University: The Practicalities of Moving Out

So, you’ve got everything you need (and more – I’ll be writing a post about that soon enough), all the paperwork is complete, your overdraft is ready, student finance sorted. You’re all set to move out…or are you? There’s so many practical ‘life skills’ involved with living more independently that some may find themselves struggling.

 photo 2015-06-27 11.44.30_zpsajuau0gv.jpgIn the third week of second year, the bathroom light blew. Four girls in the house, none of us had ever changed a lightbulb. Que me standing on a chair peering at it, the lightbulb eventually smashing into the bathtub. I’ll be forever proud that I managed to sort it though!

 photo 2015-05-31 15.28.48_zps6o49plsj.jpgShortly into our second term, our smoke alarms decided to intermittently beep all day. All very well and good, until 9pm came and they decided to go off fully. And not stop. We eventually worked out which one had the fault and got it off the wall, still going… It took a knife and a pair of tweezers (and a very helpful male student next door!) to get the batteries out and the wires severed.

So, my practical tips for moving out…?

Know How to Change a Bulb

A simple one possibly, but it’s one I definitely overlooked. I can know change a bulb if I have to. It’s awkward at my height as even standing on a chair can make it a stretch. Apparently 1 in 4 Brits don’t know how to change a lightbulb – an interesting stat!

Locate Your Fuse Box

I’m currently on placement and in accomodation found on SpareRoom – I live with my landlady in a two-bed terrace, yet 11 months on am still not sure where the fuse box is. I blew the lights a few months back and just went to bed until someone came home and fixed it…
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Know What Cleans What

Generally speaking, you can’t use the same generic cleaning fluid on all materials. What makes stainless steel shine might might windows and mirrors blurry. It’s even more important if you have real marble or granite surfaces as some chemicals can permanently damage these.

Buy A Pan Stand

We’ve all done it, had a hot pan we need to put somewhere. Just remember that (especially in student housing) worktops are often plastic and DO melt. As do chopping boards…

Identify A Friendly Neighbour

I’m not sure we’d have managed to sort out smoke alarm problem without the help of the guy next door – it always pays to have someone you can rely on to sort things like that! My parents live next door to a plumber and electrician which was very handy when water started to come through the dining room ceiling a few months back!
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But it’s not all about me – here’s the top five life skills people wished they had learned at school;

  • Car maintenance (39%)
  • How to wallpaper or paint a wall (33%)
  • How to set up and pay for bills (31%)
  • How to take out a mortgage (30%)
  • How to set up a bank account (25%)

What life skills do you think are essential for moving out? Did you have any disasters when you moved away from your parents?

  • Ah love this! I had a horrendous time in my first two years of uni and the mysterious bleeping of fire alarms haunted me too! My neighbour also spend two days in the dark because he had no idea what a fuse box was :’)!


    • ninegrandstudent

      Oh gosh! I know how to use a fuse box, but I always forget to locate it until I really need it – by which time it is usually pitch black! x

  • Siobhan Rothwell

    We had the beeping fire alarm as well, just ended up leaving the batteries out until the end of the year! Safe? Probs not. Saved out sanity? Most definitely. Leave it be the next tenants problem I say!


    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m always scared to leave out batteries, we came damn close to but it turns out ours was main-wired too – and cos the battery was leaking the beeping didn’t stop! x

  • Jennifer K

    This is a great post – I’ve definitely learned a lot in my time at uni, and I somehow adopted the role of being the ‘fixer’ in our student house! Whether that was changing lightbulbs, sorting out the timers on the heating or unblocking the shower, I learned a lot of skills that don’t count towards my degree. The nice thing about rented houses though is that landlords tend to keep the manuals for all the appliances in one place- unlike at home!

    Jennifer x

    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    • ninegrandstudent

      I wished my landlords kept manuals! That said that flat I’m in this summer has done, which is a godsend as I’ve already managed to put the childlock on the hob accidentally, and reset the oven to a basic setting… x

  • Becky

    This post bought back so many memories from my time at Uni. I also couldn’t change a lightbulb when I first started but we learnt quickly! It’s crazy how we fall apart when practical things go wrong. Bless our 19 year old selves!

    Blogger & The Geek

    • ninegrandstudent

      Aha, this comment made me giggle – I definitely agree with you! x

  • How to set up and pay bills! Every school should teach that. If I moved out now to my own flat/house, I would not have a clue. I’ll have to get my parents to show me first aha! These are definitely important things to know.

    • ninegrandstudent

      Definitely! I’m moving into a non-bills-included house for the first time and I’m clueless! x