Author Topic: Essential list of purchases for new home (all I own is a toaster and one chair).  (Read 12862 times)

Torran

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Hi folks,

I'm in the process of buying my first ever property.

It's a great price (if I get it, that is) and from my savings, after the deposit, fees, etc, I'll have approx £2,000 left over to decorate the whole place, and buy... well... everything.

I'm already keeping track of freecycle to nab any furniture that's going for free.

I also have one dining chair that I found in the street and took home. I may have been a little bit drunk at the time.

I'm now putting together a list of everything I will need for the new flat. Wondering if anyone has tips for this, and for how to save money decorating a place.

When googling 'essential items for a new home' the lists that were coming up were pretty, eh, consumerist. Like, a hundred items which seems entirely non essential. Maybe I should google 'what was essential for the home in 1930' to get down to the real basics. One bed, one pot, and a mangle - what more do you need.
An example of a list which includes 'coffee maker'. :/
http://www.ourproperty.co.uk/guides/essentials_for_your_first_property_what_to_buy_and_when-p1.html

Anyway, thanks in advance if you feel like sharing any pearls of wisdom.

(Sorely tempted to buy extremely expensive wallpaper - trying to talk myself out of that one).

Torran

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Oh wait, that's totally the wrong link.

I meant to send this one - includes 'coffee maker' 'artwork' and 'silverware'. And 'silverware organiser'. Probably not aimed at people like me who have one stolen chair.

http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2013/05/things-you-need-for-your-first-apartment/



Larabeth

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Congrats!!

In my first place, I had a bed (with a frame... too many buggies for me to want to put the mattress on the floor!!), a sofa (thank you, craigslist), and a couple of saute pans.

You can start with that and then build up as you go and find quality stuff at good bargains! 

former player

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Needs -

A table for eating/working/reading, and another dining chair (one looks sad)
Something comfortable to sleep on, plus 1 or 2 sets of sheets, pillows and pillowcases and you choice of coverings to keep warm.
Something to keep your clothes in.
Something comfortable to lounge/sit on.
Kitchen stuff - depends entirely on what you have to cook on, what you ability level is, what you like to eat and whether you like to entertain.
Laundry: washer, a means of drying (one or more of outside line, inside rack, tumble dryer) and washing powder.
Computer/laptop/tablet.

Try freecycle, craigslist or local equivalent, estate sales, auctions, friends and relatives, etc.

Jschange

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within a week or so

Second chair
Table
2 sets of dishes and cutlery
Bed
Bedding
Towel
Hand towel
Bathmat or another towel
Tea towel
Dish cloth
Dish soap
Big pot
Little pot
Frying pan
Wooden spoon
Spatula
Sharp knife
Cutting board
Groceries
A kettle or other device that you use daily, maybe it's your toaster, maybe it's a blender. Mine is a kettle
Toilet paper
Hand soap
Your shower stuff
Clothes
A place to keep clothes:hangers, dresser, storage bins, those cubbies that hang in the closet from the dollar/pound store
Lamps for rooms without overhead lights
Curtains or blinds for the bedroom and street facing rooms



Start saving for additional guest seating and dining options, and a comfortable thing like a sofa, recliners or floor cushions to sit on. You will probably want a bedside lamp and more kitchen stuff. If you have 2 parents who will visit together, I strongly urge you to begin with enough seats for you and them to all sit at the same time. They may also be very happy to declutter their belongings and help fill your home.  Keep a list of what you want, and keep searching for free or cheap. Also use this as a birthday and Christmas list.

To find a better list of what to start with, try googling with the word minimalist. Remember that some minimalist spaces look welcoming, and some look like they've invaded your private campsite.

Look at pictures of meditation rooms to get an idea of a space you can create for your guests using a houseplants, a candle, and a floor rug.


Do not buy wallpaper you can't afford it until you have your bare minimums. Do not spend your full 2000 until you are in possession of this home a and have exited your previous home, in case of unexpected costs.
 

andy85

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kitchen stuff is going to be what nickel and dimes you to death. utensils, plates/bowels in various sizes, spatulas, can openers, knives, cups, towels, rags. tupperware...etc etc. I bought all the main stuff and just buy something as the need arises now.

the big ticket items will be:
bed
couch
kitchen table
dresser
end tables
nightstands
...of course these dont really have to be expensive items.

bathroom stuff will also kind of nickel and dime you as well. I moved into my place last september-ish and finally have it about fully furnished. It will probably be another year before it is "decorated" as that is just trivial cosmetic b.s. at this point.

Congrats!

Bracken_Joy

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Best advice I have:

Buy a plunger and toilet paper BEFORE you need them.

Nickyd£g

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Congratulations!  I moved into my first (Glasgow!) flat with a wicker chair I inherited from my nan - which I still have, a 22" tv, hi-fi I got as a Christmas present when I was 16...and a cactus plant.  The cooker and fridge were left [and I left them when I moved out].

