Advice For First Time Renters

September 9th, 2016 | Breanne Eckleberry 


There is nothing like coming home from work after a long day, pouring yourself a glass of wine and looking around the house at all your belongings. My boyfriend and I are just getting used to this feeling; we have always lived with other people and this is our very first home that’s ours. While it feels amazing, it takes time before you can really start to appreciate that feeling. I have a few pieces of advice for first-time renters that I think will really help you prepare (financially and emotionally) for the moving experience.

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I’d say this is pretty accurate when you move into a new place.


Take vacation time – common sense, right? I made the mistake of only taking off the first day we moved and let me tell you, it was the wrong move. My job was still pretty new, I didn’t have a whole lot of vacation time saved up and I wasn’t sure they would approve more that 1 day off. So I took off Tuesday (moving day) and worked the rest of the week not realizing just how much needed to be done! While my boyfriend and some friends and family handled getting the big stuff all set up there was still SO much for me to do. Unpack clothes, kitchen items, go food shopping, clean … Let me tell you, if I could do it over I would have taken the entire week. No one wants to come home every day from work to boxes everywhere, rooms that still need to be cleaned and organized and not to mention a pet that was very confused. It’s not worth trying to save your PTO or worrying about not getting paid for the days you don’t have enough time for. Take the time off … trust me!

Account for extra expenses – When we were moving, we were mostly concerned about the money we had saved up for the security deposit and first months rent. While we had that extra cushion for all the other stuff we needed, we didn’t realize just how much of a cushion we would need. Always account for those extras that you didn’t know you would need. For example; when we called our cable company to move our service they wanted $199.00 to move us. Seriously? Who would have thought it would be that much…? Not me. There also ended up being a security deposit to switch the gas/electric into our names so make sure you call the utility companies and find out if there will be extra money owed there. On top of the bills, there is also all that other stuff.

When you see how much it costs to move, then contemplate moving back home.

Household supplies – When you are planning on moving, my suggestion would be to start putting all that stuff aside little by little. If this is your first home then chances are you’re not going to have a potato peeler or extra bath towels so go through room by room and make a list. We made our lists with two columns for each room … “wants” and “needs.” This really helped when it came time for shopping. Make sure to pick up all your necessities like non-perishable food items, toilet paper and paper towels, a plunger, kitchen utensils, and cleaning supplies so you have all that to move in with and you’re not stuck running back and forth to the store. Not only all that “little” stuff, but you want to make sure you have all the big stuff also; a couch, kitchen/dining table, coffee tables, and end tables, etc.

See if you can paint/clean for money off the security deposit – When we found our place the old tenants had just been kicked out. There was obviously some “clean up” that needed to be done so we talked to our landlord. We made a deal to do the painting and cleaning for money off the security deposit. We ended up only paying half of what was deducted for the supplies we needed so we saved money in the end. We also were able to paint the rooms the colors we wanted. It was extra work but totally worth it in the end!

Ask for help – I know most people don’t like to do this; we always think “we got this.” While you may “have it,” I seriously recommend taking the help you can get. You never realize just how much needs to be done until you are knee deep in it with nowhere to turn. Your friends and family are going to offer up help in the ways that they can; take it. Trust me on this one. Order them some dinner, throw them some pretty gifts and let them help you. You will be happy you did so in the end.

Group of friends moving into new home smiling
Pizza & Beer for everyone!


Wine – This is a very simple one. After a long day of moving boxes, unpacking your closet, bleaching everything before you use it and continuous bickering you’re going to need this. There is no better feeling than a glass of wine after a long day’s work.

Nothing happens overnight – If you’re anything like me you’re going to want everything done NOW. It’s not going to happen like that and things are going to take time. You are going to have boxes in your bedroom long after you’ve moved in and you’re always going to have stuff that still needs to be done. Be patient and don’t expect everything to be done right away; it takes time. A lot of time.

Honestly, moving into our very first place was probably my most stressful experience so far, but it was also the most rewarding. My last piece of advice would be to just soak it all up. Don’t let the stress and the mountain of stuff take away from the experience. This is your home and while it’s very easy to become overwhelmed, there’s no reason to. Take your time, make lists, don’t rush everything and have some patience. You’re going to just sit down one night and look around and everything will suddenly make sense. The money, the stress, the arguments … they just won’t matter anymore.


One comment

  1. We are at six years and 3 places later and it is still stresfull but as you said in the end it doesn’t matter anymore. It will ALWAYS be there! Enjoy the piece of the world you have carved out for yourself and the people you have carved it out with.

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