10 essential items for moving house
Roving reporter Maddison shares her top ten tips for things you can't do without when moving house.
Moving house, especially into your first house or first unfurnished house, is a fantastic experience. You are finally striking out on your own, and have a place that is completely your own.
With that move, however, comes a whole lot of expenses that you never thought you’d encounter and items that you never thought you’d need.
Here is a basic list of what you will need to help make the moving experience easier.
1. Yellow Pages
This is essential even before you move into your new place. Looking up movers, finding out what second-hand shops are near your place and looking into hiring services for utes and moving trucks are all essential for moving house.
Ask people for quotes before agreeing to anything. A few extra phone calls could end up saving you a lot of money.
This is also a good time to look up plumbers and electricians in your new area. It’s always handy to have a list of those numbers handy on the fridge in case of an emergency.
2. Flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers
These are especially important items for putting together any new furniture you might buy, whether you buy it brand new, or if you decide to look at second-hand stores instead. Even simple items like fans often require screwdrivers to assemble them, so these are two handy tools to have.
3. Cleaning products
Cleaning the place when you move in also makes it seem more your own. Now the mess you make will be all yours, and not left over from the old tenants.
There are cleaning products that you will need that you take for granted – dishwashing liquid or dishwasher tablets, shower cleaners and floor cleaners. Fabric cleaners are one that often fall off the list, but they will become extremely important if you have friends sleeping over on your couch.
4. Cooking implements (pots, pans and trays)
Cooking on a student budget is always a balancing act, but the more equipment you have, the more options you give yourself and the cheaper your grocery shopping will become.
Shop around before purchasing. Grocery stores may seem like an obvious option, but they are often much more expensive. The big chain stores often have the same items but noticeably cheaper and often in larger starter packs.
If you can, try to beg, borrow or steal these items from your family members. Ask your parents to check with their friends to see if anyone has any trays or pots that they're not using any more.
5. Tape measure
This will come in handy when you are purchasing the big items, like your fridge, desk, bed and microwave. Some houses or apartments can have very small spaces for these items, and you usually don’t get a chance to return them once you have bought them.
Write down the measurements of each room and keep them around for reference. You should also measure all the doorways, because if something doesn't fit through the door, you’re really stuck.
6. Cutlery (spoons, knives, forks)
This seems obvious, but it can quickly slip off the list and then you find yourself drinking cereal out of a mug.
Shop around and try to buy in bulk. Picking up a few stray items at the grocery store can seem like enough, but it never will be. Starter packs are often available, and can contain items like steak and butter knives, which are usually sold separately at double the cost.
7. The condition report
The condition report that you originally fill in will become your only guarantee of getting your bond back in full. Note down everything - every single mark or crack.
Check every corner and every item in the house. Where are the scratches? How deep are they? What colour are they? Go through everything in complete and full detail – it’s time consuming, yes, but the money you save will be worth the time.
There are very few rental properties that have air conditioning installed and there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep when you’re hot and sweaty. You will probably need a few fans: one for the bedroom and another for communal areas like the loungeroom or kitchen.
9. Light bulbs
It's quite likely that there will be several of these missing when you first move into the house. If you happen to be lucky and have them all in place, it still doesn’t hurt to have spares.
Check the light fittings carefully before buying anything, and think about out the wattage that you want before buying.
This doesn't just refer to towels for showering, but tea towels, hand towels and bath mats are essential.
Towels and bath mats aren't just for your own comfort - they play an important role in making the house feel more like your own.
Get organised early
If you get these items organised, along with the larger items like a fridge, bed and microwave, you’ll find that your new household will come together quickly and easily.
The most important step in setting up your house will be forward planning. Start hunting for these items ahead of time – check out sales and drop hints around Christmas and your birthday. Parents are usually happy to provide, especially when you seem so organised!
The most important thing to remember is that no matter how stressful or financially demanding moving can be, it’s still an amazing feeling to look around your new fully furnished house and know that it is all yours.
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