Life moment interview: Cohabiting for the first time
Josh Morris is a Digital Executive from London, who has just moved in with his girlfriend – the first time he has ‘co-habited’. We asked him a few questions about his recent move, and we’ll offer you some tips based on his experience.
Tell us a little bit about your recent move
I have been living with my parents in East London, and felt ready to move out of home and take on some responsibility. The perfect house became available in South East London, and although my girlfriend and I weren’t looking to move in together, the best way to afford the move was to share the room.
How did you come across the house?
The house is owned by a friend, who recently renovated the whole place. He was looking for someone to move into one of the rooms, which I jumped at the chance to do because it felt like the ideal home. There was also the huge benefit of not having to sign a contract, and not having to put down a deposit. This is what made it viable – at the time I didn’t have a job, so I was finding it difficult to save for a place to move into.
Ideally, even though we knew we wanted to live together in the near future, my girlfriend and I would have liked to have moved out of home into separate houses with friends first, however this opportunity was too good to miss. It has five bedrooms and two bathrooms, and there’s six of us living there. The fact that the house is filled with great people and friends has lessened the ‘seriousness’ of us moving in together.
How did the move go? Did you find it stressful? Easy?
I was really lucky in that it all went so smoothly. The house renovation took longer than expected to finish, so by the time we could move in, we were all ready to go. We used Zipvan for the move, which made the whole process really easy.
What were the main problems you faced?
The house was already furnished apart from a few bits and bobs so we had minimal problems. However our mattress was not delivered on time, so we spent the first couple of nights sleeping on a single mattress on the floor, which wasn’t ideal. We also didn’t have curtains for the first month or so. It took us quite a long time to decide what we wanted and then to actually go out and buy them.
Did you leave lots of your stuff at your parents’ house?
When I packed up my room I realised how much stuff I had accumulated over the years. There were a lot of things I wasn’t ready to part with, however I knew I needed to streamline my possessions as we had to fit two people’s stuff into one room. I ended up leaving quite a bit at my parents’ house while I decide what to do with it – however I don’t think my mum is very happy about that!
If you move again, what would you do differently?
I think I got lucky this time round and didn’t have to go through all the usual processes of moving. This is still something that I’m going to have to experience and learn from.
Using Josh’s experience, here’s a few tips that we can offer you if you find yourself going through this same life moment:
• Moving out of your parents’ home for the first time is never easy, especially in London where rental prices are huge. Consider splitting the space to split the costs. Even if it’s a temporary solution while you save a bit more cash, you could share your room with a partner or even close friend with two single beds. You can buy room dividers that will give you the extra privacy you need.
• Property sites aren’t the only place you can find a new home – ask around your friends, or on social media to reach friends of friends. If you’re co-habiting, this will give you twice the amount of people to ask so if you both keep your ear to the ground, this is where you could find some of the hidden gems.
• Moving is a great opportunity to de-clutter, especially when you’re moving in with your partner, as you’ll have just half the space. You don’t have to make any quick decisions to throw stuff out; store some bits at Big Yellow Self Storage until you’re settled in your new home, to give you the time decide on what you will and won’t need.