Being at university is a rollercoaster of adventure, one of which is moving out of dorms and into your very own flat! I lived on campus, in dorms, during my first year of university and although a part of me is super sad that first year has come to an end, I’m also very excited to be starting a new experience!
This is the first time I’ll be living alone away from home. Although I won’t be completely alone because I’m moving in with my friend Marissa, and we’ve named our little nest, The Island. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it, and knew that we wanted this to be our home for the next two years.
If you want the real sauce about dorm life, check out this article I posted a little while back. It’s been an experience I’ll never forget and will cherish forever.
I know that moving to a new place, going to university and especially university in a busy city like London can be a bit daunting and confusing. Which is why I’m sharing this experience. Here’s everything I learnt about moving out, the search for a new place and a few other tips from a chick just trying to adult.
Here are a few things I learnt about starting the search for a flatmate and the perfect flat
First, finding the right flatmate is the key to a happy next few years. You have to be comfortable having honest conversations with the person you’re moving in with. The new place is as much theirs as it is yours so you need to be able to accept each other’s little habits (of which you will learn they have many) and respect their boundaries and privacy right from the get-go.
If you aren’t that close with your housemates, you need to be confident enough to set your ground rules. The rest will follow.
For those of you moving to or in the UK, we used rightmove.com to find our flat. You can input your area, number of rooms and price range and all the options will pop up.
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We started looking for a place about 2 weeks before we were due to move. We viewed the flat, signed the agreement and moved in within a week! We left it a bit later because we wanted to make sure we got the best option available for us at the time.
If you look too early then you risk a better one coming up later but you’d already have agreed to something else. Alternatively, you’ll find a place months before you’re due to move in, you’ll love it, and then realize the landlord is looking for someone to move in right away.
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If you see something you think you like on a website, reach out to the agents or landlord IMMEDIATELY and get more information because properties go super fast.
Make sure to visit the flat in person before deciding on anything. We only saw the one flat and instantly fell in love with it so we didn’t even bother going elsewhere but do make sure you go see the area and the house so you get a feel of whether you’ll be comfortable there.
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Plan a budget beforehand and don’t look at things above it. You don’t want to fall in love with something you can’t afford, so just stick to looking at things in your budget.
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Find out how bills work and what exactly you’ll be paying for. When we moved in, the utility providers sent us letters as the new tenants and we got to decide how we wanted to pay the bills. You can pay them monthly or quarterly or a fixed price but it’s fairly easy to figure out what’s what if you check online or give them a call.
I had to learn how to read an energy meter! Just kidding, I still don’t know how to do it… We also had to connect WiFi and it took about a week for them to send us a new router but we got a good package is not too expensive (we use BT).
Conduct a good inventory of the place before you move in (or the agents will organize it) and make sure to know what the place looked like, ie any faults before you move in.
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Don’t start packing your old place, in my case your dorm room, too late because you never realize how much things you own until you have to stuff them all into boxes.
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While you’re packing take some time to do a good spring clean and get rid of the stuff that you don’t need anymore or things that you shouldn’t really keep. I gave a bunch of my clothes to charity and ended up throwing out so much stuff I completely forgot I had.
Living in London actually inspired me to become a minimalist! I’ll tell you more here.
Once you’ve moved in and are planning what you need to buy next, plan a day trip to IKEA! Go browse the showrooms, grab some lunch in the canteen and come back to your new home with some fun new bits and pieces!
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For an extra bit of fun, while I was moving out of dorms and into the new place I filmed a video to mark the occasion. I thought maybe you guys would be curious enough to want to see it so I uploaded it here!
Click on the video below to check out a few snippets from the moving out process, and the before and after of our new home.
Thank you so much for watching!!!
Sit back, grab some Oreos, and I can’t wait to see what life has to offer us next!