Friday, March 12, 2010

Single and Free: Guide to Moving Out

You just got your first job and your moving out from mum and dad's to live a life of your own, is every single chick's dream. The day has finally come when you  have a place of your own and you can do whatever you want to do. Back at mum and dad's you cannot rearrange or redecorate any part of the house without first consulting them and getting their approval, probably you shared a room with your sister and today's the day you have been waiting for to finally have your own room and getting your much deserved privacy. But moving out isn't always that fun especially if you are unprepared. So here are a few pointers to make your move stress free and fun!

Before You Move Out:

1. Decide if you want to live alone in an apartment or share it with a friend.
Living alone has its advantages and disadvantages. The good thing in living alone is that you don't have to adjust to another person, you can decide when you are going to do the laundry and when you are going to clean. Next, you have privacy and if you are someone who cherish your privacy then living alone is a good choice. You can decorate the apartment as you wish and no one will go against you. The main disadvantage though of living alone is that you have to shoulder all the bills. Check your budget first if you can afford to live alone or not. The other disadvantage of living alone is that if you get sick and unable to get out of bed no one will be there to help you. I strongly suggest that you make a list and write down all the advantages and disadvantages and study how it may affect you.

2. If you decide to get a flat mate or housemate make sure that you really know the person well. You don't want to live with a stranger with queer habits or one who is mentally ill like in the movie The Single white Female... alright, alright I'm not trying to scare you but its better safe than sorry!

3. Determine your budget. Do you have enough money to rent an apartment by yourself? or do you need to share the apartment with a friend? Make an estimate about your monthly bills and if you can't afford it then don't get that extra service. The basic services you need in your apartment are light, water, heater, fan or air conditioning unit, and gas. If you have a cellphone you may not get a telephone service just yet because it would be an added bill. Remember you are just starting out so eliminate unnecessary bills.

4. Scout for flats or apartments close to your workplace. If you could just walk from the apartment to your workplace that would be great. This will save you a lot of time from commuting. Checkout the neighborhood as well, remember your safety comes first.

5. If you have found a place to rent, call on the landlord and ask how much the rent would be and the payment system. Ask if he has a contract and ask to read the terms stipulated in the contract before signing it. Read the fine print as well. Know what amenities in the building is for free and what is not. Some places would include an internet service at a lower price if you share it with the others in the building than when you apply for one on your own. Check out if they would repaint the apartment before you move in and who is in charge of paying the painting job. Find out if they charge extra for building maintenance or if it is free.

6. Check out the building security. See if they have security guards on duty or they have cctv installed, it is wise to also check their safety and security policies.

When you have done all this and sealed the deal with your new landlord you are ready to pack up your things and let me tell you how.

Tips on Packing up Your Stuff:

1. Take a look at your stuff and sort them out. Decide what you need to bring and what you would leave behind or give to friends or charity.  Place all the stuff that you don't need in one box and you either ask yor relatives and friends to come and take things that they like from that box or directly give it to charitable institution.

2. Buy big plastic boxes and determine how  many do you need. Plastic boxes are great because you could see what's on the inside and when you move into your new place you know where each box would go.

3. Organize your stuff. Put all clothes in one plastic box, all shoes in the other, books in the other box and so on. Then use a white tape and label each box.Example shoes/ bedroom; toiletries/ bathroom. This way its easier to determine where each box would go. Paste a piece of paper outside of the box containing a list of what's inside the box for easy inventory. Do not include your valuables in these storage boxes.

4. Put all your valuables together in one box and place it inside a bag if its not that big. You may want to check out the local banks nearby for a safety deposit box while you are just moving in as you are not so familiar yet of  your new neighborhood.

5. If you do not have so much stuff to bring maybe your mum or dad can drive you to your new home. I bet they would love to come as they would like to checkout your new neighborhood too. If they could not help you with the move and you do not have a car check for moving services and how much they are going to charge you. Another idea is ask any of your friends who have cars to help you with the move and then you can all enjoy a happy house warming once you get there, this should be fun too.

One thing before I forget is do not move your stuff yet if your new place is not yet ready. What I mean is if your landlord is still repainting the walls do not drag your things there as they could get lost or stolen.  Make sure that the place is clean and tidy before you move in so that its easier for you to arrange your stuff. Ask help from your good friends to help you unpack your things, you could supervise where each would go (quite cool lol) and you can tell them where to place it. I guess that's what girl friends are for hahaha... Just don't forget to order pizza or cheese and mac for the hungry bunch :). Have a happy move sistah!

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