How to move out of your parents’ house
Make a plan and set up your new home
Moving out of your parents’ house is a huge step toward your independence — it's one of the biggest rites of passage into adulthood. This is an exciting time, but if you’re experiencing a little apprehension, not to worry. It’s perfectly normal.
There’s a lot to think about and prepare for, but it's well worth it. Use our guide on how to move out of your parents’ house to help you get set up.
- Create a plan with your family. Make sure everyone is on the same page about arrangements moving forward.
- Figure out your budget. Calculate how much money you earn versus how much you need to move out on your own.
- Save up money and establish credit. You'll want to build up a good credit history and enough savings to cover living expenses.
- Find a place to live. Most people rent an apartment or house at first, but options depend on your budget and location.
- Hire movers or arrange for a rental truck. Professional movers often include packing services, but you can do it all yourself — especially if you haven't accumulated a lot of your own stuff yet.
- Unpack and decorate your new place. This is the fun part: nesting. Enjoy making it your own space.
Create a plan for moving out of your parents’ house
Once you’ve decided to move out, you need to make a plan. The first thing you need to do, though, is talk to your parents. Some parents are excited to see their children leave the nest, while others want their kids to live with them forever. Whatever the case, communicate with them. Get them involved in your plan.
Some parents are excited to see their children leave the nest, while others want their kids to live with them forever."
Be gentle and consider their feelings. Even the parents who encourage their children to get out on their own usually feel a little bittersweet. Develop a moving-out plan that both you and your parents can agree on. Set a date for when you plan to move out, and plan for how you'll execute the move. Some things to think about:
- Will you rent or buy? Most people moving out of their parents’ home for the first time choose to rent an apartment or house, but some do buy. Make the decision that's best for you.
- Will you be moving in with roommates, or will you live alone? While there are some advantages to the roommate situation, like sharing expenses, there are also drawbacks. It can be tough to live with someone, so it's best to choose your roomie carefully. Plus, you're dependent on them for a portion of the rent, utilities and other shared expenses. What if they don’t come through?
- What will you take vs. what will you leave behind? You might be able to store belongings at your parents’ house. If not, consider investing in a portable storage unit.
- Do you have a good credit score? If not, you may want to do a little credit building or establish creditworthiness with a secured credit card before you move. Property managers and landlords tend to look at credit scores to determine whether or not a person is a good prospect for renting their property.
Beyond that, the number one thing you need is an income. This usually means a job. Rent, lights, water, internet and cable cost money. Add to that food, fuel for your car, a car payment, clothing, toiletries, and entertainment. Even if you're employed, you may not make enough money to support yourself and pay your bills. It's smart to have money saved for moving expenses, such as a down payment or security deposit, truck rental fees and deposits for utilities.
Creating a moving budget is a good first step before you look for a new apartment or house. A budget will help you put everything into perspective and see how far your paycheck will go — and can help you determine if you need a different or additional monthly income.
Once your plan is in place and everyone's on the same page, it’s time to get started.
What do you need to move out of your parents’ house?
If you're renting, read your lease before signing it.
If you're renting, you need to read your lease completely before you sign. If there's anything that's unclear or you don’t understand, ask. If there are terms you can’t adhere to, reconsider. Violating the terms of a signed lease is grounds for eviction in most states.
A week or two before you move, contact the utility companies in the area for electricity, water, gas and trash. Ask the property manager or owner about which companies to contact if you don’t know. You need to have your Social Security number and the address you're moving to handy when you set up service (most companies will run a credit check). Make sure each service is scheduled to start a day or two before you move in.
What do you need for setting up your own place?
Typical utilities include:
When you move out of your parents’ home, you want your new place to truly be yours and not just an extension of your parents’ house. That can be tough if you're bringing along furniture and things from your childhood bedroom, however, or if your parents are giving you some of their furniture.
If this is the case, though, those are expenses you won’t have to take on. You can paint your bed and other furniture to make it feel new or more your own. Sofa and chair covers are a great way to change the look of your furniture without the costly investment in reupholstery, but you can also check out thrift shops for gently used furniture. Sites like Facebook Marketplace are worth checking for good deals, but make sure you bring someone with you when you go pick up your items or meet the seller in a public area, just to be safe. For more advice, learn how to decorate a living room or check out these DIY room makeovers for under $1,000.
You might also need to get appliances like a refrigerator, stove, oven and microwave. If you have washer and dryer hookups in your unit, you may want to get those items. Check out our resource on the best time to buy appliances for more information.
Then there are daily living items. These are the things you probably used without thinking about them when you were living with your parents, and they might include:
- Bed sheets
- Household cleaning products
- Vacuum cleaner
- Laundry basket
- Toilet paper
- Garbage can
- Trash bags
- Toilet paper
- Shower curtain
- Set of knives
- Fire extinguisher
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- First-aid kit
- Sewing kit
- Coffee maker, rice cooker or other small appliances
- Closet systems or organizer
- Blinds and window treatments
How much money should I save before moving out of my parents’ house?
Rental deposits can be $1,000 to $5,000 or more.
It's important to be financially stable if you're moving out on your own. You'll want your finances in order before you find a place to live. It's also smart to establish some credit prior to the move and think about what your moving costs will be.
Moving requires a considerable amount of money. Relocation expenses might include:
- Rental deposit: This is often the first and last month’s rent, although some property companies and landlords set a fixed deposit. You could be looking at $1,000 to $5,000 or more in some cases. You may also have to pay an additional pet deposit if you have a cat or dog.
- Down payment: This replaces the rental deposit if you're purchasing a home, and you can expect it to be thousands of dollars. Read about how much you should put down on a house for more information.
- Utilities deposits: You may have to put down deposits for the utilities not covered in your monthly rent. These deposits are often $100 or more. Some companies allow you to spread your deposit over several months, so it never hurts to ask. Typical utility bills include electricity, water, gas, internet and cable.
Calculating the monthly expenses of your new place before you move out of your parents’ home helps you fine-tune your budget. If you're looking at apartments, ask the property manager about the average utility cost in a unit. This gives you a better idea of what you'll be paying each month.
When you move, you'll also want to have an emergency fund in place. A good rule of thumb is to have enough for at least three months of all your living expenses, including rent, utilities and food. This will give you some cushion if you lose your job, change jobs or have a lapse in income for any reason.
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