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6 Tips for Moving Out On Your Own for the First Time

6 Tips for Moving Out On Your Own for the First Time

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of moving out on your own for the first time. Maybe you’re headed to college, or finally moving beyond dorm life and out into the “real world” — apartments! Rent! Landlords! Electric bills! Suddenly excitement turns to dread. How the heck are you supposed to manage all those details?! MOM! DAD! HELP! Before you go running back to your childhood bedroom in your parents’ house (you’re a bit beyond those Ninja Turtles sheets, don’t you think?), read through these 6 tips for moving out on your own for the first time. With a little bit of focus and a few fairly easy tricks, it won’t seem quite so daunting.

1. Invest in a good bed

It can be tempting to skimp on your furniture purchases when you’re outfitting your first place, but even if you buy everything else second-hand or for cheap, you should at least buy a good mattress. If you’re not sleeping well, the rest of your life will suffer. Nothing makes you feel older, grumpier, and less excited about your new life than back pain and chronic fatigue. Unless you’re willing to spend time bargain hunting at your local furniture stores, you’re likely to find the best deals online. Amazon.com, for example, has mega deals on high-quality mattresses for under $300 — and if you want to go with Memory Foam, it’ll show up vacuum packed into a box on your doorstep. Your only job? Build yourself a platform, a DIY project that can be done on the cheap.

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    2. Let someone else do the heavy lifting

    Hiring movers might seem like a decadent choice, but you won’t regret it. You have enough to worry about with your move without having to figure out how to get that sofa up the staircase or straining your back with heavy boxes. A well qualified team will make your move quick, easy, and relatively painless — at least, until you have to figure out where to put all of those knick knacks you decided to take with you. Be sure to hire movers who are professional, insured, and experienced, and read their reviews on a third-party site before handing over your cash! Using online tools is a great way to prepare for your move, as it will save you time and money, and help you stay organized. Price comparison and booking tools make finding and booking a mover much easier. You can find information about movers in your area, all in one place, and make inquiries directly in the platform – no need to make endless phone calls. Most of these online moving tools let you see real reviews from past customers, too.

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      3. Learn to cook simple, healthy things

      One of the expenditures Americans spend a whole lot of money is on food. Pre-made meals, takeout, and frozen pizzas cost way more than preparing simple meals for yourself, and are generally full of preservatives or other unpronounceable ingredients that you don’t really want to put in your body. Start by getting to know your local grocery store — and stick to the periphery as much as possible. That’s where you’ll find foods in their most natural form. Make friends with the Bulk Section as well, where you can find large amounts of rice, oats, and other staples typically at lower prices.

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        There are plenty of amazing blogs out there with an abundance of recipes, all downloadable for free. ThugKitchen.com delivers clean eating with some mega sass and humor (steer clear if swear words bother you!). You can also check out Allrecipes.com and The Food Network for easy, quick and healthy recipes. Choose a few recipes that appeal to you, and master them before you worry about becoming any sort of world class chef.

        4. Ditch the fancy cleaning supplies

        All of those different spray bottles of cleaners for wood, porcelain and glass are a waste of money, and generally full of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. You can make your own cleaners for less money and sans chemicals with a few easy ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. Need to scour your tub? Mix castile soap with baking soda and scrub away the grime. A 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, wiped with a microfiber cloth, will remove the minerals from sink fixtures, the streaks from mirrors, and clean your windows. Pour baking soda into the toilet to coat the bowl, then spray with vinegar and scrub with your toilet brush. And if you’ve got really tough stains, Borax is a natural but really effective powder you can add to your baking soda-castile soap mix.

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        5. Unplug to save electricity

        There’s this thing called the “Phantom Load” – an energy draw that happens when your electronics are plugged in, but not on. That means that the electric meter is still ticking away, racking up your bill, even though you thought you were being good by turning everything off. If you’d really like to keep the electric bill down, unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. Make this easy by plugging things into a power strip/surge protector that has an on/off switch so that you can kill the electricity to your entertainment system, for example, with one flick of a switch.

        6. Make a budget you can follow

        With the technology available these days, it’s really not that difficult to get a picture of your spending habits and create a budget that will help you stay on track. You can either do this yourself by using an Excel sheet, or you can opt to use a mobile app. Mint.com is one such app that, year after year, has raked in the accolades for being easy to use and free — It links to your bank and credit card accounts to seamlessly import all of your purchases and spending. The program categorizes everything the best it can, but you can easily program it to categorize certain locations or purchases under specific budget categories. From there, you can track your spending by category or overall, set savings goals, and even get alerts if you’re nearing your budget limit. With this handy tool in your pocket, there’s no room for overdrafting or missing rent payments!  There are plenty of budget apps out there, so do your research, and choose one that is right for you. Moving out on your own for the first time is a huge milestone in your life.  With these simple hacks and tips, not only will it be a positive next step, but they will help you pave the way for future success in your adult life, for years to come.

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        Last Updated on December 2, 2018

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

        Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

        The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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        The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

        Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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        Review Your Past Flow

        Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

        Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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        Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

        Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

        Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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        Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

        Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

        We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

        Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

          Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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