
3. Each person buys their own food. Divide the fridge into mine, yours, and house sections. Try not to borrow food, but if you do, replace it (with the same brand) the next day. Reserve some pantry shelves for
“house” items such as cleaning supplies.
4. Pooling food and/or chipping in to prepare a simple meal together can be fun, and a chance to discuss house issues – and should be at least once a month.
5. Each person must wash their own dishes/load the dishwasher/tidy kitchen after each use. Don’t leave it for later or the other person.
6. If you own the property, assets that “belong to the house” appliances, dishes, furniture, artwork, lawn mower, and satellite dish] are your responsibility. These are items that remain if the other person moves out. Don’t expect roomies to “chip in” for assets. Ditto for water, sewer, taxes & other basic expenses.
7. Common utilities like electricity, internet, TV cable, and gas are divided evenly. If phone use may be an issue, get separate landlines or cell phones.
8. Buy your own, don’t borrow, and never mooch personal items like toiletries, pet food, magazines, stamps, printer paper, clothes, and booze.
9. Don’t run out of the basics. Make a list of official “house items” such as cooking oil, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, charcoal, etc. used by everyone.
Tape a list on the fridge with a column for each person. When anyone notices a house item is running low (or spots a good sale), just buy it. Each person records any purchases and prices on the list. At the end of each month, total the columns.
If “A” spent $17 on supplies, and “B” spent $27, the difference is $10. “A” then gives “B” $5. This way you are always “even”. No one feels they are always the one who pays. And you’ll never run out of toilet paper.
10. Don’t expect every roommate to be your greatest friend, share their intimate secrets, listen to your problems, loan you money, or invite you to join them on their next vacation. Such a relationship could very well develop, and that’s a great bonus if it does...but don’t expect or demand it.
Get a budget account in the bank, so you know what to pay each month.
My most astounding discovery was gravity actually works. My late father always complained that if he set an item down, it would not be there when he returned and it drove him nuts. When I got my own place I soon discovered an item set in place really does remain in place. So unmovable, that you could see the dust shadow if you did move the item. Whenever I go to get something that hasn't been moved in months or years, I think of my father.
If you're going to be renting, look up tenants' rights in your area. Lots of landlords try to take advantage of young renters, assuming you won't realize what your rights are. Depending on where you live, your government or your university may have a tenants' hotline where you can get free legal advice.
Move out when you can still move back in.
if moving in with a roommate, something that is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to talk about is how much noise and activity you like at home. if you're the type of person who needs to come home from a long day at work and exist quietly in your room alone, try not to live with someone who needs to come home from work and blast music. even if it's good music.
"Don't go, you're too young, your father's banned from this house!"
Also, realistically, "Don't forget to take an all-purpose soap". My first apartment was a rhododendron thicket. Since it was that or Rageacholic Dad with tendencies to strangle... I must say, I had worse apartments in *buildings* than that thicket.
Quality over quantity. Buy cheap, buy twice. Invest as you go in good quality household items and furniture - it’s worth it. Henry Hoover for example over a cheap alternative.
Try and have two month’s rent in savings if you’re renting to fall back on.
Save little and often - there are banking/ finance apps which round up your change, or take small amounts as often as you like.
Also, boil potatoes before trying to mash them!
With your new found freedom comes many responsibilities whether you want them or not.
That living all by yourself can be really lonely and that doesn't mean you can't hack it away from Mommy and Daddy. It means you are a human being who enjoys social contact. That's a good thing.
Beware of credit cards! My "learning curve" when I moved out was tossing around the plastic too much while I was settling in. Too many unwise purchases later, I was stuck in debt to the point where I had to weigh which bills to pay, and how little food I could get away with eating.
You need things that are cheap but not going to disintegrate in a week. Shop second-hand stores and yard sales. Shop dollar stores for things like dish soap, etc. And learn how to eat on the cheap! If you don't know how to cook, now is the time to go on YouTube and learn!
Don't buy disposable stuff like cleaning wipes, paper towels and mop heads. Use old towels or old ripped up t-shirts, a sponge mop and a spray bottle with some distilled water for basic cleaning. You can find other resources for cleaning on the cheap online.
Cleaning house isn't optional. Your landlord can tag you hard for being a slob, especially if causes damage, and your guests will ~absolutely~ judge you if they see a dump, so keep it tidy and make sure you don't do any damage to your apartment. If you see something wrong, report it in writing to your landlord immediately.
However much you think it's going to cost to live on your own, it's going to be more. Budget accordingly.
Buy a bottle opener.
Own less stuff. You're likely to be moving a few times before you settle in to somewhere for a long time, and moving suuuuuucks. The less stuff you own the better. I'm talking everything. A mattress on the floor is just as good as a frame and a box spring if you're relocating ever semester. And as soon as you start paying for storage, you're losing money. The human animal is surprisingly self-sufficient. Don't believe the consumer culture hype that you need more "things." A pocket full of cash is easier to transport than all the worthless stuff it can buy.
Ask for help. I had to leave an abusive home at seventeen. I worked and lived with a roommate but had no idea how to live on my own. I made so many mistakes that I could have prevented if I knew some basic rules.
Keep copies of everything! Lease agreement, utilities agreement, any correspondence having to do with your apartment, utilities, car, insurance etc. Check bills every month to make sure you aren't being charged wrong amounts. Get everything in writing, from your landlord to your bosses to whatever. If it is in writing you can prove it. Never assume someone won't take advantage
Pay an extra $10-$20 a week in rent so when it comes to Christmas 🎄 or your go on holidays your rent is covered for a period of time :)
You can always come home. Any time, for any reason.
I love you.
I don't remember ever hearing that growing up and that's one reason I moved out at such an early age.
Pack a bag with a set of sheets, a towel, soap, toothbrush, shower curtain and your jammies and keep it with you.
We spent hours looking for something to sleep on/in after my now husband and I first moved in together. Plus you'll have everything you need to clean up after what will inevitably be a long and dirty day.