Less Obvious Things That You Need To Buy Before Moving Out

I remember when I moved in with my boyfriend out of my parent’s house, I was blissfully ignorant of all of the things I needed to buy. My mom sat down with me and made a budget, but I didn’t really think about the extra expenses that people that live on their own need to purchase.

Of course, there are the obvious things, like pots, pans, dishes and cutlery. Furniture is a must, but sometimes parents will help out with things of that nature. There were so many little things that we didn’t consider and we found ourselves scrambling to buy after we moved.

We moved out, and my parents helped us move into the basement suite that we would call home for a little less than a year. When we were all settled in, and the weeks after that, we realized how jaded we were in thinking that rent, groceries and utilities would be all we needed.

We were flat broke and thankfully my parents helped us out with some of these things. Although some of them are small purchases, all together, they add up to a lot of money.

Cleaning Supplies

You never realize just how expensive cleaning supplies are until you have to buy them for yourself. I remember being all moved in to our first place, and looking around after unpacking, incredulous as to how much of a mess we’d made. We’d tracked dirt all over the place moving furniture, dishes were piling in the sink after a long, hard day moving, and I’ve always been weary of bathrooms unless I’ve cleaned them.

A few things to note that you may need are:

  • A broom and dustpan
  • Rags, dish towels, a dish rack
  • A vacuum
  • Garbage cans, garbage bags
  • Cleaners, such as glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, solutions
  • Rubber gloves, toilet scrubbers, plunger

Organization Tools

I remember unpacking my clothes when we first moved in, and being all excited to get my belongings in their place in my new home. I cracked open the box of clothes, opened the closet, and then realized I didn’t have any hangers on which to hang my clothes.

Woops. I also didn’t have a shoe rack. The one that I had used at my parents house was, of course, the property of my parents.

We took a late night trip to Walmart, but for the ease of moving I would have purchased the following things prior to making the big move:

  • Clothes hangers
  • Shoe rack
  • Storage bins
  • Toothbrush holder, soap dish

Cables, Cords, and Modems

We had free cable in our basement suite. After a long day of moving, we sat down on the couch to turn on the TV and realized that we didn’t have the cable cord in order to actually watch cable.

It was super frustrating. We also realized that we didn’t have the internet modem yet either, because we ordered it the day before and it can take up to two weeks.

As a student, having no internet for more than a week was problematic. I managed to get through it just fine, but if I had a do over, I would have these things prior to moving:

  • Internet modem
  • Cable cord
  • Phone cord (even if you don’t have a home phone, in newer apartments, typically the buzzer is set up to phone you)
  • Extension cord
  • Power bar

An extension cord may not be absolutely necessary, however, I found that we did have to buy one eventually and of course we realized that we needed it at a very inconvenient time.

Food Supplies

Food is obvious. But there were little things I didn’t think about needing as well, until I was trying to make something and I realized we didn’t have them. These things had just always been there at my parents house. Because they were slow-use type of things, they didn’t end up on the grocery list very often. These things included:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda/powder
  •  Tinfoil and plastic wrap

Having these items would have saved me a couple of trips to the store in the middle of a recipe.

I didn’t do much research when I first moved out so I learned that I needed all of these things to keep my household running the hard way.

Did you forget to buy anything before you moved out of your parents house for the first time?


Less Obvious Things That You Need To Buy Before Moving Out — 10 Comments

  1. The one thing that we forgot when we moved out was a can opener. There is nothing worse than getting ready to cook dinner and realising that you don’t have anything to open your can of tomatoes, then going to the shop only to find them closed…

    That was a really dry meal 🙁

  2. I moved into a college dorm so they were many things for a smooth transition. In my new house we found lots of things left by the previous owner and it saved a lot of money. I thought about a basic meal plan for the first days in order not to spend too much on stocking up cupboards yet, now that the dust has settled we can have a big trip to the supermarket.

  3. I don’t even remember honestly. When I first moved out, I didn’t have much of anything except for my clothes and some small furniture items! I was super poor!

    • I agree on the fire extinguisher! You never know how important that is until you need it. In a fire, you can’t remember which one is supposed to put the flames out…powder or soda? Easy solution: fire extinguisher.

  4. When we moved, my mother had her magic hamper. It contained everything she needed for the first day (including coffee maker, cups, sugar, paper plates, utensils, plastic bags, garbage bags, cleaning products, bandaids, toilet paper…).

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