31 votes

Moving out tips

I'm moving out: in the coming weeks I'll move to an apartment in Ankara, Turkey. This is the first time I'll have a home of my own, and the first time I live in an apartment as opposed to our detached family home. I wonder if any of you have tips for a 25yo master's student moving out and changing city!

21 comments

  1. [2]
    CALICO
    Link
    Make friends. Meet people. Find third-places. Build a social life. For me, the hardest part of living somewhere new is the lack of substantial human contact. If all I have are superficial...

    Make friends. Meet people. Find third-places. Build a social life. For me, the hardest part of living somewhere new is the lack of substantial human contact. If all I have are superficial relationships, I go stir-crazy and become some kind of hermit.

    If there is anything about yourself you don't like or want to change, now is the best time to do it. Moving to a new home means a new routine. A new status quo. If there's something you've been meaning to do, starting now and incorporating it into your new normal is the easiest, most painless way to do it.

    If you'll be living alone, get something alive and keep it alive. A pet, a plant, doesn't matter. Having something to take care of, watching it grow, keeping it happy, is extremely beneficial to the mind. And it'll help make home feel a little more like home.

    Learn to cook some basic meals, if you don't know how. It's easy to do, it's theory more than anything. Cheaper than eating out, and easier to make sure you're not eating trash.

    Don't be afraid to decorate. It's your space. It's an expression of yourself and you have an opportunity to explore what that means in a new way. My last place I strung up with Christmas lights, hung hippie-ass artwork, always had incense burning, owned an unreasonable amount of plants that one of my idiot cats insisted on eating, and there were comfy blankets all over the god damn place. It wasn't an organized, orthodox, adult space. It was my space. It was my home and it massaged my brain to be at home. Explore what home means to you. Follow your bliss.

    28 votes
    1. ali
      Link Parent
      I love the concept of the third place. Do others here have one too? The only thing that would come close for me is the bouldering/rock climbing hall we have where I live. It’s where I would meet...

      I love the concept of the third place.
      Do others here have one too? The only thing that would come close for me is the bouldering/rock climbing hall we have where I live. It’s where I would meet people most often.

      5 votes
  2. [2]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Congratulations again! This is huge for you! @CALICO and @balooga have given great advice, and I'll second everything they've said. Especially the toilet paper! Make it the first thing you unpack,...

    Congratulations again! This is huge for you!

    @CALICO and @balooga have given great advice, and I'll second everything they've said. Especially the toilet paper! Make it the first thing you unpack, for the comfort of yourself and anyone helping you move. Getting stranded is the absolute worst. I'll also add handsoap, a hand towel, and cups to the top of that list. Wanting a refreshing drink of water at your new place, only to realize that your cups are in the bottom of a box shoved behind six others, is no fun.

    With regards to the actual act of moving itself, there's the adage "many hands make light work," and it's the absolute truth. Recruit friends or family members to help you, bribe them with food and drinks, and make a day of the event. Trying to do everything yourself or with a single helper is exhausting and difficult, especially if you have any bulky items (e.g. furniture).

    Moving also has a way of making you see your possessions in a different light. For example, I love books, but I absolutely abhor moving books. They're heavy as hell. Every time I move them I realize I haven't touched most of them since the last move. They feel like deadweight, which pains me to say, but it's the absolute truth, especially in the moments when you're carrying your twelfth overloaded box of them up three flights of stairs.

    Now is a good chance to simplify your life and get rid of things you don't really need. Declutter and trim the fat. Now that computers are commonplace, it's easy to hoard things digitally, as data doesn't take up space, is weightless, and transports easily. For items that are sentimental but useless, take pictures of them for your memories and then leave the item behind (or get rid of it). It's usually not the item itself that matters but your associations with it that give it meaning. A picture is an easy, effortless way to hold onto that meaning.

    When I got my first apartment I didn't have a lot of money and bought the cheapest versions of everything. Cheap pans. Cheap vacuum. Cheap everything. Naturally, you get what you pay for, and I ended up having to replace everything over the next few years. If you have the means, it's worth buying better quality items of things you know you will use over whatever's cheapest. That said, if those are out of reach, the cheapest will get the job done.

