how to move out of parents house

How to Move Out of Your Parents’ House: 13 Steps You Need to Take

Are you ready to start taking steps to independence? Do you know how to move out of your parents’ house? You’re not alone if you’re thinking it’s time to move out. As daunting as the process may seem, moving out doesn’t have to mean you move far. In fact, almost 60 percent of younger adults still live within 10 miles of where they grew up.

While your home is familiar and safe, it’s OK to ready yourself to move out of your parents’ home and occupy your own space. The key though is planning. You have to start thinking about moving well before you begin packing those boxes.

To make this big move smooth and seamless, here’s what you should do in preparation.

1. Review your finances and credit score

Can you afford a move? Starting with a review of your personal finances makes it possible to figure out if you need to save money and cut some monthly expenses. It will reassure you can afford a month’s rent and also have a qualifying credit score to get your foot in the rental door.

Even if you’ve been saving more money for a while, you must review your monthly living expenses like credit card payments, car payments and student loans.

You can check your credit score yourself and look at your credit history. The minimum score most property managers look for is somewhere between 620-650. If you have a lower score, now is the time to take steps to establish good credit.

Make a budget.

2. Make a monthly budget with fixed expenses and splurges

Don’t let the cost of your lifestyle creep up and take you by surprise. Even if you think you have enough money to live in an apartment, you need to understand how the upfront and monthly costs of renting an apartment will impact your budget.

Start by making list of everything you must pay for each month. These are your bills, car payments, transportation expenses and more. Next, tack on what you pay each month to go out with friends or hit the shops. These expenses are ones you can cut down on if necessary to start saving money.

Next, look at what your expenses will most likely be to move into and live in your own place. Take into account:

  • First and last month’s rent deposit to sign a lease
  • Monthly rent
  • Security deposit
  • Utility setup costs and average monthly bills
  • Groceries (when you can’t raid the fridge at your parents’ house)
  • New furniture and home supplies
  • Entertainment
  • Cell phone bill
  • Commuting costs

Will your monthly income cover this sudden bump in expenses? If not, can you save enough money to get you comfortable with what you’ll need to spend? Unfortunately, number crunching is a huge part of moving.

3. Talk to your parents

Once you know it’s really possible to move out of your parents’ house, it’s time to have a talk. Sit your parents down and share our plans. Listen to their advice and feedback as well since they’ve done this before. Let them know how important their support is, and then ask the big question — will they cosign on your lease if it’s required?

This is a big ask, but it’s often something property managers want with a first-time renter or one without an extensive credit history. Share your finances with your parents and let them know what your plan is to pay them back should they, at any point, have to help you out with rent.

It’s helpful to begin your apartment hunt knowing you have backup waiting in the wings.

Purge your belongings.

4. Start to purge your belongings

Do you know what’s hidden deep in your childhood closet? What about what’s under the bed? Mementos of your personal life can add up fast, and you don’t want to waste time packing up items that don’t fit, you don’t like anymore and especially you don’t want.

Purging is always good, but especially when you’re going to move into a new space. Start by triaging all your unwanted items. Separate out what you can donate, what you can sell and what just needs to get thrown away.

Hold a garage sale or list things online to earn extra cash, and schedule a donation pickup for other gently-used items.

The bonus of this purge is you’ll also be able to take an official inventory of what you have and what you need to buy. It can help you factor in other expenses that will crop up during your move and prevent unexpected costs from derailing your budget.

5. Decide where you want to live

The search can now begin, but where do you want to live? Do you want to stay close to home, find an apartment nearer to the city center or move somewhere else entirely? These are important decisions that will greatly impact moving expenses. For example, renting a moving truck and carting yourself to an apartment a few miles down the road is a lot less costly than hiring a moving company and going cross-country.

Narrow down where you want to live and then set a target monthly payment for rent. It will help further refine your search and make sure you’re looking at places you can actually afford without sacrificing your current spending habits.


6. Work out a moving timeline

Although your ultimate move-out date depends on when your lease starts, creating a rough timeline of when you expect to be out of your parents’ house is helpful to everyone. It provides an excellent deadline to meet your savings goals, prepare to meet the down payment and security deposit costs and give you time to start thinking about roommates. If you need to find a new job, you’ll have time for that too.

