Moving out for the first time from your parents home is an exhilarating mix of excitement and sheer nausea.

From having most things done for you, to become fully self-dependent, the first move out stirs a lot of emotion as you take the plunge into the unknown. The protective seatbelt that is your parents is unclipped and you’re left to race forwards on your own.

Initially, it doesn’t seem too hard. I mean, how hard can it be? You’re still eating, chilling and sleeping somewhere, there’s not that much of a difference, how much do your parents actually do?

Within 24 hours of living out, you’ll find out exactly how much parents have done for you. From finances to food, they have put a comfort bubble around you, where the most you had to do was clean your room or wash your dishes.

After 12 months of living out, you’ll wish they were the only issues you had to consider.

So if you’re ready to take over responsibility, there are certain things to be aware of when moving out for the first time.


To be aware of not just rent, but all the other recurring costs

A phone calculator.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Rent is an obvious one that most consider when moving out. But what the extra costs?

Have you accounted for your ongoing costs, your electricity, gas, internet, water? Do you know what council tax is? Have you worked out any administrative fees and what your deposit is?

It’s not as simple as hopping from one bedroom to another, there are extra costs you need to work out.

Take your time to work out your outgoings, as otherwise, it’ll come back to bite you in the future.


Household problems are your problems

Washing machine packed it in?

There’s no asking Dad to ring up the letting agents and sort it for you (not even from an independence level, data protection means he’s more than likely unable to discuss your contract with the agent). If something doesn’t work, it’s up to you to chase who you need to sort it.

I’m sorry to say, it does not magically repair itself if you leave it.


The importance of a balanced lifestyle

A woman running alongside a river.
Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash.

It’s easy to forget in the constant rush of to-do lists but prioritise a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Check your diet, go for a run or the gym, and give yourself time off when you need it. If you fall out of sync with any of these, your body will tell you, through burnout, being sick or other symptoms.

This will set you back even further in settling, so make it a priority.


You’ll have more of what you don’t need and less of what you do

After lumping bags and bags worth of clothing to your new place, you sit down for a cuppa and realise you don’t have any mugs.

Priorities start to change very quickly when you move out, with the likes of clothes becoming a luxury compared to the things you need.


It’s up to you to ensure a stocked fridge

A selection of food on a table.
Jasmin Schreiber on Unsplash

You’re startled, as dinner has not arrived in front of you at 5 pm.

You look round bewildered as to why, and then you remember you have moved out. You are now the breadwinner. It is your time to hunt and prepare the evening meal. You begin a scavenge of the fridge, only to realise you haven’t done a weekly shop yet. Toast it is. Yet you’ve not even bought butter. Takeaway it is.

Rinse and repeat this expensive process a few times and then you’ll realise it’s time to learn some basic meals and ensure you get a weekly food shop done.



You’re not a very good cook

Toast is not a meal. Cereal is not a meal.

Your culinary abilities may be lacking when you first move out, as you have, quite literally, had things put on a plate for you. Check out a few articles on basic student meals or how to cook on a budget when you move out.

Cheap ingredients and easy process mean it’s the ideal thing to learn early before you start going Gordon Ramsay and taking it to the next level.

You’ll become very interested in home furnishings

A decorated living room in a house.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Up until this point, you’d never know you’d have an interest in how your house looks.

But after spending 15 minutes in Home Bargains weighing up whether the bath mat set in front of you goes with the tilling colour scheme, you conclude that you care more than you realise.


Washing and cleaning is up to you

Do you, truthfully, know how your washing machine at home works?

If you do, you’re a step ahead of most, and if you don’t, everyone’s in the same boat. If you don’t want you or your flat to smell like a pigsty, you have to keep on top of cleaning. Moving out for the first time highlights the need for cleanliness, and this is something that has to be experienced, not taught.

You’ll also then understand your parent’s obsession with cleaning on a Sunday, so you’re ready for the week ahead.


You must understand your landlord/lettings agent

A man signing a house contract.
Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

If you’re renting, understand your contract and your landlord or lettings agent.

Some landlords are pretty chill and if you treat the place well and with respect, they’ll show the same back to you and help out whenever you need it. If you leave the place a wreck, it’s unlikely they’ll show too much concern in helping you until you move out, which is when they’ll sort the place.

Make this about relationship management, not conflict management.


The importance of knowing your contract/tenancy agreement

You’ve got to understand the finer details of your contract, as you can be sure the landlord will use it against you if you don’t.

Look at payment schedules, maintenance time windows, extra costs, moving out, and everything else. If something looks a bit suspicious, universities have teams that can help look at contracts. If you’re not a student, even get another set of eyes to scan it.

Never sign anything until you’re comfortable you understand the contract, well before you’re happy with it.


Ensure that you complete a thorough inventory (on move-in and out)

A man moving out for first time checking his house inventory
Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

When you move in and out, you’ll have to complete an inventory.

You’ll need to write down on an inventory what’s there (and what’s broken or not) upon move-in. Do NOT say “everything’s okay” because you can’t be bothered, you will be stung on move-out if you do. If a stair rail is broken, write it down. If one of the oven hobs doesn’t work, write it down. If you don’t catch it on the first inspection, report whatever it is as soon as you know.

I guarantee if you don’t, landlords will try and charge you for the damage when you leave.


You might not get on with your flatmates

If you’re in halls, or you’ve found a place with flatmates you don’t know, it can seem weird not knowing someone and living with them.

Welcome to real life. Do your best to get on and be friends, as it makes the experience much smoother and more fun.

But don’t worry if not, you’re not going to get on with everyone in life and that’s par for the course.



You’re going to be in for a shock when moving out for the first time.

With the comfort zone well and truly gone, it’s time to fend for yourself. But if you embrace the challenge and enjoy what it throws at you, you’ll find that moving out for the first time is one of the most fun and liberating things you’ll ever do.


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