I had about £5,000, and spent pretty much all of it on paint, a lamp and a couple of lampshades, a couch, a chest of drawers, a bed, mattress, curtains, bedding, kitchen utensils/crockery and a washing machine. I got a free second hand TV unit [which I have painted numerous times, and still have, a decade later], and a side table. My dad built me a kitchen bar, for which I bought 2 second hand bar stools.  I was happy as hell in that wee flat, even though I was unintentionally minimalist :)  I think my list is pretty much all you need to start.  Buy off of Gumtree or Ebay, if you can.

And - my boyfriend at the time brought home a leather wing backed chair off the street...he was drunk too!  I later sold it on Gumtree for £150 ;)

PMG

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Let word get out that you're moving into an unfurnished place.  Someone you know has all this stuff in duplicate. You may have to accept a few things you don't want (kitschy decor) in order to get the good stuff, but you can sort through and send things you don't want on.

Dont buy everything at once. 

Yes. Buy the plunger and tp!

Make sure you can take a shower and have somewhere to sleep.  Then slowly add things.

Do you cook? If so then maybe you know what kitchen gear you need.  If not, go slow, figure out what you like to eat and find the basics. Don't think you need tons of fancy equipment to be able to eat good healthy food at home. You can do a lot with a knife, a cutting board and a saucepan.

It might feel like camping for a few weeks, that is ok.

LouLou

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Look at the free section of your local craigslist.  Are there any colleges nearby?  Go around the dorm area at the end of the year and look for stuff that people are leaving behind.  I know someone who hasn't bought laundry detergent in years using this method!

Broadcast to people that you are looking for furniture.  We have a couch and armchair that my husband got over a decade ago for free because someone he knew what buying new living room furniture.

Goodwill is a good place to buy inexpensive kitchen stuff.  Based on the way I cook, I would need: a skillet, a spatula, a knife, a plate, and a fork.  These are my basics.  I have lots of other kitchen tools that I got when other people moved.

My other home essentials are:
- comfortable place to sleep, with bedding and pillows
- comfortable place to read and relax (a day bed with a back from IKEA could be both)
- a table for eating, writing, and working
- a way to cover windows for privacy (if your place doesn't already have blinds)
- some place to store clothes and other items

Bedding, curtains, tables, chairs, dressers etc can all be purchased at thrift stores.  Some people have extras that they will gladly give to you.  I don't like used mattresses or fabric couches, so I would go the IKEA route if possible.  Other people don't mind, so your choice.

I lived in an apartment with a small table, a couch, a bed, a dresser, and cooking utensils from Goodwill.  I loved it!

pbkmaine

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+1 to putting the word out. So many people have excess household goods and would be happy to donate to someone starting out. If you are on Facebook, that's a good way to let people know. Charity shops are also great.

SeanMC

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People have covered a lot of the basics here.

I would add: Give yourself time to figure out what you need in a place or even how you might want to decorate. Don't try to get it all at once. There is a lot of pressure to be "moved in" or to make your new flat your "home" as defined by making it look all finished and put together. The combination of excitement about a new place and cultural pressure about this leads to a lot of unnecessary $ spending or acquisition of stuff.






norabird

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Craigslist will be a boon. Remember, you don't have to get everything at once.

rulesofacquisition

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People have covered a lot of the basics here.

I would add: Give yourself time to figure out what you need in a place or even how you might want to decorate. Don't try to get it all at once. There is a lot of pressure to be "moved in" or to make your new flat your "home" as defined by making it look all finished and put together. The combination of excitement about a new place and cultural pressure about this leads to a lot of unnecessary $ spending or acquisition of stuff.







+1 to this. I have a sofa I never use and some other things that turned out to be completely pointless, congrats and good luck

Torran

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Wow, I am totally blown away by the awesomeness of all this advice. Thanks so much everyone.

A lot of you have brought up some rookie mistakes that I was basically JUST ABOUT TO MAKE! Welp! Rescued at the last minute.

Most importantly:

Best advice I have:

Buy a plunger and toilet paper BEFORE you need them.

Also this with the list of many basics I had not thought of:


To find a better list of what to start with, try googling with the word minimalist. Remember that some minimalist spaces look welcoming, and some look like they've invaded your private campsite.

Look at pictures of meditation rooms to get an idea of a space you can create for your guests using a houseplants, a candle, and a floor rug.


Do not buy wallpaper you can't afford it until you have your bare minimums. Do not spend your full 2000 until you are in possession of this home a and have exited your previous home, in case of unexpected costs.
 


