Moving out of your parent’s house for the first time might have been difficult enough last year, but once you move out of your dorm, you’ll REALLY be on your own. You’ll have to be responsible for cooking all your meals instead of just walking down to the cafeteria, you’ll probably have to sort out some, if not all of the bills yourself, and you’ll have to worry about cleaning more than just your half of a small dorm.
Here are 5 tips to help you ease the transition:
Start looking early
One thing you definitely don’t want to be doing is scrambling to find somewhere to live when the semester is supposed to start soon. A general rule of thumb is to start looking about 3 months prior to when you would actually want to sign your lease, as that is when most property managers will begin putting up their listings. Kijiji and Padmapper are great tools to try and find a cheap place to live near campus, or anywhere else in the city, or, if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, you can check out our listings here.
Find good roommates
Finding someone you want to live with is just as important as finding a place to live. You’re going to want to live with someone dependable, but also that you like hanging out with. For more tips on finding a roommate that’s right for you, check out our other blog post here.
Set a budget
While it might be easy to make a budget for yourself, sticking to it is probably one of the most difficult parts of living on your own. You will have to account for things that you might have never even thought about before, like hydro, electricity, or wi-fi. Not to mention that you’ll have to start buying your own food (and actually cooking it too).
One of the good things about moving is the chance you get to de-clutter. Thoroughly go through all your belongings as you’re packing up and really think about what you’re going to need and what you won’t. If you’re moving in with a couple roommates, you’re all going to be bringing your own stuff, and your place will fill up fast with junk you don’t need.
Look at Kijiji (or ask your parents) to help furnish
Having said that, you will need some larger items for your place that you nor your roommates will have probably acquired yet. Since it will be your first place, and you’re still a student, there’s no need to splurge on expensive furniture. Talk to your parents first and see if they’re getting rid of anything (it may prompt them to think about buying new stuff and giving the old stuff to you), and if that doesn’t work, there’s nothing wrong with buying some larger items second-hand to save some money. As well, you can check our past blog post to help you outfit your kitchen.