(This is going to be a LONG post... grab some biscuits and a cup of tea!)
I moved out of my parents house August 2014. I was 20 years old and I was nervous to move into a place by myself and have all that responsibility at a young age (not that I'm old now!). It was one of the best things I've ever done. I think it's SO important to be able to live by yourself and be happy in your own company, and not be relying on anyone else. Living alone forces you to be strong and independent. If you don't clean up the pots after dinner, no one else will. If you don't buy food, no one else will. If you don't clean the place, no one else will. I LOVE that because it means I can do whatever I want with the place because it's mine!
I have a few friends who have mentioned that they are thinking about moving out recently and I know my sister is considering it so I thought I would post a few tips and images about my experience!
First things first - as soon as you know your moving date tell your friends. My best friend (Check out Annie's blog HERE!) was with me throughout the whole process and you would not BELIEVE what this girl did for me. We did two huge days of moving and carrying boxes upstairs. We also had one extra day of making furniture and 2 days of unpacking. In the end she spent 5 days with me helping me move. To find a friend that dedicated is amazing and I'm so appreciative of her for that because it was hard. You need to pick a friend who can put up with you when you get grumpy and stressy and who isn't lazy! She didn't stop once. She's super practical so she made the majority of my furniture and was generally a star. SO tip 1: grab your best friend who is happy to see you at your worst and stay positive through the whole thing!
(This picture is Annie putting my pots together because I was too overwhelmed to do anything)
Another big tip which is pretty obvious, but some people forget to do it, is to label your boxes! I moved into a flat which has 6 rooms and if I didn't label boxes I'd have no idea where to put anything when I first moved in! Make sure you start packing WELL in advanced. I say this because it really does take time. You do NOT want to take anything unnecessary into your new place, trust me. There's a lot of things that made it from my parents house to the flat and later down the line I wondered why I didn't donate it to charity and never bring it here. So as you're packing everything consider if you really want it to be in your new place. So tip 2: don't leave packing to the last minute!
(This is my room about a week before the move... no it wasn't that messy naturally, it was part of the packing process!)
Another important thing to remember during your move is to pack a separate 'moving bag'. That may sound stupid, but what are you going to do when you get to your new place and there's no toilet paper?! You need loo roll, a kettle, tea bags, mugs, slippers and cleaning supplies! Everything else can come later. When we arrived we thought that mum and I were going to need to clean the flat first whilst dad went out to buy us lunch but the previous people had left it in an immaculate condition - it was amazing. Tip 3: remember the necessities!
(This is me sitting on my Kitchen floor feeling a little anxious and reading through the pack the previous owners had left me!)
Plan out your furniture! I was moving from my parents house so obviously I had to buy all new furniture, I wasn't going to be taking any of theirs. IKEA were doing an amazing deal at the time that meant that if you spent over £200 on bedroom furniture they would let you spread the cost over 6 months with no interest. So obviously when I accounted for my mattress, bed, lingerie chest, desk, make up vanity, make up chest, shelving unit... EVERYTHING basically, I realised this was an amazing deal. The only extra furniture I bought was a table, chairs and a sofa. Make sure you look out for these deals because there's no way I would have been able to afford my furniture without that one. However, IKEA had a 3 week delivery waiting list so definitely go in ADVANCED to book your deliveries, wherever you're shopping, and not just at IKEA! This did mean that for the first day I had no sofa, but the next morning everything arrived and Annie got to work! (I did too but just at a much slower and anxious pace than her). Make sure that before ordering all of your spaces have been measured out. You don't want to buy a sofa that won't fit in your space. So tip 4: prepare for furniture!
(This is part of my living room before and after...)
Pick one room to be the junk room... some people won't agree with this point. But I picked my study space to be the room where I put things when I didn't know where they belonged. I got very anxious when I started to be surrounded by boxes, so I unpacked the obvious things and then put the 'extras' in the spare room. This allowed me to shut that door and not be surrounded by boxes whilst cooking dinner. If I'm surrounded by chaos my brain feels chaotic but this way I was able to make this a little bit less stressful. Unpacking takes a long time, it's a process because you're finding new places to keep your stuff so try and make one room the crazy one, not the entire place. So tip 5: take your time unpacking, and get the basics done first.
(This is my spare room on day two... lots of work to be done!)
Another really important one is to order your wifi about 2 weeks before you want it to be working so that you don't have to wait around. There are many things that will need to be sorted as soon as you arrive e.g. water bills, electricity bills etc so make sure before you do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that you take the water reading and the electricity and gas reading. This sounds so simple to some people but ya know what, without my parents I wouldn't have known any of it!
I hope you've enjoyed this post! It's a bit of a different one for me, but I've enjoyed writing about my experience and the advice I have. Ideally, I'd like to show snippets into some of my rooms for home decor inspiration but that may take a while because I have some work to do! I want to declutter a lot of the rooms and there's lots of walls to paint but hopefully it will be finished soon.
Love & hugs,