It really is a superpower, this whole adulting thing. I remember wanting so badly to grow up and move out and be independent. Not until I actually did the deed and moved out did I realise how hard this shit is! Can I be a child again pleaseeee??
My first flat was an actual disaster. I was in such a hurry to move into it, that I didn’t stop to think that I might encounter any problems with my middle aged, male flatmate. That quickly changed when I realised he lied to me about a good many things (such as smoking in the flat), and was in fact, a strangely disturbed individual (putting this lightly here, guys). I moved out after a month into the flat of my dreams, with a fabulous flatmate who I am still in contact with. I think it was partly the flat and partly that he made me feel so welcome that really fixed the first experience.
Lo and behold (I’ve been wanting to use that phrase for a while), I was home!
I have now been living in this flat for over a year, with a new (and just as great) flatmate and I feel I have it all down on the adulting department (except for the occasional meltdown).
So! Let’s get on to adulting – a few tips I have for those starting out in a new flat (whether it be with a flatmate or not!):
1. Drains and Ceilings. Not even joking that this is my number one tip – when you start flat hunting, flush the toilet, turn on the shower head, ask about the boiler for heating water, turn on every sink. And don’t forget to look up at the ceiling! Make sure there is nothing falling off and no wetness or peeling allowed. These are signs of decay and bad drainage. And trust me, you do NOT want to have to wake up in the middle of the night after a pipe burst and both your flat and your neighbour’s flat is drenched.
2. Bills and More Bills. Make a bills folder, where you store every single bill you get. I prefer to physically have this folder, since most of my bills arrive by post – but you can always either scan your bills to a computer folder or ask to have them emailed to you. The important thing is to have them all in one place and keep track of who paid what and when (especially when you have a flatmate!).
3. Budgeting. Hell, this probably the best way to get your shit together. If like me, you enjoy buying clothes, shoes and just useless bric-a-brac, this is for you. My tip is to set yourself a weekly budget and take it out in cash – this way you can only spend what’s in your wallet. Keep track of what you are spending with any budget app, I use an iPhone app called Spending and it’s great! Even if it’s just a pound, put it down. Put the rest into a savings account. You never know when you might need it (or maybe you do and you’re saving up for something specific).
To curb my shopping impulse, I give myself a monthly shopping budget as well. If the item I want is more expensive than what I allocated, I will wait till next month so that the shopping budget multiplies.
4. Cleaning Schedule. Honestly the worst and most important. Otherwise, you will end up either a) not cleaning at all and living in shit, or b) cleaning up by yourself while your flatmate watches TV. Trust me, this is the most painless way.
5. Rent. Set a day when you pay your rent. This depends on your landlord as well, but mostly you can reach some sort of agreement from my experience. As long as you always pay them on that day, they are usually fine with it. That way you never forget and you make sure you have the money before that date, rather than scrambling at the last minute to find the cash.
6. Decorating! Make sure you are allowed to paint the walls/drill holes/put up shelves etc. and…. begin! Try doing some research (Pinterest and Instagram are just the thing for this) and then set a budget for it. You can always DIY things, or rope in some friends to help you with it. Hang things up, paint flowers on the wall – do whatever you want, because it’s your flat and you’re a real life adult!
Living alone is honestly such a great experience, and it really gives you the independence to do what you like when you want and how you want. It also teaches you a lot about life and prepares you for almost anything!
Hope you enjoyed my tips and found them useful!
I’d love to know what you thought in the comments below. Is there anything else you would add to this list?