Moving Out for the First Time – What Do I Need?

Last week we shared this post about the financial side of your child moving out. Now we’ll explore what items to get and where to get them.

First, make a list of everything your child might need, which will often include everything from dishes to towels to furniture.    I would suggest that you go through each room in your house and make a list of what your child needs and what you are able to give him.  For example:


Room Johnny Needs Johnny Has I Will Donate
Kitchen Plates and bowls Nothing 4 plates and 4 bowls
Glasses Nothing 4 glasses
Linen Closet Towels 2 towels 1 towel


Go through each room in this fashion.  When I (Sharon) moved out of my parents’ house, I had very little, and your child may well be in the same situation.    Don’t feel that you need to provide the best of everything to them as soon as they move out –nobody gets to have a new house and new furniture without working for it.  (I didn’t get a new couch from the store until I was about 40 years old, and I’m not kidding.)


Your child can buy additional items as he can afford them. If you can, it’s great to provide the basics.  If not, there are lots of other options:

  • Thrift stores and dollar stores are great places to get affordable miscellaneous kitchen and housewares
  • For upholstered furniture, where bedbugs are a concern, you might know some who wants to get rid of furniture as well as other household items
  • Check out websites like Kijiji – you can often get good deals on used items – sometimes you can even get them for free.
  • In the summer, we all know how popular yard sales are. Remember to negotiate.
  • Consider cheaper alternative items. I wish I’d known that a good inflatable mattress can be just as comfortable as a regular bed, for a fraction of the cost.


The above tips will help you save money on what you buy, but you save even more money when you don’t buy anything at all. I, (Meena), regret a lot of my purchases when I first moved out. In hindsight I’d buy a lot less and wait until I actually needed an item before I purchased it. It’s too easy to end up with a lot of stuff, and as a young person there’s a good chance you will be moving often.

Don’t worry if your child doesn’t own much until they are well settled, and even then, being picky about your belongings can be beneficial.

How did your first move go? What did you buy? What do you regret buying or not buying?


Co-authors: Sharon Skwarchuk and Meena Kestirke

Leave a Reply