What’s the essential furniture for your first home?
Yep, the amount of stuff you need to set up a house can seem overwhelming – from whitegoods, like fridges, to furniture, not to mention all the other bits and pieces you use every day. Where do you start?
- Take a deep breath, you mightn’t need as much as you think.
- Always start by working out what you can scrounge from family and friends. Do your folks have a second fridge or tv? Offer to help them save on power bills by taking it off their hands. You saint, you! Ask if you can take other stuff too — most people have at least some extra bits and pieces they can offload.
- Think outside the box. Grab an old lounge from a charity store and cover it with a throw or sheet (you can dye or tie-dye it); a box plus some fabric is a coffee table; a laptop is a DVD player; your table doubles as a desk (or vice versa).
While you can get by without too much, beg, borrow or buy the items on the essential furniture checklist if possible. Then check out the list of useful extras (if you have the cash) in checklist: handy furniture, appliances etc.
* go to checklists for a printable checklist of this and more
|Toaster and kettle|
|Crockery (e.g. plates and bowls), cutlery, utensils|
|Mugs and glasses|
|Cookware (e.g. oven tray, good sized heavy-based saucepan, non-stick frypan, microwave-safe cookware if you have a microwave)|
|Food storage (e.g. Tupperware)|
|Bed and new mattress if not bringing your own (foam is the cheapest)|
|Clothes hanger (if no built-ins or wardrobe)|
Wait! Before you buy anything:
- Does your property come with any furniture or appliances? Check before you buy. For example, are there built-in wardrobes? Some apartments may have a dryer; houses may have a washing machine or fridge you can use.
- If you are sharing with others, work out who will buy what. Sharing the cost of a major appliance can turn into a nightmare if one or more of you need to move out. Keep things separate so it’s clear who owns what.
- Measure the space – you don’t want your hard-earned cash spent on a fridge, microwave, washing machine etc. that will take up half your kitchen or laundry space while the designated wall cavity sits empty.
- Remember, when in doubt, don’t. Who knows what will happen in the next few years? Do you want to be tied down by a whole heap of stuff (and debt)? What if you decide to travel? It might be better to use a laundromat or take the washing home to Mum or Dad’s, than fork out for something you can’t afford and mightn’t need in a year. Think about it.
Check out more things that are great if you can get them here