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How to Plan Moving Out of Student Accommodation

Updated: Jan 27

8 Simple Steps to Moving Out of Student Accommodation

Are you planning on moving out of your student accommodation soon? This can be a daunting task, and one that takes some planning, as you won’t realise just how much stuff you have probably accumulated over the last year.

Whether you're living in student accommodation or privately rented, the following guide will give you practical advice on organising your move-out plan.

Let's look at the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth transition.

Moving out of Student Accommodation Requires Advance Planning - You Can't Wing It!

Start the process early, ideally 1-2 months before your move date.

Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to sort through your belongings, pack efficiently, and arrange your transport.

The Formal Stuff to Deal With

If you are living in university halls of residence, you don't have to tell your university that you are leaving. But you must move out and return the keys or badge by the last day of your contracts.

If you are renting private accommodation off-campus, check your tenancy agreement to understand move-out dates and conditions. Follow the guidelines depending on whether you have a fixed or periodic contract.

Inform your landlord of your departure details in good time.

  • If you have a fixed term agreement, i.e. the move-in and move-out dates are specified, you usually don’t need to give notice to your landlord, but you must move out by or before the specified day on which the agreement ends.

  • If you have a periodic agreement, you will need to give at least 28 days’ notice in writing and make sure it expires on the last or the first day of a complete period of the tenancy or licence. This means that if you have a rental agreement that does not have a fixed end date, but runs on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis, you will need to give at least 28 days’ notice in writing to your landlord if you want to end the agreement. The notice should also expire on the last or the first day of a complete period of the tenancy or licence, i.e., if you pay rent on the first day of each month, your notice should end on the last day or the first day of a month.

You should also inform your landlord or accommodation provider:

  1. what date you will leave.

  2. arrange a date and time for a flat/house inspection walk-through, if required.

  3. give them your forwarding address for any mail and to return your deposit confirmation.

What To Do First When Moving out of Student Housing

Don’t just stuff all of your belongings into bags and boxes to take everything home, or put it in storage. Moving out of student accommodation is a great opportunity to get rid of the things you don't need or use anymore.

So take some time to sort through your items properly before moving out of your accommodation. Plan a room or area at a time, if it feels overwhelming.

Categorise your belongings into five groups:

  1. Things you love: Pack up the items you want to take home or move into your next accommodation.

  2. Things you'll need next year: If going home (abroad) for the holidays, put the items you'll need next school year into a storage facility. Book via our partners StudentEssentials and you'll get a discount off your first month in storage

  3. Things you could recuperate money on: Sell any items you no longer need or use, but are still in good condition. This could be clothes, footwear, electronic items, text books, etc. Advertise on a local Facebook group, GumTree, Vinted, eBay, or any other medium you might know.

  4. Things that can still be used: Donate items in good condition to a charity shop, other students or friends. Give items you no longer want a second home. One man's junk is another man's treasure!

  5. Things that can be tossed: Recycle as much as humanly possible or throw away in the trash, and empty your load.

A green recycling bin against a red plain background

How to Move Out as a Student

Things To Do One Week Before Your Moving Out Day

Set aside some time each day or week in the run up to your departure to sort through your belongings.

Moving out of Student Accommodation Checklist

Use our handy checklist provided below to decide the fate of each item based on whether to keep/pack, store, sell, donate or recycle/throw away.






























Kitchen stuff














Remove or Recycle any items you no longer need or use

Dispose of or recycle items responsibly

Organise getting rid of the items that you identified can be thrown away or recycled.

If you are selling or giving away books, advertise them on relevant sites such as Facebook, Student Forums, eBay, or other sites, and make some money in the process of decluttering.

multi-colored recycling bins

You can donate your unwanted clothes, books, or household items or sell your valuables online (try the VINTED app) or at a local car boot sale.

Alternatively, you can recycle or dispose of your rubbish responsibly at designated bins or recycling centres.

The best and most sustainable option is to sell or give your useable items to other (incoming) students or charity shops.

Disposing of your unwanted items may take a few trips if you don’t have a recycling unit near you, so ask a friend with a car to help out, and don't forget to thank them with a bottle of wine or treat them to lunch in return for their 'services'.

Pack smartly

a blue zipped up IKEA bag to transport belongings

Once you have sorted out your belongings into categories, it’s time to pack them securely.

  • Use sturdy boxes or bags that can hold your items without breaking or tearing. The IKEA GÖRSNYGG zip-up or FRAKTA bags that we also recommend as laundry bags, are great for stuffing in a LOT of items and being easily portable.

  • While you are at the recycling, or in some stores, you could pick up sturdy cardboard boxes that are used for deliveries or ask your friends to keep theirs.

