Moving into your first place: tips for an easier transition

Moving into your first place can be both exhilarating and incredibly stressful. Here are some tips and ideas to smooth the way.

Moving into your first place: tips for an easier transition

Plan ahead

You will need to make arrangements ahead of time in order to make sure that utilities like power and water are connected and that cable and internet re installed. This may mean putting down a deposit, particularly if you don't have an established credit rating. Also, don't forget to fill out a change of address form so that your mail will find you in your new home.

Do an inventory: free is good

What do you have and what do you need? Other than clothes, think about an average day and what you use during it. If your new place is unfurnished, you'll need basic furniture, which you might be able to harvest from your parents or online forums where people often post unwanted furniture for free. Don't forget sheets and an alarm clock for the bedroom.

Scour the attic and claim that old sofa, the really vintage lamp and some bookshelves. You don't have to love the stuff. Think of it as a beginning.

Finally, think about the kitchen. Ask your parents to donate a few pots and pans, some dishes, glasses, and mugs, and don't forget eating utensils — bring more than you think you need.

Moving: DIY or movers?

Should you do it yourself or hire movers? It really depends on your budget, how much stuff you're going to move, and whether you need help loading and unloading the trailer or truck.

On average, Canadian moving companies will charge you $70 an hour for two men and a truck and $85 an hour for three men and a truck. Get the movers to estimate the time it will take to load, travel, and then unload on the other end. Too expensive? Consider renting your own truck and hiring movers to load and unload it. Or get friends to help.

"Buy it there" rule

Generally, small, everyday items aren't worth moving. Things like toilet paper, trash cans, or paper towels are best bought after you move. Once you move in, start a running list of household items you need to buy and begin by scouting thrift or charity shops. Yard and garage sales can also be a great source for picking up fun decorations or random items you might need.

Moving into your first place is exciting. Use these tips to help smooth the way into your first home.

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