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Moving out for the first time

First of all, congratulations on your new home!

Moving out can be daunting, but it can also be a very exciting. There’s a lot to think about, from finances to packing and furnishings. There’s a lot to remember so here’s our top tips.

  • This is a big decision to make, so it is best to talk it through with people you trust. The people you live with will be able to support you with finding a new place to live and organising yourself for the move, but also through the emotional side.
  • They can help you to make a move-out plan
  • It’s important to know you if can afford to move out on your own.
  •  Make a list of all the income you get from all sources.
  • Add up all your monthly non-negotiables, these include your rent or mortgage, council tax, utilities (gas, electric, phones, broadband, water) TV License, and any transport costs.
  • Add up all your other bills such as insurance (car and home), car bills (MOT’s or services), boiler service.
  • Add the bills figures together and take that from your income. This leaves you with your monthly budget for what you have to spend on groceries and entertainment. Remember it’s also a good idea to put some money aside each month for savings in case you have an unexpected cost or for holidays and Christmas or birthday presents.
  • If you don’t have enough money at the end of your bills to eat properly, live comfortably doing things you enjoy and save a little money each month, you may need to look at cheaper housing or looking for a flatshare arrangement. You may also want to hold off moving out until you have a bit of money behind you for a safety net.

This includes:

  • Your deposit
  • This will usually be around 6 weeks rent if you are renting or around 10% for buying.
  • The cost of moving
  • Will you need to hire a van?
  • Furniture and furnishings
  • A lot of lower cost furnishings can be found on places such as Facebook Marketplace, but have your wits about you, don’t send any money without having seen the items first and made an agreement to buy it
  • Once you’ve figured out how much budget you have to spend on rent or a mortgage, you can look for houses in your price range.
  • You can find properties on Rightmove, Zoopla, Facebook or other social media (Beware of scams! Don’t send any money before you have a contract in place)
  • If it’s unfurnished you’ll need to buy things like a bed, a couch and other essentials
  • Check if your home comes with white goods
  • These include a fridge/freezer, a washing machine and a cooker.
  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Kettle
  • Bed sheets – get at least two sets so you can put one set on while you wash the others
  • Drawers/Wardrobes
  • Nightstands
  • Bed frame + Mattress – if it is not already provided
  • Towels – large and small towels
  • Toiletries – think toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shower gel etc
  • First Aid kit
  • Shower curtain
  • Mirror
  • Toilet brush
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Couch
  • Lamps
  • Coffee table
  • TV
  • A set of pots and pans
  • Cutting knives
  • Cutlery
  • A set of plates and bowls
  • Glasses
  • Mugs
  • Wooden spoons
  • Moving home is a great opportunity to purge yourself of clutter.
  • Be careful not to throw away all your memories though! You may be starting a new chapter in your life, but it is nice to have the memories there too.
  • Will you need a van or can you manage in a couple of car loads?
  • Bare in mind that you usually have to be at least 21 to hire a van in the UK.
  • Wi-Fi – using a comparison site is the easiest way to get the best deal on your broadband.
  • Make sure you’re registered for you council tax and register to vote
  • Look at your gas, electric, and water bills to ensure they are a good price, if not look to see if there are any better deals out there
  • Change your address on your paperwork
    • Your bank
    • Passport
    • Driving license
    • Employer/University
  • Draw up a list of chores to keep your house clean

Next steps

For a checklist of what you need to do after you’ve moved in, including sorting your council tax and bin collections, head to Moving in to your first home.

Support to get on the property ladder

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Related websites

Shelter – Housing for young people

Doorstep  – Support for young people and young parents

GOV.UK Lone Parent Advisor

If you are starting to struggle with keeping on top of things while living alone, such as not paying rent on time, or struggling with your bills, you may be eligible for the council’s Housing Related Support System.