Moving out on your own for the first time is the most exciting and scariest thing ever. You’ve gone your entire life only worrying about yourself in your one little room and having dinner ready when you got home.
Now you’re moving out on your own and have an entire home you’re responsible for and have to figure out how to cook your own meals, pay your own bills, and be a real adult.
It’s scary! And it’s not quite as easy as just packing up your stuff and having a place that fits your needs the very next day. It’s going to take some hunting to find the right place for you and your situation.
And during that hunt, you’re going to need to have some questions ready and a list of preferences so you know what you’re looking for.
This post may contain affiliate links. More information here.
This is pretty important because it will determine how many groceries you can buy at once, or how many clothes you can fit in the closet and what clothes might have to be packed away under the bed.
When I first moved into my apartment my boyfriend and I were considering getting a Sams club membership to buy some items in bulk.
Only to realize our freezer barely accommodated our purchases from Walmart. Things like a linen closet or shelving space in the laundry room are something to look out for too.
You’re going to need somewhere to keep all your towels, sheets, iron, and laundry detergent. Make sure there is plenty of cupboard, closet, and fridge space to accommodate your needs.
Are there lots of kids running around? Are there plenty of street lights in the parking lot? Is there a shopping center near by?
Make sure you know the environment you’re going to be moving to and how close you’ll be to the nearest grocery store and gas station.
Ask the leasing agent about the community. If you see someone walking by, ask if they could tell you a little bit about the neighborhood.
When it comes to the environment you’re going to be living in every day, don’t be afriad to speak up to make sure it’s a place you’d like to live.
Okay show of hands who is already a little nervous about utility bills? I’m raising my hand with you! I always used to leave all the lights on when I left a room. But once I knew I was going to be moving out, I realized that kills your electric bill.
Something that is going to save your electric bill is l0ts of natural lighting.
Make sure you don’t just have two little windows that barely let in any light. Having natural lighting will make you less likely to have to turn on a light at three o’clock in the afternoon and save you some cash when that bill hits.
Every apartment complex has their own rules when it comes to decorating your new space. Make sure you clarify exactly what you are and aren’t allowed to do so when you are on a home decor hunt, you don’t buy something you can’t use.
A lot of places allow you to hang paintings, install curtains, mount TV’s, and some even let you paint the walls.
Some things you may be responsible for at the end like painting the walls back to the original color, or filling in any holes in the wall.
This may seem small but it will determine cleaning products and whether or not you need to get furniture pads so you don’t scuff the floors.
Sometimes apartment complexes will undergo renovations and some will have hardwood, while others still have the original carpet.
Make sure you know exactly what the unit you’ll be renting will have so you know whether to buy a vacume or some wood floor cleaner and furniture pads.
Is there a key pad system to get into the building? Are there multiple locks on the door? Is there a security system in place?
Don’t be afraid to ask about safety and security in the neighborhood. If they can’t give you specific details, there is usually a place you can search police reports to see any occurrences in the neighborhood.
Some places will already have a security system installed and others will allow you to install one yourself. I made sure this was on my list of questions when I started viewing different apartments.
The first apartment my boyfriend and I looked at the washer and dryer were in a closet in the kitchen. But the space was so tight that every time you opened the laundry closet door, it hit the refrigerator! That would’ve driven me insane.
Keep a look out and compare the washer and dryer location in various apartments. Chances are you’re going to end up doing some laundry at night.
And there’s also a pretty good chance that it may be a little noisy. So if the washer and dryer are in a closet in your bedroom, it may not be ideal.
Pool/ Fitness Center
If you are looking at a location with a pool and fitness center, check out the layout. Is there plenty of seating at the pool for you to have guests? Is there enough workout equipment that you won’t have to wait for one to become available?
Some places have a business center as well where you can use the computer or print out documents. This could be super helpful if you haven’t invested in a printer yet or your laptop starts acting up and you have a deadline to make.
Depending on the apartment they may have valet trash while others require you to take it out yourself.
I know it seems like such a first world problem, but when your trash starts piling up you’ll want to have the easiest way of disposing it possible.
Carrying three bags of trash in your nice clean car (who am I kidding my car is trashed) down to the dumpster that is clear across the neighborhood is not exactly an ideal thing.
Make sure you find out if there is 24hr maintenance available and what they are responsible for fixing/replacing. My apartment complex will replace any light bulbs that go out so we don’t have to.
If I hadn’t asked they never would’ve told me and I would’ve been wasting money going out to get my own!
And when your oven decides to stop working when you’re trying to make a cake for a birthday party, you’ll want that 24 hour maintenance service on hand.
You’re Moving Out, BREATHE!
Okay take a breath. That was kind of a lot but now once you start apartment hunting you’ll have a pen and paper ready to jot down notes, and questions prepared to cover your concerns.
It can definitely seem overwhelming when you are starting the moving out process. But I promise a couple weeks into it, all your initial fears will subside and you’ll start to enjoy your total and complete freedom.
P.S. Feel free to join the adulting crew to stay updated on more adulting help posts!
Need More Adulting Help?