    The corollary here is to only buy what you'll actually use. It's easy to get into an apartment and feel the urge to fill the space. It's also easy to get tempted by all of the kitchen gadgets out there when you start cooking for yourself. It's easy to get the urge to start a collection of something or a new hobby that expects you to buy a bunch of different stuff to support it. If these things "spark joy" for you, then go for them, but know that it's totally fine to have a spartan living space, and it's totally fine to have vacant corners, walls, and even rooms. In fact, the less furniture and stuff you have, the easier it will be to clean!

    I have a preventative rule that greatly helps cleaning: minimize surface area. Consider a flat desk. You can wipe it free of dust in seconds. Effortlessly. Now imagine one or two tchotchkes on the desk. Not only do you have to either move them or wipe around them to clean the desk, but now they have surfaces which will also collect dust. You've just increased your cleaning time significantly by having to deal with their added irregularity! Now imagine that you've filled the surfaces of your home with decorative items and other assorted cruft. Think of how much more effort it will be to keep things clean! Simplicity and minimalism aren't just nice philosophy -- they're also time savers.

    That's not to say don't make the space yours. Some people absolutely love amassing items that give their spaces a certain feeling. If that's your style, go for it! As @CALICO put beautifully, follow your bliss! I've just found that, in my experience, any items I would put up became "invisible" after a time, once I got used to them, so I stopped getting the aesthetic pleasure of their presence. They then just became obstacles to cleanliness and organization. I deliberately made my new home much more minimal after my last move, and I am loving that aspect of it.

    12 votes
    1. SleepyGary
      Link Parent
      I agree, especially the bit about books. I used to have a serious hardcover collection, in total they weighed about 300lbs and most of them I only read once. I went though a period where I was...

      I agree, especially the bit about books. I used to have a serious hardcover collection, in total they weighed about 300lbs and most of them I only read once. I went though a period where I was moving almost once a year so I ended up giving them away and donating what was left, the ones I read over and over I now have as e-books.

      Another thing that I found helped with my simplification was to keep anything I didn't immediately need or could not forsee needing in the near future in boxes in storage. As I needed or just wanted them I would unbox them, after a year if things were still in boxes I got rid of them unless they were extremely sentimental (though why was it still in a box if that was the case) or I needed them for legal reason (e.g., tax returns). You tend to discover you carry around a lot of knick knacks you don't actually care about. After my third move in as many years I was running extremely lean and there is a level of catharsis in letting go of that stuff.

      5 votes
  3. [2]
    Adys
    Link
    I don't know what to tell you about turkey, but as someone who's moved every 2 years max within europe for the past 14 years: Know what your backup plan/safety net is if you run out of money....

    I don't know what to tell you about turkey, but as someone who's moved every 2 years max within europe for the past 14 years:

    • Know what your backup plan/safety net is if you run out of money. Knowing your parents can always take you back in is a great way to feel safe living on your own.
    • if you can afford it, paying your rent 1 year in advance is a fantastic way to have your landlord like you a lot, treat you well, as well as get a discount (Shaving 10-15% off the asking price, maybe more if the house is overpriced in the first place). If you do get a discount, this can end up carrying over at the end of the year when you switch to monthly payments.
    • Don't get a lease that lasts more than a year. Don't get stuck somewhere. You don't know what your life will be like a year from now.
    • Set aside at least 1000-1500 EUR you're ready to spend on misc purchases as you move in. Things you didn't know you needed, especially if you're moving into an unfurnished appartment. If you can't afford that, you'll have to plan your move very carefully.
    • Find a roommate if possible to share the rent, but only move in with them if you can trust them. A friend you've known for a long time if possible.
    • Moving in with a girlfriend/boyfriend: Have an exit plan if the relationship goes to shit. This needs to be agreed upon by both parties ahead of time. If this is not a talk you're ready to have, this is not a step in your relationship you're ready to take.
    • Buy some canned/long-term goods when you move in. Pasta, rice, canned beans, frozen pizzas, frozen veggies, flour, salt, sugar, some spices, oil, canned tuna/salmon… This is great food to have as backup if you run out either through bad planning or if you run out of money for whatever reason.
    • Take a few minutes when you move in to make a video of the house the day you move in, with your phone. Make sure any issues (stains on the wall/carpeting, cracks, holes, etc) are very visible. This is in case your landlord starts lying about (or simply misremembering) the state of the house when your lease ends.
    12 votes
    1. PahoojyMan
      Link Parent
      I would recommend an exit plan if you are moving in with a friend as well. Living together puts strain on any relationship. And this will also reveal more about your friends than you may want to...

