Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Moving Into Your First Flat

This isn't technically the first time I have lived away from home. While a student I spent two years in halls of residences and a year living with friends in a house. But living away from Mum and Dad when not a student is different.

First of all you have way more freedom about your space. We were never allowed to make holes in the walls in my student days, but we are here. Plus, unless you live in a house share, the whole space is yours to do with as you wish.

Here are some tips if you're looking to move out of home soon.

  • Spend money on a good bed
Getting a good bed is so important. Comfortable bed = good night's sleep. As we don't have that much storage (i.e none) we went for a divan bed with four drawers. We actually had a lot of issues with rubbish customer service from a company who shall remain nameless, we fought until everything was right, and it was so worth it.
  • Look for deals
Keep an eye out for sales and start collecting bits and pieces you'll need like glasses and cookware way before your move in date. If there's something you really want, hold on for a while and see if goes on offer. We did this with a Chromecast and got it for £20 not £30.

  • Unfurnished is better than furnished
Yes, you have a huge first expense getting everything, but it's more than worth it when everything is yours and it doesn't matter if it gets damaged. There's so much more freedom in choosing your own stuff and is the easiest way to make the place really feel like your own. Following on from that...
  • It doesn't matter if you hate your furniture
I put my boyfriend in charge of choosing a dining table and he picked an IKEA outdoor table in a horrible dark wood. I took an immediate dislike to it, and put my foot down about the matching chairs. With a week of owning it, we'd sanded it down and painted it blue. Much better. Now, it's perfect and folds up really small to give us more room.

  • Don't get too much furniture at first
Our flat is pretty cosy, so we had to be really careful about this. In the end we selected some key pieces (sofa, dining furniture, bed, desk, bookshelves) and put them in place before deciding if we needed anything else. Now we've added to it with pieces from a vintage shop that fit perfectly.
  • Wall hangings and cushions make a space
If you have a furnished place then throw all of your efforts into getting things to go on walls and cushions. You can get Velcro picture hangers if you can't nail things up. I'll be talking more about cushions later this month.

  • Budget, budget, budget
This is so important. Moving out is expensive, you will probably use all your savings just getting yourself through the first few months. Especially if you've just graduated and your job hasn't started yet. The first thing you should do is work out how much you want to spend on things and then DO NOT go over that amount. You'll regret it later.

Hopefully that's given you some advice on moving out for the first time. It's stressful and you'll realise there's so many things you've forgotten about needing to pay for. But once that's over, having your own space is the best thing ever.

What are your tips for moving out?

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