DIY Moving Advice For College Kids

As the warm weather rolls in and college students filter out for the summer, the prospect of of moving into an apartment or home becomes a bit more tantalizing.  Not to say nobody moves during the winter months, because that’s hardly the case.  It’s just that a lot of college kids search for their landing spot around April and May so they have a foothold in place when the final bell sounds before June.

And once that bell goes, it’s important for students to grasp the thought of moving and how time consuming it can be.  They should prepare themselves by researching the nearby apartments or homes, planning on whether to hire a moving company or go it alone and just making smart decisions as a whole.

Smart decisions are crucial and can sometimes be the difference between finding a great place to live at an affordable price or settling last minute on a place that just gradually puts you in a money crunch.  Here are just a couple decisions to make the process as a whole run smoothly.

Do a Walkthrough of Your New Residence

When scouting for a place, don’t do with three weeks or less left in the semester.  Not only will the competition become harder to deal with, but you will break the first rule of moving:  “Procrastination means more $$$ wasted”.  Putting off research on a place by not doing a thorough walkthrough of an apartment might mask problems on day one of moving in.

For instance, not getting the full review on a less-than-ideal residence, just because it’s cheap, could prove to have leaky faucets, thin walls that’ll let in unwanted levels of warm air in the summer and chilly air in the winter.  Even though most any home remodel would be covered by the landlord, you don’t want these inconveniences hitting your wallet with higher utility bills and what not.

Survey The Square Footage For Remodeling

Does one apartment have a better living room or dining room for your couches and end tables to go?  Or does the bedroom have enough space to fit your furniture without looking overly crowded to the point it might as well be a dorm room in disguise?  These are just a couple questions you or your roommates should ask before settling down on a place.  Part of the joys of moving into a place – besides the whole experiencing freedom of living on your own – is picturing what the place will look like.

And if there’s extra space beyond what you have, it’s easier to scope out what you need to liven up the place even more.  You might have enough room to fit an extra futon or cabinet or dresser and still make the place as appealing as ever.

Budget Your Place and Moving Costs

Not to repeat myself on the procrastination pitfall, but college kids must take into account moving costs and moving services they may or may not hire.  If it’s to get a U-Haul van or to rely on a couple friends and their trucks, getting everything in order from the beginning will make moving day less of a pain than it already is.

And while on the subject of budgeting costs, college kids must be privy to month to month budgets.  Things outside of monthly dues for rent and utilities can stretch to groceries and other costs that past dorm life offered.  With many scholarships and room and board policies, most students were used to meal plans and such that are no more once you move out on your own.

That’s why saving up money for short-term costs to long-term decisions is a mindset to lock down as soon as possible.  Even going as far as to put away money into an emergency fund outside of monthly finances is good for two things.  For one, you’re getting your feet wet with saving and two you’ll start to realize quicker how much “play money” is out there for you to treat yourself with home remodeling ideas, getting new appliances or just having the luxury of being able to dine out more than usual.

In the end, it’s all about being sound with how you transition into a new place, know when and where you’re staying by scouting the quality of an apartment or home from its infrastructure on down to amenities, and hitting the ground running with tracking one’s finances.


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