2020 was a year that my boyfriend and I decided we would take the next step in our relationship and move in together. After 5 years, we thought this was the next logical step before other serious steps are taken – you know, like putting a ring on it and having gorgeous half Italian babies.

We didn’t really know when this was going to happen, but we wanted to go it after our holiday this spring. However, you know what life is like and nothing ever happens when you want it too. 6 days into the new year, I found an apartment in the city centre, ground floor, big French doors. Dreamy. I sent him the pictures, we went to a viewing and a day later we put the deposit down. We haven’t bought, only renting for the time being and it’s due to a few factors. One being money and two, we wanted to see what it was like renting/living together for a while before making a huge commitment to buying a house.

As soon as we walked in we knew that this was the place for us. Perfect location, modern and a big improvement from where he was already living. For me – I was moving out of the family home. I don’t count university of even living abroad because I knew I was coming home at some point, but this was a big deal.

I’m not going to lie, finding a flat that was accessible was hard. Ground floor apartments seem to be taken off the market just as quickly as they were put on. I would scroll through Rightmove endlessly and hour by hour they would disappear. You might end up paying more for it, but obviously, if you’re a wheelchair user or not as mobile stairs are a no go, so it’s basically your only option. What I was pleased to see with this apartment, was that the doors are the new standard width, meaning my wheelchair can fit through all of them so easily. 

I couldn’t believe how stressful moving in was though. Where’s all the sunshine and cute music montage over lifting heavy boxes and being surrounded by mountains of stuff for weeks on end?! The endless trips to IKEA made me feel like I was part Swedish and I swear some of the assistants know my name…

But after all the DIY furniture, plant buying and candle burning, it’s starting to feel like home. It’s cosy and comfortable and exactly what we needed.

Although I was moving out of the family home, I had been temporarily living with Andrea for the past few months due to renovation works at home, so this doesn’t really feel any different apart from the fact that this place is also half mine and I can put all my stuff everyWHERE! 

Also, when you move in contact your local council and apply for a disability discount on your council tax. You usually go a band below whatever your property is currently on. This is a fantastic service which I had no idea until I was doing a bit of digging. You don’t even need to be in recite of any benefits, but someone from the council will come round and assess your home to make sure that you qualify. Things like – wider doors, ground level, large bathroom are all things they take into consideration. Anything has got to be better than the PIP assessment surely!