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.
In 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!
Shortly 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…
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!
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?