You have finally reached adulthood and all that comes with it- like moving out of your childhood home. Maybe you’re off to college, are preparing to study abroad at the American International University Kuwait (reviews here), or are starting your first job. Regardless of your next steps, moving into an apartment has come. Here are some tips on how to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible for you.

1) Start with a budget: 

The first step is to sit down and figure out what you can afford for rent. Of course, this number will be different for everyone, but make sure to also factor in utilities, groceries, and other necessary expenses. It’s also important to set aside some savings in case of emergencies.

Once you have a number in mind, start looking for apartments that fit within your budget. You can read more about how to find an affordable apartment here.

When you’ve found a few places you like, it’s time to start touring them! Most landlords will require a potential tenant to fill out an application and provide proof of income before scheduling a showing.

2) Get familiar with your new neighborhood: 

If you’re moving to a new city or even just a different part of town, it’s essential to do some research on the area before signing a lease. Consider things like public transportation, safety, nightlife, and nearby amenities.

You can use websites like Walk Score to get an idea of how walkable an area is and what kind of amenities are nearby. Google Maps is also an excellent tool for exploring an area and getting a feel for what it’s like.

Once you’ve chosen your apartment, take some time to explore your new neighborhood and get to know the people who live there. Attend community events, introduce yourself to your neighbors, and check out local businesses.

3) Learn how to cook: 

One of the most significant changes you’ll experience when moving into your own apartment is having to cook most of your meals at home. If you’re not used to cooking, this can be daunting. But don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems!

There are plenty of resources out there to help you learn how to cook simple, healthy meals. The internet contains recipes and cooking tips, or you could even take a cooking class. Meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh can also make things easier by delivering all the ingredients you need for a recipe right to your door.

4) Furnish your new home: 

Now that you’ve signed a lease and have the keys to your new place, it’s time to start thinking about furniture. If you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to furnish your apartment without breaking the bank.

Start by taking inventory of what you already have. See if any pieces from your childhood bedroom can be repurposed for your new place. You can also look for second-hand furniture at garage sales, thrift stores, or online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

If you need help putting everything together, there are plenty of online guides and tutorials to walk you through the process step by step.

5) Set up utilities and other services: 

The last thing on your to-do list is setting up utilities and other services for your new place. This includes things like electricity, gas, water, trash service, internet, and cable.

Contact the utility companies a few weeks before your move-in date to ensure that everything will be set up and ready to go when you move in. Most companies will require you to provide proof of residency, so have your lease agreement handy.

You should also set up a forwarding address with the post office so you can start receiving mail at your new apartment. And don’t forget to update your driver’s license and vehicle registration with your new address!

6) Make your new apartment feel like home: 

Once you’ve moved in and everything is set up, it’s time to start making your new apartment feel like home. Hang some pictures on the walls, put out some plants, and add some personal touches to make it your own.

You can also use this opportunity to declutter and eliminate anything you don’t need or use. Don’t wait until your place is a mess before cleaning – it’s much easier to keep things tidy from the start.

A little bit of effort upfront will go a long way in making your new apartment feel like a cozy and inviting space that you’ll be happy to call home.

Living on your own doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Just take things one step at a time, and you’ll be settled into your new apartment in no time. And once you’re all moved in, be sure to throw a housewarming party to celebrate!

*Photo by Andrea Piacquadio