COVID-19 has had a grand impact in every aspect of a person’s life; this includes school, family, work, health, and a variety of other spheres. As this world adjusts to the new norm, we can not run and hide from it, nor can we stop living our lives. While yes, it may be significantly more challenging or scary, the choice must be made to live life as fully as possible regardless of the ongoing situation.
What I’m going to be focusing on is the role that a home plays. A home can be defined as a person or a place, but is dependent on each individual. Today, I will talk about the physical, a place. Planning to move is a long process and whether it be moving out of your childhood home or from one apartment to the next, there are a multitude of things that need to be taken into account. Let’s start by discussing why you’re moving out. The reasons are never ending. Personally, I wanted to be more independent from my parents and be closer to school. This brings me to my first point.
It’s essential to look at lots of places before deciding where to live. If it’s a home and you’re looking to buy, I suggest looking into a realtor but if you’re a student like me, just keep your options open. Ads are posted everywhere so there is no shortage. Start at Facebook marketplace or even just searching the general area you want to move to. Some steps you can do to make the search even easier is to determine the minimum amount of bedrooms/bathrooms and a maximum budget, then you go from there. Next it’s smart to take some tours, see the place in person to can get a feel for what will be your new home - trust your gut and make sure you feel comfortable. Once you go through this process and decide on the place, discuss any questions that you may have with the landlord before committing.
The next thing to do would be to create a budget. In this include all of your monthly fees; the best idea is to make a spreadsheet or get an app (like Mint) to track your spending. On here, list your phone bill, utilities, rent, groceries, transportation, tuition, and other monthly bills you may have. This way you can keep track of all your necessities and start to plan the part of your budget that includes fun. Limit yourself and save money but don’t stop doing things you enjoy. Budget for maybe going out to just two movies a month instead of three, or for a weekly dinner out to treat yourself. The key is to list not just what you need for necessities, but also the money left that can be used for fun, while still saving money for the future. Things are so uncertain in these times that saving is indispensable.
Another crucial item when moving out is to take into account who you want to live with. Living alone is great and a luxury, but also expensive. You could get roommates and find them online or through postings, or get a couple of friends to move out with you; exciting, I know. This is the option I took. It’s important to choose roommates wisely and while living with your best friends would be amazing, can you tolerate actually living with them? If you hate messes, make sure the friends you move out with tidy up after themselves. If you’re in school or doing work consider if they will distract you, or support you on your road to success. A small disagreement could end up ruining your friendship, no one wants that. A great precursor is to travel with friends you’re considering moving out with; this way you know if you can spend a significant amount of time with them. Additionally, set ground rules! Make sure you’re comfortable in your own home - talk about significant others and visitors in general, private space, and all other things that are important to you but listen to their wants and needs as well, compromise is key.
Following the arrangements of finding a new home, creating a budget, and the previously listed items comes the actual moving. Consider what is essential for you to bring and what you can realistically leave behind. Moving out became the perfect opportunity for me to purge my closet and get rid of all the things I rarely wore, and cleaning my room in general. I used the Marie Kondo Method (a short series on Netflix and a great watch if you’re going stir-crazy). After completing this deep cleanse, I sold clothes online and donated the rest to Goodwill. The books I no longer used I put in a box, donated, or gave to others. This is a great way to make a little extra money before moving out and clear up some clutter.
Using the extra money, I invested in buying some decor and necessities for my new place! Firstly, make a plan for how you want your room to look - Pinterest is a great place to start. Compile some photos of what you like and what you want the vibe of your room to be. Since where I'm moving is quite new and modern, that’s what I'm going for. With that, I also want it to be cozy. To execute, make a list of everything you want in your room and check off what you already have. Then, buy the remainder with the money you've made and start decorating! Use that inspiration board you created and make the place your own. You can pick a colour scheme, a theme, or even just the overall feeling you want to experience in your place. Make it your own and don’t be afraid to be adventurous. The most important thing to do, is to start.
Lastly, say goodbye to your old home. Take a moment to reminisce in the memories that were made. Thank it for being the space that allowed you to feel safe or flip it a bird if that just wasn’t the place for you. Overall, just remember to take a leap of faith. Times are scary, but don’t let it stop you from living your life.