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What I’ve Learned Since Moving Out

York Minster
Unfortunately, my house isn’t as pretty as York Minster, which means you’re all stuck with this badly-angled image of York Minster instead of an accurate picture of my house. But look how pretty it is!

Almost three years ago I left the comfort and familiarity of my parents’ house and moved into a cosy (but horrible) little flat with my boyfriend. Since then I’ve moved twice, had my furniture ruined by a leaky roof, washed my own clothes on a regular basis, heard my upstairs neighbours having ridiculously loud “relations” and only burned myself five times on the oven.

Because I’m clearly a pro at adulting (lol, is anyone?), I thought I’d share some of the important (and not so important) things I’ve learned since moving out. Enjoy!

Note: When I mention “living alone” in this post, I just mean living away from my parents’ house. I actually live with another person, but “living away from my parents but with another human being” is quite wordy and makes writing coherent sentences quite difficult.

1. If you can’t see the creases it doesn’t need ironing. Fold it, put it away and watch Netflix until you forget about how lazy you are.
2. Some landlords are awful and would rather leave you in a bad situation than spend any money fixing their property.
3. Set an alarm so you know when the washing’s done. If not, you’ll forget you ever washed anything and spend four days blissfully ignorant of the damp-smelling washing in your machine.
4. Make sure any complaint you have about a rental property is put in writing, so you always have proof that you’ve mentioned it. One of our previous landlords pretended we’d never reported a problem and because we’d only done it in person it was his word against ours.
5. You don’t need a dishwasher as much as you think you do. Eventually you’ll forget the privileged life you once led and happily scrub the dishes while listening to Miley Cyrus. Well, maybe not happily, but you will stop lusting after dishwashers after about three months.
6. Buying your first sofa is the best thing you’ll ever do.
7. A shopping list and a meal plan will stop you spending £100 a week on food and throwing most of it in the bin.
8. Washing dries so much faster if you have a dehumidifier.
9. Cleaning the oven is the worst job in the world.
10. Make a separate account for paying bills, so you never accidentally spend your rent money.
11. Don’t start using the bill account to pay for takeaways or one day you’ll have to scrape together the money for your really expensive winter gas bill.
12. Always have back-up washing-up liquid so you never run out.
13. There’s no such thing as the toothpaste fairy. When the tube runs out you don’t have any more and you will have to get out of your pyjamas and run to the shop, or attempt to improvise toothpaste out of mouthwash and Nutella. Note: I have never actually tried this, so do not take responsibility for any Nutella-related mishaps or weird chemical reactions that take place when you combine mouthwash and Nutella. Just go to the shop.
14. Netflix is the best thing you’ll ever spend your money on.
15. View a property twice before you decide to rent it. The first time time is for checking whether you like it, the second is for checking whether there’s anything wrong with it. We viewed a property once and thought it was our dream home, but on the second viewing we discovered tiny fleas EVERYWHERE. Imagine if we’d just said yes after the first viewing?!
16. Human beings use a lot of toilet roll.
17. You’re not allowed to nail things to the wall in a rental property, so you have to have wobbly cupboards and bookcases all over the place. I can’t wait to own a house so I can get my shoes out of the cupboard without it almost falling over!
18. Make sure you always have enough underwear washed. Hunting through the dirty washing for “acceptable” knickers is not a way to live your life, no matter how much effort it is to put extra washing in.
19. It’s 100% acceptable to walk straight into someone’s “flat party” and tell them to turn the music off. Especially if it’s 3am and you’ve heard Justin Bieber sing ‘Sorry’ 87 times.
20. Screaming at a stranger in the corridor is not the best way to greet them, even if they did jump out from the mail boxes and scare you to death.
21. Invest in a good pair of ear plugs so you can block out the noise of your neighbours partying, drilling, yelling at each other, locking each other out of the building and having sex.
22. No matter how annoying it is, there is no socially acceptable way to tell your neighbours to quieten their coitus. Just stick some headphones on until it’s over.
23. Send regular gas/electric readings to your supplier so you don’t get any shockingly expensive bills because your estimated reading’s been wrong for two years.
24. Don’t put ten thousand pans in front of your gas meter or you’ll be annoyed every time you have to do a meter reading.
25. Colour catchers are quite possibly the best invention ever and I honestly don’t know how people ever coped without them.
26. You can be 25 years old and still have to call your dad to get rid of spiders. Yes, this actually happened once. But in my defence, I was home alone, and the giant monster was blocking my entire staircase. And it had eight moving legs and big scary eyes and… yeah you get it.

To summarise, just buy shed-loads of toilet roll, avoid cleaning the oven at all costs, and make sure you always have some kind of noise-cancelling equipment by your side. Sorted.

On a serious note though, living “alone” isn’t that difficult to get used to. Yes, I might have cried on the first night after moving, and yes, I’ve had some bad experiences, but I’m now lucky enough to have a lovely home and actually know what all the washing machine settings mean. All in all, it’s actually pretty good.

Except cleaning the oven. That’s always terrible.

