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5 ways to prepare for moving into student accommodation

August's #FeatureFri article is brought to you by The Student Housing Company who provide student accommodation in cities across the UK. In this guest post, they explore 5 handy ways you can prepare for student life.

Heading off to university can be a nerve-racking experience. Securing accommodation is one thing, but preparing for the move can be both exciting and challenging. Renting a property for the first time and managing your own bills encourages independence and the opportunity to create your own student family of friends.

Don't leave everything until the last minute though. Start your preparation early and get these five things nailed down before moving into your student accommodation.

Protect your favourite things

Life without your laptop or mobile may seem pretty terrifying. Accidents happen and thefts are more prone in student areas so protecting your gadgets and personal belongings from damage or loss is essential.

Your landlord's property insurance won't cover all of your things, therefore it's important to get an insurance package tailored to you. Many insurance providers offer reduced rates for students.

Insurance isn't exclusive to your laptop and mobile though. Take into account the other expensive items you plan on packing too, for example a TV, tablet, iPod, camera, musical instrument, sporting equipment and jewellery or watches. Basic cover can also be secured for items like clothing and smaller commodities.

Sign all the right contracts

As well as signing a contract for your property, you will need to set up various bills. Check with your landlord beforehand to clarify what your rent includes. Sometimes bills are all inclusive with rent, meaning you don't need to worry about contacting external companies.

Together with your housemates, remember to set all the utilities bills in your name. Often landlords will carry over contracts for electricity, gas (where necessary) and water from previous tenants so that you aren't required to set things up from scratch.

Don't forget to also secure a strong Wi-Fi package, as well as a TV licence if you plan on taking a TV. If the property already comes with a television, make sure you ask your landlord whether this is already licensed or not.

It's worth noting that even if you don't plan on taking a TV, watching live streams through iPlayer facilities on your laptop, tablet or mobile still requires a licence. However, watching catch-up through iPlayer or films, shows and videos on services such as Netflix, Lovefilm, Amazon Prime and YouTube does not require a licence.

Pack selectively

When it comes to packing, you need to be realistic with how much you can actually take and whether or not everything will fit within your bedroom. Will your room allow for all your gadgets, books or music? And do you have enough storage for all of your clothes and shoes?

Think outside the box too. It may be sunny when you leave for university but if you don't plan on returning home for a while, packing clothes for all year round is sensible.
Also, even if you know the schedule for your studies, it's worth packing the whole year's worth of course material in case the schedule changes at the last minute. It will also give you the chance to get ahead.

Err on the side of caution if you've not seen the bedroom before. The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and find that there is not enough space for all of your belongings. For that reason it's always best to view a property properly first, if you can, before signing any contracts.

When it comes to shared spaces, such as the living room and kitchen, be respectful of your other flatmates by not relying on this space for your extra belongings.

Don't forget the essentials

As well as remembering all of your gadgets, clothes and study materials, don't forget all of the essential items. It's worth writing a list before you start packing so that nothing is left behind. Everyday things such as your duvet and pillows, bedding, towels, kitchenware, toiletries and cleaning utensils can be easily lost among the rush to pack.

Check with your flatmates and the landlord before you purchase any kitchen appliances. Most student properties are now fitted with kettles, toasters and microwaves, so it's recommended that you verify this before everyone buys one of each.

Change your address

If you have any subscriptions or reward schemes set up, don't forget to change your address so that all your mail is delivered to your new student accommodation. Notify your family and friends of the new address too so that you can look forward to any post during your time away from home. Depending on the kind of accommodation you are moving into, you might want to verify where post is distributed to. There may be individual letter boxes for example.

Starting university can be a challenge but taking these steps and preparing early on can make the move easier and smoother, letting you sit back and enjoy your university experience.

Check out our student section for more advice on searching for your accommodation and top tips for renting for the first time.

Plus, if you would like some individual advice and or support, contact your local Martin & Co office, who are ready and waiting to help!

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Disclaimer: Guest blog posts on the Martin and Co blog are written by external companies. Martin and Co do not endorse the products or services of these companies.

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