Aaand Nickyd£g I LOVE your story of your first flat in Glasgow :) Street furniture is the best furniture. Can't believe you made £150 on something that cost you nothing. My brother went skip-raiding in the wealthy parts of the west end when he first bought a house with his wife (plus baby). They got some fantastic stuff, including an old Singer sewing machine with gold flowers painted on it. Random, totally useless, but hey, it's pretty and it was free.

Thanks everyone.

Plan:

Don't spend any money until I actually own the flat.
Organise with my long-suffering flatmate (who is also my landlord) to move out a little bit later.
Buy a bed and a mattress.

Then continue from there.

Any more tips or advice will be gratefully recieved :)

FYI the wallpaper I really wanted is the Zebra-print one from Margo Tenenbaum's bedroom in The Royal Tenenbaums - for anyone who knows that movie so well they know it's very wallpaper. This probably gives a chilling insight into how mad my decorating plans are. It's made by a company in New York that seems to sell Only Wallpaper. They call it their 'iconic' design and they don't even have the price on the website. I think it's safe to say I can never afford it, no matter how much money I have. Also my boyfriend (who has his own house, decorated in a minimalist style) was plainly horrified and worried about our shared future when I showed the zebra pattern to him.

Me: but zebras!
Him: how have you managed to seem normal

ooeei

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Something to sleep on
Laundry supplies
Stuff to cook with (if you have no idea where to start, get a 10-12" nonstick sautee pan and plastic spatula) assuming you have a stove
Microwave
Internet Access
Plunger
Toilet Paper

That's my list of "essentials."  We have WAY more stuff than that, but you can get stuff like couches, chairs, more cooking supplies, TV, bedside tables, vacuum cleaner, etc. as you decide you need them.  I lived without a couch and me and my girlfriend sat on the floor for 4 months because I knew I was moving to a new city soon.

Be cautious getting stuff with fabric or stuffing (couches, beds, cushions) from craigslist or for free.  Google around how to check for bedbugs.  I got a couch from craigslist awhile back and had no idea about that, and it turned out fine, but I don't think I'd do it again.  We bought our current couch from IKEA and so far it's great. 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 01:30:06 PM by ooeei »

aFrugalFather

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I use my blender and a good cast iron pan almost daily.

horsepoor

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I'd recommend a basic tool kit too.  Hammer, screw drivers, drill, wrench, measuring tape etc.

shadowmoss

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A can opener, a towel or two (amazing how many times I wanted to wipe stuff up in the kitchen) because the towel is not optional.  Soap, TP.  You can get by with paper/plastic plates and cups until you know more what you actually want and/or wait to get something cheap that you like. An air mattress to sleep on and a comforter to put around you while you sleep.  The rest you can buy as you need them. 

catccc

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I would suggest moving in with your toaster and chair, and them making a list of things you need as you find you need them.

Maybe a camping sleeping pad will be more than sufficient instead of a bed.  Who knows.

Anyway, this just sounds like a minimalist dream to me.  We don't even have that much stuff compared to the average family, but moving into a place with a toaster and a chair sounds kinda magical.  You should just show up with that for effect.  Maybe the toilet paper.  I'll give you that. 

zoltani

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In my local area there is a group on facebook called "Buy nothing CITY' insert your city/area name and then post up an ask for items on your list.

Jschange

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I want to be clear that I fully endorse zebra print wallpaper. It just seems like you can't afford it yet. Lots of faith that you will afford it and it will be wonderful in the future.

Midcenturymater

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I really recommend estate sales. All the kitchen stuff can be picked up for dollars. Every estate sale we go to has entire kitchen contents up for sale.
craigslist and thrift shops for all furniture or Google local fb selling groups. You will be surprised by how little stuff is once someone has finished with it.

NoraLenderbee

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Eating utensils and something to eat out of
Broom and dustpan or equivalent for when you spill the lentils out of the hubcap you're eating out of
Light bulb, at least one

ketchup

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I definitely suggest buying as-you-need.  Except a plunger, get that now.

My dad 3 years ago (newly divorced) moved into a new apartment with a toothbrush and a sleeping bag.  He loved rebuilding slowly, often with used furniture from craigslist.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Start with a place to sleep and a way to prepare food. Other needs, you can fill as they come in! If you're sitting in your minimalist place and you think, "Hey, I wish I had a sneed," then you put "sneed" on a lit and start searching thrift stores and whatnot for it as time and finances permit.


DebtFreeBy25

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Congrats on your first home! I also bought my first home without having much furniture or other essentials, so I speak from experience.

Things you need for move in:
Something to sleep on
Bedding (pillows, sheets, comforter)
Towels (kitchen and bathroom)
Table of some sort to eat at
Plates, Bowls, Cups and basic utensils
Saucepan, soup pot, skillet, can opener, spoons and spatula
TP, dish soap, personal care items
Shower curtain
Curtain or blind for the bathroom
Duct tape, plunger, light bulbs, scissors, matches or lighter, tweezers, basic tool kit, first aid supplies
Broom, dust pan, mop
Something to sit on
Hangers
Wireless router (assuming you're setting up wifi)

galliver

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I think this is a hard question to universally answer because different people have very different priorities in life, but at the same time a house/apartment/condo/flat etc with absolutely nothing is very barren and unwelcoming.

