The first time I moved was to a different city. In 2012 I moved out of my parent’s flat to student accommodation for University on the other side of the country. Moves 2-4 were flats I shared with other students, and I moved for various reasons (mostly crappy landlords and mould) but that’s another story. Move 5 was my shortest stay, staying for just over a month and having to look for house number 6 due to extenuating circumstances.
In August I will be leaving house number 6 to move into a flat I will share with a friend. Lucky number 7, eh?
As I contemplated yet another move, I began to think about all I’ve learned after living in so many places in such a short period of time. Surely I must have learned something, right?
- Moving is not fun. After the 3rd time it gets a little dull. If it had been in my power I would have much rather have stayed in the same place for at least a few years. Sadly friends move away and some houses are so awful you just have to get out of there.
- It’s important to keep on top of your cleaning throughout your lease. You’ll thank yourself when close to moving day. If you’ve kept on top of your hoovering/mopping/surface cleansing etc. it will take you a lot less time when you scrub last minute in hopes of getting all your deposit back.
- Don’t settle. In my 3rd year of University, I lived in a flat that can only be described as derelict. The walls were mouldy, the shower was poor at best, the hall was crawling in woodlouse – you get the idea. We’d jumped at the first place we could get because it was cheap and we were excited. In this economy there are more flats out there than potential tenants, so please be picky. Or you might regret it.
- OPEN YOUR WINDOWS REGULARLY. It will prevent mould and your flat will have a nice clean smell.
- Be careful who you choose to live with. No matter how much you love your friend, you might not be compatible flatmates. Do they like everything clean? Are they more casual? A complete slob? Find out. You don’t want a nasty surprise or to be in a situation where your habits put your friendship in danger. Also be careful about people who advertise for flatmates on sites such as gumtree. General stranger danger warnings aside, you don’t know them and they might leave you high and dry when it comes to bills or violating the lease you only signed a month ago…
- It’s good to have regular clear outs. Every few months or so look over your clothes, books, CD’s etc. and decide what you could do without. I regularly cull my bookshelf and wardrobe as from moving so often I’ve learned to dislike clutter. Moving is a lot easier when you only keep the things you love or need.
- Keep your sentimental items where you can see them. Every year it’s the same thing – I go through the boxes under my bed to pack them for the move or see what I can throw out and I find them. I am a soppy individual. I keep a box of all the birthday cards I have every received so I can read them again. I keep a battered old shoe box filled with nick naks from the early dates I had with my current partner. My sister made me a photo album for my 21st birthday. I end up spending the whole day looking at them and getting emotional about all the good times I’ve had and the people I am lucky to have in my life. I always kick myself for forgetting I had these items as they would have been so helpful when I was feeling down the rest of the year.
If any of you are moving soon or are a fellow accidental traveller I hope some of this resonated with you or was helpful. Move number 7 will be a step in the right direction as this last year I’ve been living alone and it doesn’t really suit me.
Take care of yourself,