Moving out from your university accommodation can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when there’s a global pandemic causing so many uncertainties. As a final year student, this has been particularly challenging for me as I know my time in Reading is coming to an end. I made the decision to stay in Reading throughout lockdown whilst completing my final pieces of coursework and exams, unlike many of my friends. Now the time is coming for me to start thinking about moving back home to my parent’s house. I am in the fortunate position of having previous experience of moving out of my university accommodation, so in this blog I’d like to share some tips and let you know how I’m moving out!
Before Moving Out
There’s so much to think about when moving home and a lot of things can slip our mind, especially given the circumstances. I’ve thought of a few things that you will need to think about prior to moving out:
- Settling any bills – it’s really important that whoever is the account holder for the bills gets in contact with your provider to ensure that they know you are moving out. This will mean that after you’ve settled your last bill, you won’t be responsible to pay the bills. You should get in contact with Thames Water, your gas/electricity supplier and your broadband provider – this won’t take long, but it is important to do it!
- Unwanted items – it might be time to start thinking about those things that you don’t want to take home with you. If those things are in a good enough condition, you could try selling them – I managed to sell a few of my things using Facebook Marketplace. If they aren’t in great condition, there might still be someone who wants them, for this you could try giving them away on platforms such as Olio or Freegle. Remember to maintain social distancing rules when selling/giving items away. It’s important to think about this sooner rather than later to ensure that you aren’t left with a lot of unwanted items to take to the tip.
- Saying goodbye – this is particularly prominent if you are a final year student. Luckily for me, I have been able to spend lockdown with some of my friends, but I know that not everyone has been this fortunate! I’m sure many of us want to have a proper goodbye with our friends, but unfortunately, COVID-19 has other plans! My friends and I have decided to have a socially distanced takeaway pizza in an open space nearby, to give us an opportunity to say goodbye to one another – maybe something like this could work for you too?
One of the first things I’ve thought about with regards to moving home during COVID-19 is considering the logistics of how me and my housemates will move out. We all have our parents coming to help us move out, but it’s important that we limit contact as much as possible! In this case, it might be worth agreeing certain days or times that each person can move out – this is particularly important if you have vulnerable family members. This leads me nicely onto my next point – one of my bigger concerns with moving out during lockdown is how we will ensure that the house is appropriately cleaned so that the landlord doesn’t charge us unnecessarily. For me, the best way around this was to agree on tasks as a house, this means everyone will be cleaning their bedroom along with one part of the communal space – this prevents all of the work being left to one person!
After Moving Out
One question on everyone’s mind is what’s going to happen about the deposit. In my previous experience, we have completed an inventory check with the landlord and gone through what we think we should be charged for and what we shouldn’t. Obviously, this can’t happen this year due to the rule enforced by the government. In my case, upon moving out we will return our keys to the estate agent and they will then carry out the inventory check, send it over to us so that we can discuss any discrepancies and agree upon the amount that will be taken. If this is something you are worried about, I’d recommend phoning up the estate agent (or the landlord if this is your main contact point) to discuss how this will work, as they should be able to answer any questions you have.
Leaving university in this way can be disheartening, confusing and stressful, but I hope that my tips can help (at least with the moving out process)! If you need any further information about moving out, please see the following information from RUSU.