‘Tis The Season
If you have been an avid reader of my blog (hi mom), you may have noticed that I was MIA for the month of November. I can list off plenty of excuses as to why that happened, but instead I will acknowledge my shortcomings and promise to not miss blessing this website with one of my blogs EVER AGAIN! All joking aside, I am very excited that I am finally able to create part 2 of my move out journey blog! Sit back and relax because this blog is going to take you through a rollercoaster of emotions, but let’s start off positively with the emotion of excitement.
As of October 29th, I was OFFICIALLY approved for a cute, little apartment less than a block from the up and coming Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale, FL. An added bonus is that it is located in the up and coming art district, Fat Village, filled with quaint coffee shops and cool murals. My boyfriend and I were overjoyed with the thought of finally getting our own space together, with the location we wanted, and a place that was also in our budget. In my last blog, I explained that the cost of renting anywhere in Fort Lauderdale was insanely high for the size. So you can imagine my shock and happiness that we found something we really liked, with the amenities we wanted, without having to break the bank. To top the excitement off, the move-in date comes right after the New Year on January 15th, which doubles as my 24th birthday! So, not only do I get to start off 2022 living in an apartment with my best friend, I will get handed the keys to my own place and the feeling of freedom and adulthood on my birthday. Moving into a place following the Holiday season combined with moving on my birthday just makes it all an exciting time.
Artwalk Saturdays in Fat Village
Still maintaining the feeling of excitement, an overwhelming feeling of confusion and stress took over upon receiving my congratulatory email. The nice congratulatory email was quickly followed by a move-in checklist from the agent at the complex and that is when I realized that adulthood is no joke. The various accounts I had to create and payments that are required prior to move-in were definitely tasks I underestimated. Those tasks don’t even account for the items that need to be purchased for the apartment, like furniture, dishes, bedding, and the list continues. I will admit that some of these initial feelings of confusion and overwhelm were overcome thanks to the help of the rental agent guiding me through the steps of the checklist and Matthew splitting the bill, but don’t even get me started on how long it took me to set up renters insurance. Now that I have set up an FPL account, renters insurance, and paid too much money in “miscellaneous” pre move-in fees, the stress and confusion has almost completely faded away for good. I am not close to finishing the to-do list that the complex provided me or the one I created for myself, but now I am eager to check off every box on my numerous to-do lists. My next steps are to furnish the 788 Sq. ft. apartment, sign my lease, pay a $500 deposit (insert another pre move-in fee here) and MOVE IN!
At first, I thought it was going to be so stressful moving in on my birthday, since it is finally on a Saturday and a day that I want to enjoy myself and celebrate because you only turn 24 once. It didn’t take me long, though, to change my perspective and realize that an apartment is probably the best gift I could give myself as a birthday present. This goes without mentioning the convenience of having a birthday, being blessed enough to receive presents on my birthday, and also moving at the same time because I can receive house-hold items as gifts.
Present of emerald green counter stools from my lovely mom <3
I believe I have made a pretty big dent in my furniture and appliance purchasing checklist, but the time is flying by so fast it’s like I blink and the week is over. I do have the most important items (in my opinion) purchased already, like a bed, couch, and pots and pans; allowing me to complete the trifecta- sitting, eating, and sleeping. What else do I need? Oh- bedding, bathroom appliances, a rug, balcony furniture, a kitchen table, a chaise cover, a coffee table, nightstands, a dresser, am I boring you yet? I was lucky enough to find a lot of items at the Ikea that is only 10 minutes from my house, since they make their furniture specifically for smaller places. Ikea is where we found some cute decorations and the couch, which I love so much. For not being able to fit a giant sectional in the living room, we got the next best thing, which was a four seater couch with an extended Chaise. Unfortunately the chaise cover was out of stock, but that is an obstacle for another day. It is beige, so it goes with the beige, white, and emerald green color scheme I am going for and it has already been secured and stored at Matthew’s house (huge, giant, incredible thank you to his parents for allowing us to store a lot of our packages in their living room). I mean, we checked out of Ikea thinking we could fit everything in one SUV and after a good twenty minutes of trying, my mom had to come save the day by bringing us another SUV to bring the MASSIVE couch parts in boxes to his house.
The boxes from Ikea with the couch inside
The time is very exciting regardless of what we have to furnish the apartment prior to move in, because everyday I get to go to a new furniture store and get house decor inspiration or create fun pinterest boards based on my color scheme and endlessly scroll through all of the homemade decor on Etsy.com (a website I find to be key during this moving process).
As a 23, almost 24 year old, moving into a place for the first time, here is the advice I can offer to others who may be in the same position as me someday soon.
1. Ask for help
If you are anything like me, you do not like asking for help. You secretly hope it is offered at times, but you hate being the one to burden someone else by asking for help. This is something that must be overcome. There are so many people who would be willing to help, but can’t read your mind so asking is necessary. I have asked both my parents for help numerous times, I email the agent at the complex basically everyday asking a new question or for help on a step, Matthew and his parents have tremendously, the store representatives help with no problem when asked. If it was not for all of these people, I would have never even found the “apartment for rent” listing. Im serious, swallow your pride and ask for some guidance through this exciting but scary time. More times than not, people want to be involved in this process, and shockingly enough, are even excited for you.
2. Create a budget sheet
This!! This may be the most important step. I found a pre-made downloadable budget template from Excel, and it has helped tremendously. Not only can I budget for rent, utilities, and other monthly bills on this sheet, I can also keep track of every piece of furniture I have paid for thus far and how much I have in my budget for the rest of it. I mean, it literally calculates your totals for you, so it is headache proof and really helps to relieve the stress of spending too much money on certain items. I will probably incorporate using a sheet like this to budget for many things, not just for moving out.
3. Move out during the Holidays
This may be one of the best hacks for moving out. Not only does the holiday season encourage many acts of gift giving (shoutout Christmas and Hanukkah), the season includes two of the biggest shopping savings days (shoutout Black Friday and Cyber Monday). I saved hundreds of dollars on the bed frame, headboard, and mattress combined due to these special, nation-wide, days of saving. I should have purchased more house-hold items on these two days, but I can not complain as I did save on furniture in certain areas, allowing me to expand my budget for other areas. I know it is a busy time, but moving into a place immediately following the New Year is exciting enough on its own, regardless of the deals and savings.
4. Talk about everything with your roommate prior
I am so lucky to be moving in with my boyfriend and best friend all in one and even though arguments and bickering is minimal between us, important conversations must be discussed prior to renting a place together. For example, I know I am more excited than Matthew to decorate certain areas of the place, but that does not mean he should not be included and have a say in every single bank-breaking purchasable item. Not only do we send each other links to different pieces of furniture online throughout the day, we make sure we both love the items, can spend the money, and will both be involved in putting said furniture together. Everyday after work we find a new store to go to and it is so fun getting to shop for a new place together. It comforts me to know that we are on the same page about our relationship and the apartment. Just a few conversations prior to making a life changing decision can allow for stress to diminish completely in that area and allow you and your partner or roommate to grow closer throughout the process. Matthew, if you’re reading this, we will be roomies in 45 days!
I would like to end this blog by emphasising how blessed and supported I feel by everyone throughout this journey. The excitement, helpfulness, and great energy everyone is exuding for Matt and I is overwhelming in the best way. As bittersweet as moving out of my childhood house will be, I am counting down the days until move-in. As I said in my previous blog, this series will continue with a part 3 of the unpacking and a reflection of what I miss most about living with my parents, which I am sure will be a lot. See you in 45 days with part 3! Oh, and Happy Holidays! 🙂