(Photos in this post are of my old studio, because I don't have any of the new place yet!)

view looking out of window from bed in studio apartment with houseplants on window ledge

Moving home is exciting, and also pretty stressful (especially when moving during a national lockdown because of a global pandemic...ha), but overall, it's usually a pretty happy time. This move is a particularly exciting one because I'm moving in with Jordan, my boyfriend - how grown up of us. But I feel like, online at least, not everybody shares the not-so-happy side of moving, it's all houseplants and choosing paint colours, which of course I do on my interiors Instagram account too, but when that's all you see, it can feel all the worse when you're not 100% happy.

We know by now that Instagram is a highlight reel, no one shows the arguments they have with their partner when putting together furniture or their meltdown over their new noisy neighbours, and that's fair enough. But I thought I'd do a brain-dump style blog post here to let you know, that if your move isn't perfect, that's okay, because nobody's is.

corner of bedroom with pink patterned bedsheets, rattan lampshade, orange prints and side table with mid century lamp

We looked at about 10 flats before signing up for ours, so on one hand we didn't rush into it, but sometimes I do wish we had a second viewing before signing anything. It can be so easy to get swept up in it all, especially if a flat makes a good first impression, but on closer inspection it's not always as it seems. Our main 'shopping list' when viewing flats was a separate bedroom; bigger kitchen; its own washing machine. Which means, to be fair, this flat ticks all the boxes, but what we hadn't realised before signing the dotted line was how dark the living room is, there's also a bit of a dumping ground at the back of a disused building in view of our bedroom window, which is less than ideal. And something we did notice but didn't pay too much attention to, was the lack of a street view.

Being able to see the outside world from where I live has always been a must for me - I've never been one of those people to shy away from a busy road or dream of living in the middle of nowhere - but seeing as this time I'd be living with Jordan, I thought I wouldn't be so lonely that I needed to see people go by, which to be honest is the main reason I like a good nose out of the window. Just being able to see the tops of buildings and the window into a couple of other flats was a compromise I was willing to make, until the whole country got put into lockdown, which I knew meant my lonely feelings would rise. Of course I can't beat myself up over that, there was no way of knowing that this would be what life is like now, but still.

gallery wall featuring mismatched colourful prints above grey couch with mustard velvet cushions and rattan side table with houseplant

When we first got the keys and got over the initial excitement of all, I'm not going to lie, I had a bit of a cry due to some major mixed feelings. This obviously resulted in a phone call to mum, sobbing down the phone feeling a bit daft for getting wrapped up in it all, and then mum told me about when she bought her old house. A three bedroomed terrace in Waterloo (Liverpool, FYI), in walking distance of good schools and even the beach - sounds perfect, but she also didn't notice how damn dark it was and even a giant hole in the wall that had been sneakily hidden behind a cupboard. We laughed down the phone as I realised that this probably happens to most people - kind of like buyer's regret after buying an impractical pair of shoes you can't return, but a little bit more expensive and slightly more permanent.

Who knows, we might come to love the place, but if not, we've learned some useful lessons that will do us good when we look for our new home, which hopefully we will stay in for a long, happy time together (just not because of quarantine, we hope). And those lessons are..

1. Always go for a second viewing. Even if there's high demand and you're scared you might lose it. What's meant to be won't pass you by.

2. Check which way the windows are facing, and if this works for you. Both this flat and my studio have north facing windows, which I don't hate, but it does mean we miss out on that delightful direct sunlight streaming through into our space.

3. Double check the view - no quick glances! What can you see, what can't you see, and will that change any time soon? Is there construction nearby? If so, look into it.

4. How easy is it to get there? As in, is there a lift? How many flights of stairs are there? This isn't just about how out of breath you'll be when you get home (hmm, just me?) but it could even impact how easy it is to properly look after a pet if you're allowed one.

small modern white kitchen with pink spotty vinyl backsplash

And then of course there's things we actually remembered, like smoke alarms, asking about the neighbours, fixtures and fittings, etc etc. Maybe I'll do another blog post on those at another time, for anybody who's looking to rent a flat sometime soon. After four non-parent, non-student halls moves, I hope I've learned a couple of things after all. Or not, as this post proves!

I honestly don't know if this post was interesting at all, or if it's me just chatting on getting my thoughts out and onto (digital) pen and paper. Either way, thanks for indulging me.

Good vibes guys ✌🏼