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Moving tips: Leaving home for the first time

If you're leaving home for the first time, follow some of these tips to make the move easy.

If you're leaving home for the first time, follow some of these tips to make the move easy.

You've been living at home your whole life and now it's time to fly the coop. But living on your own is an entirely different experience than living with mom and dad. You'll have more responsibilities, and there are bound to be a few moments of uncertainty as you adjust to your new surroundings.

There are a variety of reasons people leave home. For many people, college provides the first truly independent experience of their lives. If this is your primary reason for striking out, there are a few things to consider. First of all, don't take too much with you. Over the course of the year you'll likely accumulate enough stuff to merit hiring a moving company to get it all home, but for now, keep it simple: clothes, books and dorm room/apartment necessities like lamps, computers or small kitchen appliances.

Stress can have a serious impact on a person after he or she leaves home for the first time. College students may be familiar with the "freshman 15," which refers to weight gain experienced by first-time students. This isn't just a result of late-night pizza parties and too much cheap beer - stress can cause weight gain or loss. One way to cope with this is to make yourself a food schedule. By making sure you eat well, you can avoid putting on the pounds and keep yourself healthy.

Whether it's a move to college or just time to get out of the house, many people aren't fully prepared for the responsibilities of living on their own. Take some time before you head out to collect information about your new life. Figure out how to register with the gas and electric company. Decide whether you'll want cable and internet in your new place and shop around for prices. Living with parents affords you the stress-free opportunity to prepare - once you're on your own, you'll need to have things figured out quick.

Most people wind up living fairly close to the town where they grew up. If your new digs are down the street from the old homestead, stop by and say "hi" to the folks once in a while. This can help ease the moving transition not only for you, but for them as well.