      Find a roommate if possible to share the rent, but only move in with them if you can trust them. A friend you've known for a long time if possible.

      Moving in with a girlfriend/boyfriend: Have an exit plan if the relationship goes to shit. This needs to be agreed upon by both parties ahead of time. If this is not a talk you're ready to have, this is not a step in your relationship you're ready to take.

      I would recommend an exit plan if you are moving in with a friend as well. Living together puts strain on any relationship. And this will also reveal more about your friends than you may want to know, or change the dynamic or quality of the relationship.

      5 votes
  4. [4]
    unknown user
    Link
    @CALICO @kfwyre @SleepyGary @balooga @aphoenix @Adys @Gaywallet Hey guys, thanks a lot! I read all of these, but I was on my way to Ankara to look for homes, so I couldn't respond to anybody. This...

    @CALICO @kfwyre @SleepyGary @balooga @aphoenix @Adys @Gaywallet

    Hey guys, thanks a lot! I read all of these, but I was on my way to Ankara to look for homes, so I couldn't respond to anybody. This morning I did a contract for a 50m2 studio apartment for effectively peanuts, in a nice neighbourhood and with a bus stop right in front of the block's door. You've provided me with great advice that I made use of (photos of everywhere was a great idea, for example) and will make use of.

    It is exciting in its own way to hold keys to your home!

    12 votes
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      Congrats :) Enjoy life on your own!

      Congrats :) Enjoy life on your own!

      3 votes
    2. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      Congratulations. Enjoy your new spot!

      Congratulations. Enjoy your new spot!

      3 votes
  5. [2]
    balooga
    Link
    My go-to advice for moving to your first place is make sure you have a shower curtain! And towels, soaps, bathmat, etc., not packed away in box somewhere but easy to get to. Figuring out what to...

    My go-to advice for moving to your first place is make sure you have a shower curtain! And towels, soaps, bathmat, etc., not packed away in box somewhere but easy to get to. Figuring out what to do in your first 48 hours is bewildering enough but it's a lot worse if you can't bathe. I was so preoccupied with the big-picture logistics that I completely neglected the immediate stuff.

    Toilet paper too.

    10 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      To add on to this - a curved shower rod is great and goes with the shower curtain. Makes a bath / shower combo much roomier.

      To add on to this - a curved shower rod is great and goes with the shower curtain. Makes a bath / shower combo much roomier.

      3 votes
  6. [3]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    Here's what I've learned from 10+ moves If you haven't used the object since your last move, donate it or throw it out. If this is your first move, anything that hasn't been used in 2-3 years...

    Here's what I've learned from 10+ moves

    • If you haven't used the object since your last move, donate it or throw it out. If this is your first move, anything that hasn't been used in 2-3 years should be considered for donation/trash.
    • Move your clothes in trash bags. As a bonus, you can use them as actual trash bags after you've unloaded them.
    • Stuff that goes in the same room goes in the same box; things don't necessarily need to be more organized than that
    • If you don't have moving boxes, you can often find them for free. Anything above "medium" sized is usually too large to be very useful and annoying to carry
    • Invite all of your friends to help the physical move, offer them free food and beer. Let them know there's no pressure to come and you're just reaching out to make it a bit easier. Even if they can only help you in the city you're currently in, it helps a lot.
    • Find out where the closest grocery store, general store, hardware store, and restaurants are... you'll probably be relying on them in the first week or so
    • If you feel like there's something you need that isn't absolutely essential, try living without it for a week before buying it. You can use that time to do some research on what the best version of this item is within your budget. Better to buy something mid-range that will last awhile than something cheap that you'll replace every year.
    • Take pictures of everything in the apartment when you move in and again when you move out. All floors, windows, doors, walls, appliances, kitchen, etc.
    8 votes
    1. [2]
      PahoojyMan
      Link Parent
      If you do this, please have everything packed beforehand. Too many times I have gone to help someone move, and they haven't made any progress, expecting everyone also to help pack all their shit...

      Invite all of your friends to help the physical move, offer them free food and beer. Let them know there's no pressure to come and you're just reaching out to make it a bit easier. Even if they can only help you in the city you're currently in, it helps a lot.

      If you do this, please have everything packed beforehand.

      Too many times I have gone to help someone move, and they haven't made any progress, expecting everyone also to help pack all their shit away.

