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10 Tips for Moving Out of Your House

It's exam season, so I'll forgive you for not wanting to think too much about the stresses of moving out right now. The start of a great summer might feel like a lifetime away, but really it's not too far on the horizon, and there's a lot you need to think about and prepare for.

It's exam season, so I'll forgive you for not wanting to think too much about the stresses of moving out right now. The start of a great summer might feel like a lifetime away, but really it's not too far on the horizon, and there's a lot you need to think about and prepare for.

So put the books (Facebook) away for a couple of minutes and swot up on the art of relocation as a student.

It's safe to say that moving out won't be without its difficulties but there are a few ways (10, actually) to make the whole process run just a little bit smoother. And before we start, it's worth pointing out that unless you're willing to engage in some hardcore parental bribery, this moving out malarkey is all down to you.

1. Defrost your freezer (and pathetic meal time)

Now's the time to stop heading to the supermarket every other day and start enjoying using up those six-month old fish fingers and peas dwelling at the bottom of the freezer.

Once you've managed to gorge your way through all the contents of the fridge and freezer you'll need to turn it off and allow it to defrost. Put a towel on the floor and leave the doors open!

2. Cancel and settle energy bills

Possibly the easiest task on this list to check off, but also one of the most overlooked. Failing to pay up and cancel your utility bills can be very, very costly. You'll be paying after you've moved out, and be rapidly mounting up interest and late payment fees because you won't be receiving the letters. Oh, and you probably won't get your deposit back until it's settled.

The problem here is that someone in the house needs to be responsible for requesting the final bills, otherwise none of you will do it. Note down all of the meter readings on move out day and then give the suppliers a call to request your final bill, which should be forwarded to another address! When the bill comes through make sure all of your housemates have paid up.

3. Deactivate the phone line

Much like your energy bills, if you don't want to be overcharged for your phone line rental make sure that you ring up to deactivate your account.

The same goes for the internet and any TV subscriptions you might have too.

Worth knowing: some providers will want you to give a month's notice to cancel the contract so make sure you do it early to avoid paying for something you won't use.

4. Set up your new bills A.S.A.P

Whilst your focus is on bills you may as well organise utility providers for your new abode. If you've done it before you'll know how long it takes, especially phone and broadband which can take up to six weeks to be activated.

Assuming you have your new address, round up your new housemates and try to set up your landline and broadband around a month before actually moving in. Your water, gas and electricity can be set up once you move in.

It may seem like a lot of hassle when you could be out enjoying the great British summer, but it shouldn't take long. Check out this student bills guide which makes the whole process a doddle.

5. Get organised with your packing

I don't want to tell you how to suck eggs but packing is a fine art, a skill honed over many years.

It's always best to start sorting out your stuff in batches early on, and try hard to break the emotional attachment of any tat you really don't need anymore - like that crumpled Che Guevara poster.

Once you've got your stuff organised, you'll need to find some sturdy boxes to transport it in without it all falling through the bottom.

6. Decide how to transport everything

Whether you're moving straight to your new place or living it up with the 'rents for a few months over summer you'll need to decide how to shift your gear.

If you're lucky, your parents or a friend might help you out. But if you can't find/beg/bribe anyone to do it for you then it's worth checking out the options. It might be easiest to arrange a parcel collect-and-deliver service or, if you're a frustrated wannabe white van driver, renting a van for the day.

7. Clean like crazy

You can't keep putting it off - you and your housemates will have to clean the house at some point (if you want your full deposit back anyway).

At great risk of sounding like your mother, make sure you don't forget the hidden spots. Spots like: the skirting boards, behind appliances, down the back of the sofa (a real hit-and-miss treasure hunt), under your bed and inside the oven. These are the classic places landlords will be looking to squeeze deposits out of students.

8. Redirect your post

All year you have probably been cleaning your post box of other people's mail. Guess what? They forgot to redirect their post and might be missing out on the latest pizza offers (among other things, like debt collector notices) that are being posted to them.

The best thing about redirecting your mail is that it's actually really easy. Just head over to the Royal Mail website and they'll handle it all for you. Sorted!

9. Expect things to go wrong

Unless you're perfect (and I salute you if so) there are bound to be a few hiccups, both in the run up to and on the day of moving. I'll never forget my personal nightmare of being the last one to leave and locking myself out of the house in just my underwear (please, don't ask).

It's easier said than done but just try to remain calm and overcome each problem as it comes. Don't just run away to the pub.

10. Sit back and enjoy your (empty) flat/halls/house leaving party/drinks

Ok. So this isn't really a moving out tip, per se, but I just wanted to include it as a little motivator.

After following all of these tips your moving out day should be much less stressful. So kick back in an unfit cardboard box and enjoy yourself while you watch your student neighbours struggle and fret over whether they'll ever be able to move out.

Just remember to take those meter readings (and put some clothes on) when you lock up for the last time.

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