We will soon be approaching the time of year where hordes of returning students descend on Sheﬃeld to move a year’s worth of drunk-purchases, vintage fair buys, and things you got with your student discount across the city, into new accommodation. I handily avoided this last year by staying in the same house for two years, but now I’m getting ready to move out and into a new ﬂat. I know from experience that moving out of your accommodation can be stressful, so here are my top tips for having a (relatively) stress-free moving day!
1) Prepare in advance. Contact your estate agents to arrange a time to drop off your old keys and pick up your new keys. Organise a day with your ﬂatmates where you all come back and clean the house in a desperate yet futile attempt to get your full deposit back. Make sure you know what time you can move into your new accommodation and what time you need to be out of the current place. If you have some time at the end of term after exams and deadlines have passed, start packing up your things early, and take as much back home with you as possible. This helps you avoid the stress of packing everything up in one day, and you can really take your time and think about whether you need to bring everything with you. This brings me on to my second tip…
2) Donate things to charity. I have a scary amount of clothes. They will not ﬁt in the small ﬂat I’m moving to, so I’m emotionally preparing myself to part with some of them (which is a big deal for someone like me who never gets rid of anything, even a Take That t-shirt I got when I was 9). If you ﬁnd you can’t bring everything with you then why not donate some of it to charity? The university is part of a city-wide “Donate, Don’t Waste” scheme that lets you donate things easily, particularly if you’re moving out of university accommodation, so I recommend checking that out. By giving things to charity you’ve made moving things slightly easier for yourself, and you’ve helped someone else – what could be better?
3) Get help. If possible, get help from friends and family. When I moved out of my ﬂat in ﬁrst year, I roped in my mum, my brother, and my (now ex-) boyfriend and we got everything cleaned and moved in a day. This year, for many many reasons, it’s looking like it’s going to be just me, and I’m already stressed. Having other people help you is good because you can each clean and pack up a different room and get the whole thing done much faster, and it’s nice to have someone to chat to while you frantically scrub skirting boards. However, having someone else there can be stressful if you’re both easily wound up, leading on to my ﬁnal tip…
4) Stay calm. As Chandler Bing once shouted in The One With The Embryos (which is arguably the best Friends episode): “would you all stop yelling in our apartment? You are ruining moving day for us!”. If someone loses their temper, it can be very unpleasant and make the whole day even more stressful. To avoid this, stay calm and take deep breaths. Take regular breaks, pack up the kettle and mugs last so you can have cups of tea while you pack. Take yourself off outside for a bit if you need to. If you fall out with ﬂatmates you’re never going to see again then it’s not the end of the world, but you should still all try to be calm and patient, and aware that the situation can be quite overwhelming for some people.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about moving out, break each task up and just focus on one thing at a time – don’t think of it as one big endeavour. Talk to people and let them know how you feel; they will be able to reassure you and offer practical suggestions. Just remember that when you’re ﬁnished, you can relax in your nice new home (but don’t think about how you have to do it all again next year).
Happy moving day!