      Take pictures of everything in the apartment when you move in and again when you move out. All floors, windows, doors, walls, appliances, kitchen, etc.

      This is critical. Scan the walls for any nails or holes from nails. Be extremely pedantic with your photos (even if it's not something that actually bothers you). If anything at all (door handles, stovetop knobs etc.) has even minor damage, take a photo.

      The photos should be sent to the landlord/real estate agent as you are moving in as a record in case there are disputes when you leave.

      • Also, report everything that requires maintenance, even if it's something that doesn't bother you. You can add a caveat that you are only informing, not requesting it to be specifically fixed, if that helps. When you move out, if items are damage from regular wear and tear, but never reported, they can claim that it was your fault and keep your bond.

      • Any correspondence with the landlord/real estate agent with a promised action, needs to be in writing or be summarised in writing (i.e. just send a follow-up email after a discussion). You will not have a leg to stand on if you can't prove anything was reported, promised or taking months to resolve.

      Overall you most likely won't run into these issues, but these are simple steps you can take which will not impact a good landlord, but will protect you from a bad landlord.

      6 votes
      1. bbvnvlt
        Link Parent
        +1 for both. The comment about packing is very true, but given that preparation, I love the ritual of friends and family helping someone to move house, both when moving myself, and when moving...

        Invite all of your friends to help the physical move, offer them free food and beer. Let them know there's no pressure to come and you're just reaching out to make it a bit easier. Even if they can only help you in the city you're currently in, it helps a lot.

        If you do this, please have everything packed beforehand.

        +1 for both. The comment about packing is very true, but given that preparation, I love the ritual of friends and family helping someone to move house, both when moving myself, and when moving others. It's a great way to be and feel part of each other's lives at an important moment and it's usually fun when family and friends who usually never meet have an afternoon drink/snack together after shared labor. Never hire movers!

        1 vote
  7. DanBC
    Link
    Here are some tips that apply to England. Not all of these will make sense outside of England. Learn what type of tenancy agreement you have, and what rights it gives you and what responsibilities...

    Here are some tips that apply to England. Not all of these will make sense outside of England.

    1. Learn what type of tenancy agreement you have, and what rights it gives you and what responsibilities you have under it. A tenancy agreement is a legal contract and some people have considerable trouble because they don't understand what they've signed.

    2. Take lots of photos of the property and the items in the property on the day you move in. You want to keep a detailed catalogue of the condition of the property as it was on the day you moved in. This helps avoid arguments about deposits when you move out. Check the inventory, and query anything that doesn't seem right.

    3. Take photos of the utility meters. Make sure when you open an account with the utility provider that they're using the correct readings to start from, and that they're using the correct meters. Take meter readings every couple of months to make sure you're paying for what you use.

    4. Learn about the refuse and recycling bins. What is or isn't taken; where are the bins kept; do they have to be moved from that place to somewhere else to be collected; is there a rota for doing this?

    5. BUDGET!! Don't get behind on rent, or bills, or taxes. In general pay your rent first, then taxes, then bills, then food, then everything else. There doesn't seem to be one best method that works for everyone. Some people like bullet journals or envelope budgeting or setting up direct debits. Find what works for you. @Algernon_Asimov makes a good point about paying bills when you get paid. You may find that paying a little bit more than you need to each time gives you a buffer against times when you have no income. You'll also need to try to save a bit of emergency money.

    6. Emergency stuff. Make sure the smoke detectors and fire alarms work. If you have gas appliances (like a gas cooker) make sure it has a safety certificate. Consider buying fire extinguishers and keeping them maintained. Plan an evacuation route: how will you leave the property if there's a fire? Get some torches and a radio and some batteries and keep them in an easy to find place.

    7. Work out a good cleaning routine. I cope better doing a small amount very often rather than a big clean up once a day. Other people like to have quite a rigid schedule.

    6 votes
  8. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    Budget, budget, budget! Know your income. Know your expenses. Don't spend more than you earn. It sounds simple, but it's not. Where possible, pre-pay your expenses and smooth them out. For...

    Budget, budget, budget!

    Know your income. Know your expenses. Don't spend more than you earn. It sounds simple, but it's not.

    Where possible, pre-pay your expenses and smooth them out. For example, many people get paid every week or every two weeks, but many bills arrive only once per month. Imagine your phone bill is €60 per month and you get paid every two weeks. If you pay your phone bill when it arrives, then you lose €60 from this pay, while you lose nothing from your next pay (between bills), then you lose €60 from the pay after that, and so on. Every second pay, you pay €60 on your phone bill, and every other pay, you pay nothing.

