Life moment interview: Moving out of home for the first time
Meg Robertson, a PR professional from London, recently moved out of home from the first time. We asked her a few questions so we can offer some helpful tips based on her experience.
Tell us a little bit about your recent move
Over the summer I moved out of my parents’ house in Notting Hill to a two bedroom apartment in Clapham. I was really excited because it’s the first time I’ve moved out of home (apart from uni). I moved in with just one other friend, which was great because we could transform our flat into a home.
Did you find anything stressful about the move?
The process of actually finding and securing our property was probably the most stressful part. The rental property market in London moves so fast, so when you find a good flat, you have to make a decision right there and then to avoid missing out on the opportunity. It was hard to remind ourselves to not settle for somewhere not right over somewhere we’d actually want to live.
How was moving day?
I was so excited about getting into my new flat and to start exploring a new area of London. My friend and I had both booked the day off work in preparation, which meant we’d have the whole weekend to sort the place and get out and about. However, our landlord contacted us the night before and told us we couldn’t move in until 6pm. We were gutted as we were all set to go. We then only had four hours to move everything – it was a nightmare.
When you’d settled in, did you face any further problems?
When I was unpacking, it became apparent that I had way too many clothes; going from a big family home to a smaller apartment really highlighted that! Because of this, I wish I had more wardrobe space – it’s a constant struggle to try and make all my clothes and shoes fit into the minimal space I have in my room.
Did you have to do any DIY when you got there?
We didn’t have to do any painting or anything, however it was really dirty when we moved in. It wasn’t great having to move all our stuff into a dirty space.
Did you have to leave some things at home when you downsized?
I left my bed so I’ve still got a place to sleep at my parents, however there were a few bits and bobs that wouldn’t fit in my new place and my parents didn’t want hanging around.
When my brother moved out of home, he left a lot of stuff behind that my parents didn’t want, so they put it into storage at Big Yellow Fulham. This was ideal, as now I can add my old things to his lock up, such as posters and paintings that I can’t put up in my new home. I can also raid my brother’s old stuff for things for my new flat like a microwave – I’m so pleased my parents used storage rather than chucking it all out!
Using Meg’s experience, here’s a few tips that we can offer you if you find yourself going through this same life moment:
• When choosing a flat with a friend, choose a location and make a checklist of the factors that are important to you both. Try and stick to those, and this will make it easier to know what you’re looking for and come to a final decision when you see a flat.
• Before you move in, make sure you agree a date and a specific time to move in with the landlord – this will avoid any last minute surprises. We’d also recommend coming to an agreement with the landlord that they will organise the flat to be professionally cleaned before you move in.
• On moving day, check out the property before you move all your stuff in. If the place hasn’t been properly cleaned, or there’s little bits of DIY you need to do, then you can keep your belongings somewhere safe while you make sure it’s all ready.
• Wardrobe space, especially in London, is always going to be an issue. Using self-storage as your seasonal wardrobe will solve any issues of space in the bedroom. From as little as £2.85 a week, you can keep your winter clothes with us while it’s summer, and vice versa.