So the paperwork has been signed and the flat is almost officially mine (waiting for the solicitors to reopen on 5 January). What on earth do I do next?! Here are the things on my list so far in no particular order…
The small process of carting all my belongings down one flat of stairs then back up some other ones is somewhat less small than when I moved into my first student room and even then I managed to fill up a Renault Espace.
Since then I’ve a) persuaded my Dad to drive a borrowed van and move all my things including some furniture into my next student house when I wasn’t even there (what a legend that man is), b) forgotten how I moved into my last flat and c) got my very helpful friend and his very helpful large car to move me and my stuff into my current place. To be fair on that move I also carried crates of stuff on the bus over the period of a few weeks – turns out carrying a crate of baking equipment on a bus will get you weird looks from strangers.
This time I’m getting in the pros. I have too much stuff, too many stairs and too little patience to rely on the kindness of my friends (let alone do it myself) so I’m getting movers. Now I know roughly when I’ll be moving I can get some quotes and book something.
Closing linked to moving, I need to get rid of stuff. My new mantra is ‘do I like this enough to carry it up the stairs at the new place’.
Last time I moved it was out of a flat I’d lived in for seven years which meant I’d accrued quite a lot of stuff I didn’t really use so I cleared out bags and bags of stuff.
Most of my unwanted things end up at my local Oxfam shop (though I do struggle to come back out again without having bought something else…) where their Tag Your Bag scheme means they can reclaim Gift Aid on sales of donated items.
Despite my big clear out a few years ago I’m still managing to find other stuff I don’t need any more.
If you’re looking for tips to declutter you should check out Unclutterer.
Redirect my post
There’s a thrilling subheading right? I made a big list of organisations to notify about moving house last time I moved so letting them know about the change of address should be fairly easy if boring but a postal redirection will catch any I’ve missed.
Ooo and I get to finally send out my change of address postcards yey!
Clear out and clean the new flat
The new place comes with all the furniture included which isn’t very common. I’ll be keeping some of it, giving other bits to friends and donating the rest to charity.
As the flat has been empty for over a year it could also do with a bit of a clean and some fresh air.
Do some basic work to the new flat
I’ll be doing up the flat as my time and budget allow but I want to do some basic stuff while there is no furniture in it.
I’m going to paint the wallpaper white in every room as it is cheap and should brighten the place up while I work out if I’m brave enough to try stripping the wallpaper and what colour to paint it (with grey being my obvious first choice!)
The heating doesn’t work at the moment so that’ll be a priority too. I’m still trying to decide whether to get the old system repaired or put in a new, more efficient system.
I also want to get the electrics looked at (so fingers crossed they don’t throw up anything scary/expensive!)
Take some time off work
All of this will take up some time but luckily I can take time off work to put in some full days of cleaning/painting/packing/unpacking.
Sort out utilities
There isn’t a connected phone line at the flat but hopefully that’ll be easy to resolve as I’ll want an internet connection sorted ASAP – I can’t go too long without a good cat video.
I’ll also need to switch over the gas, water and electricity into my name. I love that those came second on my mental list to an internet connection though.
Buildings insurance is included in the service change on the new flat so that’s one less thing to worry about.
I also need to tell my current providers that I’m moving (including getting a refund on the unused bit of my TV license) and moving my council tax info over.
Start making a proper plan
Even though I have my epic to do list it is a little light on detail, schedules and budgets. None of the things I want to do are particularly urgent beyond the heating and kitchen but it would be good to roughly plot out what I might be doing when so I can get organised (and start saving).
Try to avoid the January sales
I already have too much stuff (see above) and I have enough furniture and things for the new place but I still find myself looking at things and thinking ‘yes that would be great in the new flat’. NO JO YOU DO NOT NEED MORE PHOTO FRAMES. STEP AWAY FROM THE COFFEE TABLES.
Be very grateful
In all the Pinterest excitement and phone calls to solicitors it is very easy to forgot how very lucky I am that I can buy my own home. I’m very grateful to my parents who have helped out financially and by answering my (often fairly stupid) questions about the buying process.
I know I am lucky to have somewhere suitable to live at all. Brighton has seen a big increase in people sleeping rough and I know there are thousands of hidden homeless and people living in unsuitable accommodation.
Photo by TheMuuj