I remember the excitement of going to Morrisons with my mum and picking out towels, pans and plates. Even purchasing my own toilet brush filled me with a buzz, purely knowing that it was MY toilet brush for MY own flat. Please don’t tell me I was the only one who got this excited over a toilet brush?
Moving out and into student accommodation is not only a scary thing, but is also an activity which filled me with a buzz. Having you own space is a daunting, yet incredibly wonderful experience. As it has been three years since I dived into the deep end of student life, I thought I would share a few things I learnt about moving out.
- Don’t pack your entire life-long belongings. Chances are, you really won’t need that particular pair of shoes or your entire DVD collection. Think realistically. I took as much as I could. We’re talking about 20 pairs of shoes, shelves full of books and DVDs; which never even got used in the end. Take enough to make you feel comfortable in your own space, but be strict with yourself too!
2. If you’re the person who would prefer to use their own cutlery/plates etc, make sure you have a set which stands out from others. Maybe get a coloured or patterned set to help people differentiate your stuff from theirs. Sometimes, people will prefer to share everything among the flat/house, but if you want to keep your stuff to yourself, people will understand most of the time. Everyone is different.
3. Stuff will get smashed. Cups, plates, mugs – you name it. Student housing floor seems to have a special gravitational pull. I have lost many a glass and pug mug to a student kitchen floor. Try not to take anything you’re too precious about. If you do take your favourite mug with you, be careful!
4. A staple in any student kitchen is copious amounts of tea towels. Remember to take a good few as they come in handy for many things. Also make sure you remember to wash them…
5. Try and find your flatmates on social media pages before moving in. You can often find Facebook groups for accommodation complexes and these encourage you to find your flatmates prior to moving in. This is a great way to break the initial ice – and a way to work out who’s bringing the toaster and kettle.
6. Get into your student accom as soon as you can to bag the best cupboards and fridge space! Nobody wants to be left with the vegetable drawer.
7. If you’re a bit of a clean freak, you might also want to make sure you blitz the bathroom/toilet before using it. Students go out. Students drink. Students are sick a lot.
8. Make sure you read your tenancy agreement thoroughly so you’re aware of what you could potentially get caught out on. One of the ways student accommodation companies make their money is through claiming damage. As soon as you move in, take photos of any damage which exists in the property. Also, most places will make you fill out an inventory, do this and put down absolutely everything you can spot. In this case, if they bring it out as you move out, and try and take your deposit for something that isn’t your fault, you have cold, hard evidence.
9. On your moving day, get there for the best time you can. Of course, if you’ve got a massive travel on the day this isn’t realistic, but parking spaces around student accommodation can often be a nightmare. The earlier you get in, the more time you have to unpack and chill out with your new housemates/flatmates (and probably mum/dad/brother/sister/auntie/uncle/long lost cousin removed twice etc)
10. While you’re living in your new place, if something goes wrong, let the landlord know. My first flat had a mould problem in the bathroom and faulty fire alarms which constantly bleeped even though they had new batteries. Our windows also broken frequently meaning they were constantly open in the middle of winter. This was a massive security risk as we were a ground floor flat. Make sure you report this as it is all about keeping you safe. If you report it, you’ve got your back covered.