How to - Tips for a Hassle-Free Move as a Student
Moving between student flats can be stressful, we all know that. And for those of us, who draw the short stick in the housing lottery - and, let's face it, there are a lot of short sticks to go around - it can be an annual event. Packing your entire life into a suitcase and two boxes is never an easy task, but there are a couple of things every student can do to make sure that moving into the dream flat doesn't turn into a nightmare.
1. The key to a successful move is planning ahead. As a student, you have to be aware that you're not going to stick around the same location for too long. Even if you end up loving the place you rent first time around, get the perfect flatmates and dream landlord (unlikely), you're not going to spend more than two, at most three years there. This isn't a permanent home and it should not be treated like one. Bottom line: try not to accumulate clutter. Consider the fact that you're going to have to think of moving and/or storage for every single item you buy. And while, yes, comfortable living is a must, if you need more than a closet to store your inventory, perhaps it's time to stop buying. Think of it in these terms: a set of nice drapes to make your bedroom feel homey - yes. Five vintage editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy plus complementary set of Gandalf figurines - maybe not so much.
2. Consider your storage options. However well you manage your shopping patterns, you are probably going to acquire more things than you can realistically bring back home with you after term. All of the extra things can't stay in the flat that you're vacating. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have to pay an obscene amount for storage space, however. When in doubt, friends are always the first port of call. Perhaps you have a friend staying in their flat over the summer? Why not arrange to shove a few boxes in their closet? If all else fails, you don't have to fork out for the full cost of storage. Some storage and moving companies provide special rates for students, so research and compare the best offers. And if even that is too much, why not team up with a few other students to share the costs of storage?
3. When it comes time for the actual move, consider how many things you actually need to keep. Keep into consideration that you're probably not going to need one of each, especially if you're sharing your new place with people you know. Talk to them and maybe consider each bringing an appliance - one hairdryer, one toaster, one coffee maker. Everything else can be sold online or simply donated, if you're feeling charitable. Not only is it environmentally conscious - reuse, reduce, recycle - it also saves you a lot of time and worries when moving.
4. Boxes, boxes, boxes - most of us associate moving with a mountain of the classic brown square boxes - where do people get them though? Now, you can always buy a set of boxes right when the time comes. Or you could be a bit smarter with that. Remember the point about avoiding clutter? Scratch that. At least when it comes to boxes - saving and reusing is always a good idea. You'd be surprised at the amount of boxes a student acquires during term time - the packaging of your Amazon.com orders alone could probably house your entire set of dishes and cutlery.
The best thing you could do to make packing and moving as a student easier is just to be smart. Plans ahead, consider your consumption and never shy away from accepting help. Moving will never be a piece of cake, but with a little bit of foresight, you can save yourself a lot of stress.