Moving Out On Your Own For The First Time? // Advice

So it is almost 1 year since I move to Copenhagen on my own and I have learned A LOT! When you're younger you always walk around planning to live in an apartment forever with your BFF with millions of cats, but real life is way different. Sorry for spoiling your cat-lover plans...

My situation
I officially moved in October 1st 2014, but since I was in California at the time, I moved i the 31st of December 2014. I moved to be closer to school and job opportunities, because from the town I was from closed everything down at around 4 pm. Previously I lived about an hour away from my current school, but with the hectic morning traffic and the delayed public transportation I would always be late no matter how early I got up in the morning. It was a rational decision taken by me and my parents – or relatively rational

At the time we went looking for apartments I was 15. We started looking in the early spring and we signed the contract in the early summer. It is a long process, where it would benefit if you know something about fluctuations in renting prices and how different policies may affect you. There are all of those practical stuff that needs to get done and so many choices to make.

I had my parents with me to look at the apartments, because they have tried it all before, so when the discussion landed on subjects such as sewer system and heat I just let the guide me. 

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5 things to remember, when looking for a flat (because I want to believe no one buys a house the first time they move away from home, because... that is just excessive):

Are you going to live with anyone? Someone to share the rent with? Is it going to be someone you know or a stranger? There are pros and cons to whatever you choose, so you really have to think what is going to work for you or the two of you. Ask friends and family what they don't like about you. Yeah, I know – Brutal, but you need to have honest opinions if you have any bad habits, short-tempered, perfectionist maniac or anything that could possible cause a problem. 

I grew up without siblings, so if I had to live in a small flat with 1 or 2 people more it would be nearly impossible. But overall if you're considering living with a flatmate the most important thing to remember is to give each other your own space, if you want it to work out for more than 3 months.

Ask the real estate agent about any future construction work
Possible construction work in the future can be a pain... For example if you live the entire building you are interested in is going to get all of their pipes replaced. That is almost 3 months of on/off construction workers at 6am in the morning and not being able to use the water for hours of the day (mostly between 9am - 1pm). And not to forget, when they have to get into your home and you will have to plan around that.

If you're looking for buying a flat, this would mean you most likely would have to pay for the construction work, if otherwise is not stated in the contract. The amount of money may not be completely settled before after the construction work is done, but it may be a good argument for lowering the price of the flat.

If you're looking for renting a flat, this could mean there would be a period of time, where you would not be able to live in your flat. This would be really inconvenient if you were in the middle of your exams and suddenly you would have to ask friends and families if you could crash their houses + not necessarily have your own room to study. But hopefully the whole 'having to find a temporary home' won't be necessary. 

Overall just take good time researching before looking for flats – Research different areas, prices, different attributes to apartments, maybe even the real estate agents. You're looking for a potential home. A place you're going to rest your bones for more than a week (hopefully).

I hope everyone knows this. I really hope everyone knows this, but moving out on your own is expensive. So much money spend on completely unnecessary things like kitchen essentials, sheets, plates, lamps... If you can get some from your parents until you buy your own, do it, so you won't have a negative account by the end of the month.

IKEA will be your best friend. The same week I returned from California I spend 5 days in IKEA for at least 5 hours each time. 25 hours in IKEA in 1 week + jetlag. Now my relationship with IKEA is a bit restrained... 

I bought most of my furnitures from IKEA: dining table, chairs, couch, book shelf, desk, bed, mirror, rugs, towels, candles, plants and literally my entire kitchen! Now when I look around my flat, it is really all from either IKEA, yard sales or my parents. 

I don't really love shopping to begin with, so spending my money on sheets... Sigh... Okay, I don't want to sound stingy or anything, but I am probably never going to be ready to take decisions about towels, sheets, design of kitchen utensil! OH HOW I HATE TALKING ABOUT UTENSIL. Sorry, I am just really tired about talking about stuff like that. My grandmother keeps bugging me with all the things I must be SO excited to do with my flat and interior design. It took me 11 months to buy my first set of plates, she shouldn't have to high expectations of me...

I know a lot of people who have already bought plates, toasters, pans, etc., years before they are actually going to move out on their own. I guess it is very practical and rational, but I just think that it takes some of the charm of moving out. You're supposed to live like a hobo the first couple of months, it is like transition to adolescence ritual! I would recommend saving up some money instead or wait for maybe housewarming gifts, etc, but of course that is just my opinion. 

This is not one of the most important things to remember, but keep in mind if it is easy for you to get to and from work/school. If you have to change bus 3 times, this might not be so convenient if you can't afford being late to work/school every other day. Remember you have to do it at least 5 days a week, so it has to be somehow tolerable.

Is it convenient according to friends and family? Do you have friends who live close by? Maybe you could organise some kind of dinner night together, where you split the price of the meal + leftovers for some days after. It is a great way to save money as well, but also great for

It you're completely new to the town and live by yourself you might get lonely, if you're not able to see any of your friends in long periods of time – And we don't want anyone to be lonely in the bad way! ;)

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Have you moved out or not? If so how was your experience? Did you have a hard of easy time handling it all on your own? There must be something I need to learn, even though it was a year since I moved out! Leave your answers in the comments below, and have an amaaaazing day!

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Love you all! xx

PS. I will be off to London, so a new post will first be available around the 24th – Merry Crhistmas! x

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