  • To make unpacking easier, label each box or bag with its contents and destination. You can also use colour-coded stickers or tape to distinguish between items going into storage, home, or elsewhere.

  • You should also pack fragile items carefully and wrap them with bubble wrap, towels, t-shirts or newspaper. You can use clothes as padding to fill any gaps in the boxes or bags.

  • Seal the boxes securely with tape and avoid overloading them.

  • Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top of the boxes.

  • Seal products in resealable bags to prevent leaks.

  • Don’t forget to keep essential items such as documents, keys, phone charger, toiletries, medication, etc. with you in a backpack.

Arrange suitable transport in advance

Depending on how much you have and how far you are moving, arrange a suitable means of transport in advance. This may mean using public transport, hiring a taxi or renting a van, or asking a friend or family member to help you if they have a car.

  • Compare the costs and convenience of each option and choose the one that suits you best.

  • Check the nearest available parking near your accommodation and whether there is a time limit to park.

  • Inform your transport provider in advance of the date and time of your move-out where to park, with clear directions.

  • Don't forget to reconfirm the arrangements a day before to prevent any misunderstanding or to put a contingency plan in place.

Get Your Paperwork in Order!

In all the chaos of moving out of your student accommodation, don't forget to sort out your paperwork before you leave.

Moving Out Checklist - The Admin Stuff You Need to Do

  • You will need to update your personal information by providing your new address to your doctor, bank, university and any other services that you use regularly, including store cards. This will ensure that you don’t miss any important letters, bills or appointments. This should be pretty straightforward by updating your client data in each account or use a postal forwarding service.

  • You will also need to cancel any subscriptions or contracts linked to your current address, such as internet, mobile phone contract, TV licence or online subscriptions, and gym memberships.

  • Take a photo and keep a record of your last electricity and water meter readings in the flat on your last day, pay any utility bills, and note any outstanding balances. This is also the time to follow up on any debts between house-mates, before everyone leaves.

  • Finally, don't forget to fill in any paperwork required to get your deposit back from your accommodation provider. You may need to provide proof of payment and a forwarding address.

Getting your paperwork in order will save you a lot of hassle and confusion later on.

Clean Up Before You Leave

Before you leave your accommodation, make sure you clean up your room and any communal areas that you have used.

  • Remove any rubbish, dust, stains, marks, etc. from the surfaces, floors, windows, etc.

  • You should also check if there are any damages or missing items in your room or communal areas and report them to your landlord or accommodation provider as soon as possible.

  • If you fail to clean up properly or cause any damage, you may be charged for the professional cleaning costs or any repairs.

  • Put back any furniture or equipment that you may have moved during your tenancy, i.e. sofa or bed placement, and the duvet or pillows provided.

Check Again Before You Check Out

Before you hand back the keys, do a final walk-through, and check all cupboards, drawers, washing machine, laundry basket, and under the bed to ensure they are clear of any items.

The final step is to check out of your accommodation and return your key or card to your landlord or accommodation provider. Complete check-out procedures, and provide any necessary information.

Ask for a receipt or confirmation that you have returned the key or card and that you have checked out successfully.

You should also provide them with your forwarding address and bank details for them to return your deposit.

Get Your Deposit Back

If you paid a deposit at the beginning of your tenancy or licence, it should be returned to you within a reasonable time after you move out of your accommodation - usually within 10 days.

However, if you are moving out of your accommodation early, or if you didn’t do a good job restoring the place to its former glory prior to departure, your landlord or accommodation provider may deduct some funds from your deposit if they have a valid reason, such as covering cleaning costs or repairs.

They may also hold back funds if you didn’t pay rent at any point. Nevertheless, they are obliged to provide you with an itemised list of any deductions with evidence to support them.

So, if you disagree with any deductions, you should try to negotiate with them and reach an agreement.

If you are unable to resolve the dispute 'amicably', you can use a deposit protection scheme or an alternative dispute resolution service to help you.


Moving out of your student accommodation is time-consuming and can be stressful, but by following these steps, you can make sure that you leave your place in good condition, get your deposit back and avoid any unnecessary stress.

Remember to plan ahead, categorise your belongings, pack smartly, arrange your transport, clean up, check out and get your deposit back.

And don’t forget to visit our website for more tips and advice on how to make the most of your university experience.

Book cover of "From High School to Uni", the essential guide for students moving to university

For an A-Z student guide on moving to, surviving and thriving in university, get a copy of our book and check out our resources on our website to access all the essential packing lists and checklists to move into university stress-free!

We are here to help you move in, survive and thrive at University!

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