Moving out for the first time can be exciting but takes a bit of planning. Here are a few things to consider before you move.
Make a budget - decide how much or how little you are able to afford to pay in rent or a mortgage, and how much you will set aside for living expenses.
If you are renting an apartment, you may need to budget for more than you think. You may need to pay your realtor (if you are using one), and/or first and last month's rent. Note that in Ontario, security deposits are not allowed. You may also need to pay hydro or gas bills if not included in your rent.
Living with roommates can be challenging if you have only lived with family members in the past. Decide on a list of qualities that you want in a roommate before seeking one out - e.g. cleanliness, pays rent on time, quietness...etc. If you decide to live alone, remember that it is more expensive than living with others.
Decide on where you want to live. Do you want to be close to school, or work? Do you want to live near public transit or near a highway? Do you want to live in a residential area or a more mixed urban space?
Visit a few places before you decide on one. If you are moving to another city and cannot do this, try to get photos of the living spaces or arrange a virtual tour before you sign any agreement.
Book movers or friends to agree to help move in advance. Don't wait until the week before to arrange moving, especially during high-move times like September. Trucks and movers may be booked months in advance.
Start packing a week in advance. You may not realize how much stuff you own until you start packing. Remember to label your boxes with the rooms they should go in!
Worried about bedbugs? Big cities like Toronto have had major bedbug infestations. Check the bed bug registry before moving into a new place to see if other people have reported bed bugs in you're new home.
Arrange to have cable television, and/or Internet connected in your new place. Doing this in advance means not having to wait when you move in.
Finally, don't forget to change your address on all your bank accounts, credit cards, insurance, subscriptions and government IDs.
Good luck with your move!