12 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned Since Moving Out

  1. I think the fact that you’ve moved out and all already shows you’re a pro at adulting. Go you!

    I totally agree with #2. I’ve seen landlords where they’re like: “oh, something is broken, you go fix it”. This is where you have to negotiate in the contract.. Which is then mentioned in #4 lol.

    OMG I know that feeling about throwing produce in the bin. Happened a lot to me when I started cooking at home but I’m trying to limit myself with that. OK, When you mention about the toothpaste fairy, same goes with toilet paper fairy haha.

    I can relate about the spiders too. UGH but vacuum for the win!

  2. Cleaning the oven is the worst job in the world.

    Amen to that. lol

    This was a hilarious read. So many feels. I have been living alone for a while now so I understand so many of these.

    Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with people being loud with sex though. I might go nuts if I did.

  3. I have never used a dishwasher… I don’t think it is a popular thing in Singapore but yeah, I always use my hands to wash my dishes. Haha.

  4. I need to pay attention to number 4! My flat is slowly filling with damp, but the letting agents have said they won’t do anything about it until is actually turns to black mould – but actually, we don’t have that in writing! I’ll be emailing them straight away.

    26 was brilliant – my brother is my spider catcher, I’ll happily pay for his bus ticket and a meal for him if he comes and gets rid of scary bugs!

  5. I can relate to these:
    1. Ironing – this what I hate the most from all the household chores. I choose to just fold it away than spend time heating them just to get the clothes straight 🙂
    5. Dishwashing is on the other hand what I enjoy doing the most at home hahaha the feeling of the water dripping through my hands and skin haha so refreshing
    14 Netflix is the best! No words!
    22 I cant stress enough how I would love to complain about my new neighbors since I moved out with my partner. I got engaged months ago but I havent even adjusted to this part yet. Hahaha!

  6. I definitely relate to the whole list and while I’ve been gone from home and even my in-laws’ place since 2012 ish, I don’t regret having our own place. I don’t regret the freedom and responsibilities of renting.

    Also, you’re right. Netflix is awesome and our cell phone service is through a promotion and with a third line, pays for Netflix. But of course we pay for the cell phone service but still! Less bills is good.

  7. haha, nice list 🙂 I’m totally lazy when it comes to ironing, and that sucks that you’ve had to deal with bad landlords and loud neighbors. I’ve been fortunate on the landlord part when I used to rent, but when I lived in the apartments in college, we always had to deal with loud neighbors. I was so glad to be rid of that problem when I moved away from the campus area!

    That’s a good tip about putting your complaints in writing and on sending your gas/electric readings. Also, human beings really do use a lot of toilet paper! One time I lived with 3 other girls, and wow, we went through toilet paper so fast. On the toothpaste thing, I’ve been buying in bulk from Amazon. It helps a lot!

    Even though there’s a lot more responsibility and things to learn when moving out, I was definitely glad I did it in college and continued living away from home afterwards. It felt pretty good to be on my own!

  8. Oh my. I have never cleaned my oven… not yet anyway. I think Nick did it once? Yeah, palm it all off to the person you live with. Heheh.

    I didn’t ever use a dishwasher growing up, so when I moved out, it was just natural to hand-wash the dishes. We never seem to run out of dishwashing liquid though. I think we bought a new bottle when we thought the current one was almost through, but it took a really long time for it to get used up.

    We bought toothpaste in a two-for-one deal. That way, we avoid an emergency toothpaste run. We also keep a couple of sample toothpastes that we got from our travels. A couple of those are good for emergencies.

    Thankfully our walls are thick and insulated so I’ve never heard any of our neighbours making noise. We can usually hear if they are talking loudly and walk past the hall, but otherwise you can’t hear anything. Or maybe they are all quiet and we are actually super loud? I dunno. But I can also hear neighbours cooking or muffled talking if I happen to be walking down the hall/corridor. But it’s not like I hang out in the hall, so. 😜

    Oh my god we use so much toilet paper. Hell. I think we already used two rolls just today. Sorry but I need to poop, so it happens. 💩

  9. I still live at home with my parents, but does that mean I’m ironing? Hell naaaawwww. My mum stopped ironing for me as soon as I was old enough not to get burnt XD

    I’ve only lived out when I was at university but I’ve also had my fair share of bad landlords. I accidentally locked myself out of my room once and she charged me £50 just to open the door. A whole nightmare. We should just throw all landlords in the trash.

    This is a super useful list. God knows when I’ll ever move out, especially as I live in London, but one day! One day!

  10. I still lust for a dishwasher and I’ve never cleaned the oven. Oops. Dehumidifiers are the best though- such an underrated appliance haha. And my washing machine is so noisy it’s hard to notice when it’s finished…. I like the idea of setting an alarm though just in case. And agree that getting stuff in writing is important. And pictures! Take lots of pictures of the empty flat so you have plenty of evidence that yes, that mark/dent/hole was there when I moved in so no, I’m not paying for it….

  11. I wanted to comment on your latest blog post on the list but seems like the comments are disabled for the post.
    I totally agree on kpop being the best thing ever. 😀

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