Living in London kind of guarantees that you’ll be renting throughout your 20s— unless you’re one of those people lucky enough to live with their parents (free food, free washing, free internet — in which case, please adopt me. Another guarantee is that you will not rent one place for your entire life—you’ll move around a bit, finding an area, a room, and people that suit you and your needs. Here are some house moving hacks that will save time and stress.
House Moving Hack One: Work out your budget as soon as possible
One of the guaranteed ways to save time and stress when it comes to moving is knowing exactly how much money you have to work with. There are numerous budgets and apps to work with, but sometimes the best thing to do is to sit down with paper and pen and get those numbers crunching. Go through your bank statements and figure out exactly how much money you have allocated for each section of your life. Do you have monthly bills? Monthly toiletries? How much do you spend on transports? Food? Do you go out a lot? Are there any loans you need to repay? Break it down category by category, and be realistic. Some banking apps like Monzo do it for you and tell you exactly what you spend monthly on different areas.
House Moving Hack Two: Figure out your essentials
Once you’ve got your budget, don’t budge from it. When looking for places, go for that exact figure. Or, if you want more money for fun, put your number £50 lower than usual. Look at places that are slightly further away from a tube station – still within walking distance, but maybe 20 minutes or so. The rent usually lessens, so you can get something that’s a bit better value for your money. Figure out what you can’t live without in a house, and stick to it. Some people can do without a living room, but after a year of living without one, it’s a must for me.
House Moving Hack Three: Put money aside ahead of time
The earlier you start putting money aside for your move, the better. Usually, you have to cough up a deposit (roughly a months rent) and a months rent. Don’t forget there may be agency fees, reference checks, you might need to buy furniture, and you have to pay for the physical moving itself. Start squirrelling away that money earlier – and it’s always good when viewing a room to let them know you’ve got enough money for a deposit aside.
House Moving Hack Four: Ask friends, colleagues, facebook, anyone
Reaching out to people is sometimes the easiest way to find a new place. Facebook groups like Kiwis in London and Aussies in London have weekly flatshare posts, where you can browse what other people have available and can say exactly what you’re looking for as well. SpareRoom, Zoopla and GumTree also advertise flats regularly.
House Moving Hack Five: Location, location, location
Before going, figure out what local amenities are nearby. I’m a sucker for a Lidl because it helps save so much money weekly on groceries. Can you get to a convenient tube line or a 24-hour bus line easily? Is there a park nearby? Is there a local sports team you can join? As a female in London, whose still figuring out which way is north and which way’s south, safety is a big thing for me. Google crime stats, or ask people who have lived in the area.
House Moving Hack Six: Go with your gut
Viewings are always awkward, it’s like a two-way interview but you know, you’ll be sharing a home with these people. Sometimes you just click with people, and sometimes you don’t – it’s just compatibility. If you feel the room and the people work for you, don’t hesitate to tell them at the viewing that you’re interested. If you aren’t, reach out to them after and let them know it was lovely to meet them, but the room isn’t for you. You don’t want to waste their time.
House Moving Hack Seven: Get everything locked down
Reach out to your current agency, get your bank statements prepped, let work know you might need them to act as another reference. You might need to scan copies of your passport, visas etc – keep a copy safe and nearby. It saves time and hassle having all of this in advance. And be prompt with your email back to the agency. They’ll mainly care that you pay your rent on time, but better to get that timeliness in from the get-go!
House Moving Hack Eight: Organise early with your roommates
That’s nothing better than a group WhatsApp chat. Ours is called The Spanish Apartment – after the movie – because we’re a multicultural bunch. But having it set up a month prior gives us time to sort out what will be leaving the house, what we can bring in, and get to know each other a bit better. And, it helps with planning move in dates and any other issues.
House Moving Hack Nine: Organise with your current roommates
Let them know you’re planning to move out on such and such date, and that you’re not leaving them in a lurch. Make sure if you’ve been sharing stuff throughout the year that you’ve got it all back, and you’ve given all their stuff back too!
House Moving Hack Ten: Do a huge clear out
The actual moving part of a move is a monumental task. Go through your wardrobe, toiletries, bookshelf, and figure if there’s anything you don’t actually need. You can sell things online, you can donate them. I’m sure there’s something in your wardrobe that you don’t need that someone else could take advantage of! It lightens the moving load. I tossed out a bunch of magazines that yeah, look cool, but are gonna break my back in a move.
House Moving Hack 11: The actual moving
Organise how you’re going to move out in advance. Bribe friends and family if you must. An Uber Van seems to be a common one, as does a Zip Car. There’s something to be said for taking a day off of work (if you can!) to move. And if you can’t, go at a later or earlier hour when there are fewer people on the streets and you’re less likely to be charged a ridiculous fare.
At the end of the day, moving will always be stressful, and will always take up your time. But hopefully with these house moving hacks, the pain will ease up a little!