    What ends up happening is that your regular predictable income becomes irregular and unpredictable. "This pay I only have €440 to spend, but last pay I had €500!" How can you budget when your disposable income keeps changing?

    Instead, pay part of your bill every time you get paid. If you get paid every two weeks, then pay half your monthly bill every payday: pay €30 every pay. If you get paid every week, pay a quarter of your monthly bill every payday: pay €15 every pay. Start this before the first bill, so by the time the first bill comes in you've already paid 2x €30 or 4 x €15 = €60, and your bill is paid by the time it arrives.

    Do this for every bill: electricity, phone, internet, gas, water, etc. You can even ask to pay your rent in line with your pay cycles: weekly or two-weekly, rather than monthly.

    This has multiple benefits:

    • It gets your bills paid. Don't fall behind on bills. Once you fall behind, it's very very hard to catch up again. You'll end up using the money for this month's bills to pay last month's bills - but then you have to pay this month's bill next month, which means next month's bills won't get paid... and the cycle goes on forever.

    • It smooths out your expenses, so that you have the same left-over money every pay. Having a predictable amount of money left over every pay is very helpful when it comes to buying food and paying for travel costs and spending on entertainment.

    I speak from hard-learned experience. Keep up with your bills. Smooth them out. Stay on top of your finances. Be proactive, rather than reactive.

    5 votes
  9. [2]
    theconsultant
    Link
    Congratulations! A few things I learned over the years after moving out: learn to cook, if you your parents are good cooks, ask them not only for recipes but to go home and cook the dishes with...

    Congratulations! A few things I learned over the years after moving out:

    • learn to cook, if you your parents are good cooks, ask them not only for recipes but to go home and cook the dishes with them. Lots of experiences and you learn to make food you already are familiar with.
    • I always buy my friends a copy of the "The Joy of Cooking" as a housewarming gift, along with toilet paper and lightbulbs.. it's a great book and i'm sure there's something similar in Turkey.
    • roommates are great until they are not. Do it for the experience, savings, and having other people around.. but some day you'll have had enough and move on.
    • did I mention learning to cook? Well, that also requires learning to buy food and not have it go to waste. Don't buy more fresh stuff than you need for a day or two. Once you've got experience you can plan things out longer.
    • set a routine! Especially if you work from home, make sure to get up at a regular time, get outside, go check out those third-places (what a wonderful term!)
    • budget. yep, I failed at that many times. The envelope system works well.
    • it's your space! Decorate it any way you want ;-)
    • invite friends over often.. it helps keep the place clean and is great for your mental health. Don't be shy to make it pot-luck (each person brings some food/drinks to share), don't be shy to ask folks to being chairs etc.. my parents tell me that when I was very little their apartment was so small they had get togethers out in the street, and friends were told to bring chairs, plates etc.. as they only had enough for themselves ;-)

    All the best from Canada!

    4 votes
    1. unknown user
      Link Parent
      Hey, thanks! My sleep is indeed shit, and I'll most probably get a remote job, so I really hope I gain better habits regarding that. All my family are night owls, so being away will hopefully help...

      Hey, thanks! My sleep is indeed shit, and I'll most probably get a remote job, so I really hope I gain better habits regarding that. All my family are night owls, so being away will hopefully help a bit.

  10. bbvnvlt
    Link
    I'm going to assume you're male. If so: Sit when you pee. Get used to it. It's what real men do. Why? Toilets get dirty waaaaaaaay less quickly. Even if you aim well. There's spray. There's...

    I'm going to assume you're male. If so:

    • Sit when you pee.

    Get used to it. It's what real men do. Why? Toilets get dirty waaaaaaaay less quickly. Even if you aim well. There's spray. There's splash-back. Sit down. Relax. Clean less often and/or with less scrubbing necessary. Someone gave me this tip when I had just gotten my own first apartment, been happy with the habit ever since. Your future partner will be, too.

    3 votes
  11. Talespin
    Link
    #1. Buy a good vacuum. Spend the extra cash and get a good one instead of buying five $45-$100 ones. #2. Enjoy!

    #1. Buy a good vacuum. Spend the extra cash and get a good one instead of buying five $45-$100 ones.

    #2. Enjoy!

    2 votes