As Spring finally arrives and the temperature edges it way from Baltic to Chilly, that can mean only one thing: The end of your halls contract.
It’s almost time to start packing up a year’s worth of stuff and moving (temporarily) back to the real world.
If you do it right, moving out of halls can be a breeze and it can set you up for a great time in your second year at uni. Do it wrong, however, and it’ll be an absolute nightmare with halls managers chasing you with extra cleaning bills.
To help give you a headstart over everyone else, we’ve knocked up six tips for people moving out of halls. And if you’ve got any extra advice, send them in on Facebook or Twitter!
#1 You’ll miss it
Living in a box with twelve strangers, two kitchens and one shower.
On paper, it’s a recipe for a terrible reality TV show. In reality, it’s awesome.
So, while you might feel ready to live somewhere a bit classier, you’ll definitely miss your halls’ experience.
Never again in your life will you be able to plan, arrange and have a party at three minutes notice.
Never again will you live so close to uni that you can walk in wearing your PJs.
Never again will you have your meals cooked for you, your home cleaned for you and your bills handled for you.
Soak up your last few weeks because they’ll stay with you for years.
#2 Make plans for next year
Good flats get snapped up seriously quickly. I’m talking listed on Rightmove at ten in the morning and let by midday!
If you want to find yourself a good flat at a good price, start looking now!
Rightmove, Zoopla, CityLets, PrimeLocation, SpareRoom, OpenRent, RentRight, StuRents and Gumtree. Get on every single website that advertises flats to let and, where possible, set up instant alerts for new flats.
Also, make sure you and your flatmates have your deposit ready. If you’re offered a flat, you can’t really ask the agent to wait around while you punt your guitar to Cash Converters!
Oh, on a similar note, get references in writing or get agreements in place for someone to write them quickly.
Most landlords letting to students will want some sort of assurance that you’re not a bunch of Skins-inspired youths pining after the loss of the Arches and determined to make your own fun.
Of course, you aren’t…
When that flat comes up, you’ve got to be the first through the door with everything you need ready to snap it up.
#3 You can move out in phases
Leaving everything to the last minute might work for essays but it’s a recipe for disaster when packing up and moving out.
In your final few weeks, box up some unused stuff and send it onwards to wherever you’re staying this summer.
When your final day arrives and everyone else is running around like a headless chicken between Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and ASDA to beg, borrow and steal spare boxes, you can sit back, have a beer and feel super smug.
#4 Keep, store, donate, throw
It’s amazing how much stuff you acquire during your first year away from home. In eight short months, you’ve turned a pristine white room into an Aladdin’s Cave of random pub quiz wins and charity shop finds.
If you’re anything like me, a load of your treasures will have never actually been used. It’s stuff that you never really needed and, if we’re being honest, should never really have been bought in the first place.
Work through everything you have and put each thing into one of four piles: Keep, store, donate or throw.
- The Keep stuff is anything you’ll need over summer.
- The Store stuff is anything you want to keep but won’t need until September.
- The Donate stuff is anything in good nick and fit for the charity shop.
- The Throw stuff is anything you couldn’t even give away for free.
Be ruthless when you’re sorting and cut out as much rubbish as possible.
Do you really need that tatty poster for Zoolander 2? Have you ever opened that student cookbook? Do you need two novelty Hawaiian shirts?
Actually, do you really need any Hawaiian shirts?
#5 Get cleaning
Most student halls will invest in a deep clean before welcoming their next batch of residents. Sadly, that doesn’t mean you can leave behind all your rubbish.
Some halls will go to town with excessive cleaning fees, tacking on chunky charges if your room doesn’t look like a surgical lab.
Spend a couple of hours hoovering, cleaning and scrubbing so your halls can’t take you for a ride when you leave.
#6 You don’t have to take everything home
A year is a very long time and you’ve probably acquired a lot of stuff since you arrived as a fresher back in September.
Charity shop shirts, traffic cones, novelty pub quiz prizes. The usual sort of stuff.
Now, you could box all of that up and drag it back to your parents for summer but that’s a whole lot of unnecessary effort.
Instead, why not whack it in a storage unit for a couple of quid a week and pick it back up in August?
Jump over to our Student Storage page to see how it works.