Once you do sign a lease and know when you’ll be moving out, don’t wait to hire movers or reserve a moving truck. If you plan on asking a few friends to help you out on your move-in date, get the day on their calendar as soon as possible too.

7. Practice budgeting for your new living expenses

While your move-out date is still a couple of months away, it’s good to start practicing how paying rent will impact your monthly income. Setting that money aside into a temporary emergency fund can help you start saving money for those upfront rental expenses, but also prepare you for how your budget may change.

Doing this early gives you time to find flaws in your budget and make adjustments in your monthly expenses before you lose the flexibility living at home provides.

The last thing you want to happen is to get stuck making late payments on any bills as a result of poor budgeting. Late payments can really affect your future, as well as your standing with credit card companies or a future pre-approval letter.

Collect references

8. Collect referrals

You may never need them, but it doesn’t hurt to prepare yourself for a little pushback from your future landlord. Without a rental history, or without having rented recently, you may have to do a little convincing as to what kind of tenant you’ll be. Reach out to both family and friends and ask them to write a character reference.

You should also contact your employer and ask them to write a referral as well. Their letter will not only confirm you’re employed but that you exhibit the qualities professionally that a landlord would want in their tenants.

9. Pick the best living situation for you

If the unexpected expense of moving out and affording your own apartment has you worried, you’re not stuck. You might just need a roommate.

If you do decide that you just can’t afford to live alone, start your search for roommates early. When you find a compatible roommate prospect, then begin your apartment search in earnest, together.

Make sure, when you do sign a lease, that everyone’s names are on it. Then, decide how you’ll cover everything in the apartment, including the first month’s rent.

If you’re thinking of living by yourself, make sure you account for extra expenses in your budget as you won’t be able to split anything down the middle with a roommate.

10. Get renters insurance

Whether your new apartment requires renters insurance or not, it’s essential to add it to your budget before you move out of your parents’ house. Better yet, you can bundle it with your car insurance to save on your bill.

In case of fire, theft, vandalism and a few other incidents, renters insurance covers your belongings. Your landlord will have insurance to cover the structure of the apartment, but all the stuff inside, all your stuff, needs protection too.

Before signing on the dotted line though, check what the policy covers (and doesn’t cover). This is where your family’s help and experience can also come in if you need to negotiate.


11. Hire movers — or ask friends

Once you’ve picked your new apartment, it’s time to start the moving process. Book movers, if needed, at least one month out from your moving date. This is also the same timeframe to schedule a rental truck if you’re doing the move yourself.

Check reviews and gather referrals if you can. Make sure to confirm the final estimate, read the fine print for any potential add-ons and put enough money aside (that includes a tip for your movers.)

If professional movers aren’t quite in your budget, ask friends or family to help you. While they may love to do it for free, make sure you budget a little for water, snacks or pizza as a thank-you.

With either option, take the time to pack up as much as possible before the big day. Many landlords will let you pick up the keys the day before which is great to get a head start (make sure to do a walk-through and check for minor repairs).

12. Set up utilities

This may be something totally new to you, but it’s definitely something to do early in your moving-out process. As you’re scheduling your rental truck (or professional movers) you should also research what utilities are in your apartment. Since you already know your move-in date, you can call ahead and set up service.

Add electricity, gas, water (if not included in your lease), internet and cable to your checklist. Most utility companies can turn your utilities on remotely on any given day, but scheduling ahead makes it easier to get everything done as you’re moving in.

13. Forward all your mail to your new address

Once you’re moved in, let friends know about your new mailing address as well as the USPS. You can easily forward your mail on the USPS website by filling out a change of address form.

You should also go into any existing accounts you have and change your home address. This includes all those online sites you shop from. You don’t want to have to head back to your parents’ place to pick up your packages all the time.

It’s time to move out of your parents’ house!

Figuring out how to move out of your parents’ house opens up more possibilities to live your best life. You get to pick the location, the roommate, what you keep in your fridge, whether you have cold pizza for breakfast — it’s all up to you now. Just make sure you’re able to handle the monthly cost of that freedom.

Once you decide how and when to move out of your family home, you can embrace and savor your independence as you settle into your new apartment — and life.

Still haven’t found a place? Start here.


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