It’s coming up to that dreaded time of year yet again. As we finish up with our online term three and anticlimactically wrap up with the academic year, it means that it’s now time to move out of accommodation. Here are my top tips for moving out of student housing.
Things to do before you begin packing
Check exactly what you need to do, according to your rental agreement or similar, with regards to handing in keys and how you need to leave the property. Some of you may not even need to move out completely if you are living in the same accommodation for two years in a row but make sure you know exactly what your landlord expects of you.
Wear appropriate clothing because packing can be quite physical work, and so is cleaning. This is definitely not the time for your favourite outfit, or something too tight to move in, even if this is the last time you might see that cute neighbour you never plucked up the courage to talk to.
Do all of your washing up. It’s easy to forget about this but you don’t want to be packing mouldy plates next to clean ones.
Make sure you know which things are yours and which belong to your roommates. If you’ve borrowed something from someone who has already moved out, then it’s your responsibility to take it home and post it back to them. On a similar note, if you’re living in a shared house, make sure you sort out who is cleaning each of the shared spaces. If you’re the one who loses the deposit for everyone else, it might not be the best note to leave on.
If you have any plants, water them before the car journey home. Plants are best stored in some kind of cardboard box. If you have a nice car then make sure it has a lid, because even with the most careful driver, dirt is likely to spill out.
Things to bring
Bring cleaning supplies with you when going back to move your things out. Even if it’s only your own room that you’re cleaning, it’ll probably take more paper towels than you expect. Cleaning and disinfecting everything has never been more important than it is right now.
Rubber gloves are a must. There will be something gross in your room or your shared space that either you’ve forgotten about or that everyone has collectively refused to take care of. The time is now.
You’ll need boxes and suitcases to neatly fold things, but also lots of plastic bags. There will almost certainly be a point when you give up and start just throwing things in the car – bin bags help this process.
Things to do while packing
Plan the order in which you are going to pack things up and put them in the car. If it’s a small car, then Tetris rules apply – think ahead so that you can fit things together as efficiently as possible and let’s face it, you’ll probably forget something, so make sure it’s not something important.
If you have friends or parents helping you move out, then make sure first you pack away anything particularly personal that you don’t want them to see.
Clothes should be rolled to take up as little space as possible, preferably around anything that’s particularly breakable
If you’re packing away with other people, delegate. Three people trying to clear out the same wardrobe at the same time can only end in disaster
Things to do after packing
Spray something around to make the room smell good. You know what they say, the first look is with the smell. Alongside this, it’s probably a good idea to hoover, but at the end, as moving out makes such a mess and bits fall on the floor from everything.
Lock the doors and close any windows. All of your stuff might be gone, but your roommates won’t appreciate it if there’s a break-in, and their stuff ends up stolen.
Say goodbye to the place; think about the good times that you had there, and the memories you have with your friends. Maybe take a couple of photos as, in a few years, you might not remember what the place looks like, and it might be nice to look back at where you lived when you were a student – hopefully from within a much nicer living space!