It’s been almost 3 months since I moved out of my parents’ house. After college, I moved back home to save money while I searched for a job. In a year and a half, I completed an internship, worked a job from hell, then ended up in my current role at the best company ever! Needless to say, it’s been one hell of a year and a half, but I’m still feeling the effects of the transition from college to adulthood – especially with the whole move.
Now that my life is a little more stable and I am finally settling in to my new place, I am slowly starting to realize how impactful my decision to move was. From a long and trying period of figuring out logistics to the short period of adjustment in a new city, I have learned so much about myself… or as Kylie Jenner would say, “I am realizing stuff.”
Here are the 7 things I have learned since moving to my new apartment:
- I have to clean everything… and I actually like it. I was lucky enough to have parents who helped me afford an apartment in college, so I never had that complete feeling of ownership over a living space. Now that I pay my full rent and own utilities, I am more conscious of the crumbs on the counter, the dishes left in the sink, and the strand of hair on the floor. A dirty kitchen and bathroom drive me crazy! I now understand what my parents have been trying to teach me for years: take care of your home.
- Saving money is a learned behavior. Every little bit counts, and you really have to be conscious of what is costing you money. I definitely started turning off lights when I walk out of a room, eating what’s in my fridge instead of eating out, and monitoring my spending. While paying rent is a huge money sucker, I am definitely still learning new ways to cut costs where I can.
- Home is where the heart is. I have a strong connection to my hometown, and I truly don’t think I will ever find that feeling elsewhere. My old roommate in college always said she never felt like Georgia was home even though she grew up here. Only now am I starting to understand that feeling of belonging somewhere else. In my case, it’s in the suburbs of The Peach State.
- Invest in a good mattress. I decided to use the mattress from the girl who lived in that room before me. It was convenient because neither of us wanted to deal with the hassle of transporting a mattress and box spring. Although it’s a fine mattress, it didn’t fit my preferences, which affected my sleep for a good bit. It took about a month and two memory foam mattress pads to get that bed into a decent state. During those sleepless nights, I definitely learned that having a good mattress is a HUGE must.
- Getting adjusted is easier when you unpack everything. When I first moved in, I made it my goal to unpack everything within the first week. It was tough and left a mess in my room, but I wanted to make my new apartment feel like home as soon as possible. For the first few weeks, everything kept moving around until I found the best place for it, but it was helpful to see all my furniture, decor and personal items laid out. Everything has found it’s place now, and I couldn’t be happier.
- Declutter your old memories. I am somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to random things that remind me of good times, but when I moved into my apartment, I realized that I don’t need to keep everything – especially things like the packaging that my first perfume bottle came in. I ended up throwing out a lot of items that were truly pieces of clutter, but I kept things like notes from friends or art projects that I am proud of. Just realizing that you don’t have to keep “things” to keep “memories” was a game changer for me.
- Being in a new place is hard. I miss having my friends around. I never realized how much I needed people until I moved. For a good bit of time, I was terribly sad every time my boyfriend had to go home, and I would feel all alone in this apartment – even though my roommate was right across the hallway. When I have guests over, I’m always wishing they could stay just a little bit longer, just to help make this apartment feel a little bit more like home. I know it takes time to adjust, so I am looking forward to exploring this new area and meeting new people.