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From College To The Real World

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The long-awaited day has arrived (gasp!). You've graduated from college and found a job. It's finally time to move out of your dorm or parent's home and into your own place. Exactly what do you need to take care of to make this move work? Use this clever checklist and your smart phone to take the stress out of transitioning into the real world.

To Do

Prepare ahead to ensure a smooth move.

  • get boxes -- purchase them from moving companies or other stores along with markers and tape for labeling and sealing the boxes -- and start packing in advance
  • check for leaks after water is turned on and have any leaky areas fixed before the move
  • clean the home prior to move-in date if not already clean
  • memorize the new address
  • decide what photos and artwork to hang on the walls

To Buy

You probably remember to get a bed frame, mattress, sheets, couch or stuffed chairs and dishes, but what about other furniture or smaller items? Purchase these items before you move in and live better.

  • kitchen table and chairs
  • lamps
  • bookshelf
  • desk with chair
  • entertainment cabinet for television, DVD/Blu Ray/3D player and DVDs
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • bottle and can openers
  • eating, cooking and serving utensils
  • oven mit/pot holder and dish towels
  • hangers
  • toilet plunger and brush
  • dish soap (hand and dishwasher and bath/hand soap)
  • cleaning supplies for all rooms, including bathroom
  • shower curtain and liner with rings
  • bath and hand towels
  • broom and dustpan
  • vacuum, if home is carpeted
  • basic tools -- if you don't already own some -- screws, nails, picture-hanging hardware
  • flashlight
  • light bulbs

To Call/Use Smart Phone

Whether done by a call or online, use your smart phone to get in touch with utility and mail companies at least 7-10 days before the moving date to ensure you have all utilities turned on and no mail is missed. Find out from your real estate agent or property manager exactly what utilities are used at the property and get a list of what companies to contact to set up service at your address.

  • water company
  • electric company
  • gas company, if gas lines at home
  • telephone company, if using a land line
  • cable or satellite company, depending on location
  • U.S. Postal Service address is easy to change online for just $1, but magazines and journals only forward for a short period of time. Make sure you tell friends, family and companies you get bills or other mail from -- cell phone, credit card, student loans, magazines -- your new address right away, as forwarded mail takes longer to get to you.

To Research

If you already own a lot of large items or your family bestows gifts of furniture upon you, plan ahead on how to move them. Research movers or do-it-yourself rental trucks for the best prices and availability. Reserve far in advance to ensure a truck is available when you need it. If you don't own much, ask family and friends to help you move and buy everyone dinner and pay for gas on moving day.

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