back to school moving away from home

With a new school year starting in the fall, there are a lot of families preparing for more than back to school. They’re getting ready or are starting to get ready to help their child move out of the house for the first time.

Even if you’re excited about having a new adventure, moving away from the family home can be difficult for both students and parents. You can ease the transition by choosing a few moving out essentials to make your new home feel just like the home you left.

Moving away doesn’t mean giving up a cozy bed

new bedding for moving out

Having a cozy bed is about more than just adding a pillow and blanket. Just like hotels, creating a bed that feels like home means adding a mattress cover or mattress pad, cozy duvet or comforter, and multiple pillows.

At the end of the day, when you’re exhausted from classes or homework, having a comfortable bed with beautiful bedding to fall into will make all the difference.

Set up your own kitchen

If you live in a dorm, you probably won’t need a big set of dishes beyond a few bowls and plates, but when you’re moving away from home into your own place, you’ll have to set up your own kitchen.

Choose your own set of dinnerware and cookware

pots and pans for moving outIt’s easy to take hand-me-downs for things like dishes and other tableware, but when you move out, you have the opportunity to cook and serve your food on dinnerware you picked for yourself.

If you’re living on your own, you’ll want one set of tableware, one set of cookware, and an extra pan or two just in case you’re getting creative. Don’t forget about cutlery, as you’ll need knives, forks, and spoons to prepare and serve food.

Essential small appliances for your new home or dorm room

multi cook small appliance when moving outWhen you’re moving out of your family home, you’ll need to choose a few small appliances, and when you’re just starting out or setting up a kitchen, you’ll want to choose appliances that can perform more than one kitchen task to maximize space. A toaster oven or smart oven is a must-have when you’re moving out because it can make toast, quesadillas, bake cookies, whip up the perfect, bubbly pizza, and heat up any left overs you might have.

When your new kitchen doesn’t have a lot of space, a multicooker is a great small appliance to choose. It can take on several tasks in one small, easy to store unit. Multicookers will make rice, pressure cook stew or chili, boil eggs, and so much more.

If you start your day with a smoothie but don’t have space to store a large blender in your new kitchen, a portable blender is a great option. You can find models that let you blend your drink right in the cup so you can take it with you when you leave for the day.

Coffee always starts the day

single serve coffee makerThere are a few other must-haves for anyone moving out and stocking their new kitchen. One of those kitchen essentials is a coffee maker.

If you choose a single-serve coffee maker you can have coffee, tea, or hot water in an instant. A French Press lets you make coffee in a simple carafe, but you’ll need a kettle to boil the water.

Do you need to filter your water?

There’s also your water source to consider. If you only have access to tap water in your new kitchen, you might want to bring along a water dispenser with a filter. Bucket style water filtration systems you can keep in the fridge ensure you always have fresh, contaminant-free water to drink.

Dorm room tech you can’t live without

As far as tech is concerned, moving out means there’s good news and bad news. The bad news first: when you leave home you’ll leave most of your family’s tech behind too. The good news? You get to replace the essentials with your own picks, and choosing is half the fun.

Choose a compact printer

printer for back to school

Having a small, compact printer is essential for any student moving away from home. It will help you print off late-night term papers, contracts, or scan a document when you need to.

Inkjet printers tend to be small, lightweight, and have a wide range of features that make them perfect for students. Some models have high resolution to scan photos and print off colour presentations, and you can print and copy your papers or course work in a hurry. Those of the new generation will appreciate Wi-Fi-enabled printers that work with mobile apps so you can print directly from your phone, from anywhere, and have the printed document waiting for you when you get home.

Mesh router is a must-have

Speaking of Wi-Fi, having a strong Wi-Fi signal is important for studying, working, and gaming. When you move from a family home into an apartment or dorm, you might experience lag and delay you’ve never had before because there are so many people in the area using the Internet.

When you install your own mesh router, make sure you always have a strong signal. Mesh routers have access points you can place around your new home so you can cover every area, and dual streams can prioritize the most important devices.

Media streamer streams your favourite videos

media streamer for new dormHaving a media streamer in your new apartment or dorm means you can always keep up with your favourite videos or TV shows. You can choose one that plugs into your TV and lets you stream from your phone or computer or a media streamer that adds a smart TV operating system or hub to your TV.

Smart home devices help you feel safe after moving away

There are quite a few different smart home devices you’ll want to install in your new home. Whether that’s a dorm or a shared apartment, smart home devices will make you feel safe and help you monitor your new home when you’re not there.

Replace your dorm room lock

wi-fi door lock for dorm

Students always have stories about living on-campus or moving off-campus for the first time and realizing that their landlord didn’t replace their door lock. They will come to this realization when someone opens their door unexpectedly, so you’ll want to replace your door lock with a Wi-Fi door lock.

A new door lock will help you feel safe when heading to bed at night or hanging out during the day. You can open and lock it via an app, and with a Wi-Fi lock, you’ll be able to give friends and family access codes to come and go when they’d like to.

Look out your dorm room peephole from anywhere

You’ll also want to know who’s at the door before you answer it, and that’s where a doorbell camera comes in. You can install it where your door peephole is and it doubles as a smart doorbell. If someone knocks or is outside your door, you’ll receive a notification. You can answer your door from anywhere, and it gives you an added layer of safety in case of strangers outside.

Turn on the smart lightssmart lights for moving away from home

A smart light bulb is also a great device to install in your new home. You can turn it on before you get home so you’ll arrive at a brightly lit house, or you can turn it on when you’re not there to deter thieves. Smart lights can also be scheduled so you’ll save on your power bill.

If you want to decorate your space, you can do that with smart lights too. They come in grids you can shape to create wall art with your lights.

 Control your switches from anywhere

Imagine you’re sitting in class and you realize you forgot to turn off lights or you’re wondering if you unplugged an appliance in your kitchen. When you don’t live at home anymore you can’t call your parents and ask them to turn it off, so a smart switch will be one of your favourite tech gadgets. You can turn your switch off and on from your phone, and that way you won’t wonder whether or not you left something on.

Make it cozy with home decor

farmhouse desk for new homeYou can make your new dorm room or apartment just as cozy as home when you add a few pieces of home decor. A nice desk with chair will function as a work space, but it will also look great and become an important piece of furniture when you choose one in your favourite style. There are different types of desks including vintage, modern, and contemporary.

You can also add different home decor items like clocks, throw blankets, couch pillows, and more. Even one or two different items will personalize your new space and make it your own.

Get ready to set up your new home

It’s not easy moving away from home for the first time, but these essentials will help ease the transition. You can find everything you’ll need for your first move away from home at Best Buy.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


  1. That WiFi lock looks interesting. Be careful though about just changing the locks if you are renting, some landlords do not allow tenants to change the locks.

    There are a lot of good things to think about here for students, or just anyone moving out for the first time.

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