“The 7 things I wish I knew before I moved out of home.”
Words by Dana Morse.
In our twenties, we reach a few big milestones, and moving out is a BIG one. Only problem? Moving out is terrifying. Exciting, yes, but scary as all hell also.
So whether you’re moving away for university, or because you literally can’t stand another second living with your family, here is a helpful list of tips to get you out of the family home and into your own place, you big grown up, you!
1. You will feel homesick from time to time.
No matter how ready you are to be an independent adult, there are probably going to be days when you just want to go home.
When I moved out I called my mum in tears, ready to quit uni and move back to the farm. Try to remember you are no more than a phone call away from your loved ones, so it never hurts to pick up the phone. I was also lucky enough to have some great mates help me get through the hard times.
Call your mum. And not just to ask her how to get tomato sauce stains out of carpet. Seriously, she worries. Yes you’re a big hot-shot proper adult now, but your mum needs to know that you are OK, and not reliving the plot of Taken. It takes five minutes, and besides, you will totally miss her too.
2. Make mates. Well… try to make mates.
Say it with me: adult friendship-making is awkward. But making friends is one of the most important things you can do in a new place. While it’s tempting to just sit in your room and non-stop binge watch Netflix, in the long run a couple of good biddies will do a lot more for you than all 5 seasons of Suits.
Thankfully, universities have brilliant O-week activities and clubs, so get yourself together and go to some things your interested in. Remember: You are all in the same boat, and you’re all just looking for some pals. Cuuuute!
If you’re not at uni, just approach people on the street. Or stand by your front door and heckle passersby. FOOLPROOF PLAN.
3. Don’t spend money on stuff you can’t afford.
Crappy furniture is ok when you’ve just flown the coop. I mean, would you rather have money in the bank or a coffee table?
Your first move is a time when a mattress on the floor is a totally acceptable sleeping situation. When the first of each month brings with it a bundle of bills that can all take a fair bite out of your savings account, luxuries like sleeping on a fancy bed go out the window so you can keep a roof over your head. And who needs the IKEA headache when thrift stores sell everything assembled for a fraction of your hard earned cash?
4. Your mum is a gem. You’ll realise that the day you leave.
You will never appreciate your mother more than when you’re eating cereal out of a mug because no one has done the dishes for a month. OR when you find yourself turning your socks inside out for a second wear, because you forgot to do laundry… again.
Avoiding tension with your housemates over stuff like whose turn it is to take out the garbage is easy. Draw up a chore wheel sharing the jobs around and stick to it, that way you know who is responsible for what and don’t have to leave pass-agress Post-Its on the kitchen bench.
5. Beware of “borrowing”.
Whether you’re moving in with friends or strangers, living in close confines with people can lead to some major ‘storm in a teacup’ situations.
“Borrowing” other people’s food without permission causes some epic flare-ups. And look, as much as you think you won’t become a ‘borrower’, one day you will inevitably wake up so hungover, in the absense of your fail-safe banana smoothie cure, on the verge of DEATH, and decide to “borrow” someone else’s stuff.
In those situations, (along with replacing what you took) a small thank-you gift never goes astray. I suggest a Kinder Surprise Egg or ice cream sandwich. Because… yum. And gimme.
6. You’ll probably stack on the KGs.
One of the most eye-opening experiences I had when moving out of my gluten-free, sugar-free parental home was doing my own groceries. My cupboards were soon full of nothing but FrootLoops and Nutella.
Considering I was eating trash and drinking a lot (goon, you cruel mistress), it wasn’t long before I became really unhealthy, quickly putting on weight and having bad breakouts. This meant I had to say goodbye to my trashy diet #thetearswerereal.
And yes, it’s more expensive to buy healthy food, but you’ll soon realize it’s cheaper in the long run than buying a whole new wardrobe when none of your clothes fit. Real talk.
7. Moving away might mean moving on from your old life.
Moving is a good reason to take stock of your friendships and decide who you think will make a great long-distance mate, and who you may have outgrown. It’s no lie that maintaining a friendship over a long distance is hard work when you don’t have that shared common-ground anymore.
It helps to make special effort. For example, in the beginning, my best gal pal and I sent each other little pick me up cards, on top of texting nearly everyday.
So if you’re looking to keep your old friends close, it becomes all the more important to reply to her texts, and comment on those Instagram selfies when she’s looking #flawless.
Dana Morse is total babe who has great hair. Oh, she’s ALSO a Media student at Deakin University in Melbourne. For more from Dana, follow her on Instagram. Go. Now. Ok. Cya there, kiddo.