1. Deciding that the best way to do your search is by looking at what million-pound properties are available because it’s way more fun.
2. Then entering a property-search frenzy during which you whisper “close to local amenities” in your sleep and wake up to 3,456,543 notifications of new listings.
3. Meeting 86,544 creepy strangers while searching for a spare room before you meet someone you could actually live with.
4. Or finding the PERFECT room and having to perform harder than an X-Factor contestant to the current flatmates just so they’ll pick you.
5. If they do pick you, you feel like you actually have won The X-Factor.
6. Or trying really hard not to take personal, grievous offence if they don’t choose you.
7. Realising the most exploratory travelling around London you’ve done has always been based around flat viewings.
8. Knowing that you won’t move into a certain place before you’ve even seen it because you’ve had to take two trains and a bus just to get there.
9. Meeting an estate agent and having an immediate, irrational, and passionate hatred for them, even though you know they’re just trying to do their job.
10. Feeling super smug about the flat you’ve managed to snap up, then visiting a friend who inexplicably has a far nicer and far cheaper place.
11. Only realising how much crap you have once it comes to moving.
12. Actually physically moving all of that crap and vowing to become a minimalist but only in that one moment.
13. Having to just put up with an ugly, faded painting you probably have somewhere in your flat.
14. Or a huge black and white canvas print of London with a bright red phone box.
15. Or worse, a black and white decal of Westminster, probably in your kitchen.
16. Unpacking your stuff into old, battered, and mismatched furniture.
17. Or having really nice new matching furniture, save for a tatty old armchair that you have to cover up with three blankets and a pillow.
18. Trying to make your rented room look nice, despite the old, battered, mismatched furniture.
19. Realising that literally everyone else has the exact same furniture because it’s all from Ikea.
20. Somehow still needing to go to Ikea.
21. Realising Ikea doesn’t deliver plants, so you have to take the five plants you bought with the hopes of building an Instagram-worthy indoor jungle on to the bus with you.
22. Realising the hoover that comes with your flat doesn’t actually work.
23. Living without hot water for two months because your landlord decided to go off to the Caribbean over Christmas and is taking absolutely no calls.
24. About two weeks into your tenancy, hearing that tell-tale rustle of a mouse.
25. About three weeks in, finding any food you left out on the kitchen counters has been completely ravaged by a very hungry mouse.
26. Having a very reluctant landlord come and lay out rat traps or poison.
27. Having to actually then deal with whatever mice have been caught.
28. Being traumatised by the experience.
29. Telling yourself that the experience is character-building.
30. Getting your foot stuck in one of the traps.
31. Making a sad cleaning rota that no one will actually follow.
32. Having a flatmate group chat that eventually just turns into passive-aggressive comments about cleaning and the occasional obscure in-joke.
33. Only realising how thin the walls are when you hear your flatmate having sex.
34. Having to then look your flatmate’s partner in the eye, both of you in the knowledge that you’ve heard them have an orgasm.
35. Somehow accumulating even more shit in the year you live there.
36. Realising you have to move out once again, probably because the rent is due to rise by, like, 200% for some reason.
37. Cleaning the flat more thoroughly when you move out than you did during the entire tenancy.
38. Still receiving a £500 fine from your deposit because the landlord spotted a tiny mark on the wall behind the door in your room.
For some reason, deciding that living in London is still worth it, despite all this.