I agree with others that the barest necessities are: cleaning supplies, basic tools (to assemble IKEA furniture ;) ), place to sleep, things to cook in, things to eat off of, things to eat with. Food. Places to store these things, if not built in, as needed.

My first (on-campus) apartment in college came with 2 beds, 2 desks, and a little couch (for 2 of us). There was NO storage in the bathroom, and the tub was very rounded so you couldn't even set things on the floor,  so we got a tension rod with little shelves and a plastic drawer bin (not a necessity in many situations or people; but I wasn't a big fan of my feminine products sitting out or tripping over my shampoo :) ). For the kitchen I got a big (10"? 12"?) frying pan and a largish pot, a set of plastic mixing bowls with lids, whisk, spatula, set of 3 knives (Chef, slicing, paring), probably a cutting board, 2 plates, and 2 bowls. No wait, there were also 2 little plates! All the dishes were $1 glass ones. I had some mugs and my roommate had plastic drinking cups and utensils/silverware (don't bash the silverware ;)) I think she also supplied the can opener.  That all suited us quite fine for a year. We probably had a broom and swiffer-style mop now that I think of it (I used it with a rag instead of disposable wipes).

More recently, when my bf and I moved 2000mi away ~18mos ago, while also moving in together for the first time, we knew our stuff might get here only after a while, so we packed in our luggage a kettle (to boil water) and a small wok (thought it would be perfect for 1-pan frozen meals and in a pinch could make pasta in it). We didn't pack any dishes or silverware so we got some food storage containers and plastic silverware we reused (but if you're moving in permanently you might as well get the real stuff!). We had ditched our twin beds in our previous locations and got a queen when we moved, so we had that. I think our cleaning basics were dish soap, dish sponge, spray cleaner, paper towels (rags if you don't have to transport them 2000mi!), broom, mop, floor cleaner, toilet cleaner, toilet brush. And plunger. ;)

After our stuff (including desk, table, futon couch, 1 low shelving unit, and books books books) arrived, our high priority items were: chairs to go with table, a lamp, a rug, a coffee table, and bookshelves. Some was thrifted or found secondhand, some we couldn't find anything we liked so we bought new (usually from discount retailers). A few things about us: we like to host/entertain, having friends over for dinner, board games, etc. We also host friends and family from out of town and guests from couchsurfing.com, so our futon sees good use. We like to experiment in the kitchen and prepare a variety of foods so we have lots of different cookware and tools that ALL gets used occasionally. Our walls are still mostly bare; but they're a nice brown color so it doesn't feel institutional or oppressive (Zebra would probably have the same effect! ;) Not that I support expensive wallpaper. Sleep on it. A lot. If you still want it in a month you can get it. ) I'm still dreaming that we'll pick out some artsy photos we've taken and get them printed up nice and hang them one day :) But that's probably after we move away from here... Also, my bf and I would both occasionally work from home, so we had an office corner set up, now he does so full time, making it that much more crucial.

Basically, your bare necessities coordinate with your lifestyle. But you don't necessarily need a dining table or a couch or a desk, etc just because everyone gets those things. Set up your place to make you feel comfortable and to support your lifestyle.

One last thing, that maybe should have been first: you are talking about setting up house (albeit, minimalist, at least for now) but also like you are looking at a future with your bf. I would advise being wary of duplicating too many items.

Torran

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Brill! I especially appreciate the advice of building it up slowly to suit my own needs exactly. I was aware that once I started to look into buying things for a new home, I was falling into the trap of thinking 'ofcourse I need x y and z, because these are the things everyone has', without fully thinking about it.

I love cooking and entertaining, so was worried about the expense of finding a table that could fit 6 chairs around it (also I prefer comfy dining room chairs with plenty'o'padding, so you can sit for a good long while). I concur, very much, with the idea of not rushing things, or trying to have a 'dream home' all set up really quickly. I'm not quite mad enough to take out a loan to furnish a place, but I was running away with decorating ideas and planning how to get things really cosy, and in reality I guess doing it cheaply will mean doing it slowly. So the table will have to wait.

Also very aware that I might end up duplicating all the stuff the bf has - particularly kitchen impliments as we are both reeeeally into our home cooking. I guess if we ever do move in together we can just have the Most Epic Couple Fight Ever over whether our whole place has a zebra theme running through every bit for all of time, or a minimalist look. (Who WOULDN'T choose zebra theme amirite. etc).

So, a bed first. Me, my toaster, my chair and my bed will camp out in the new bare flat until I decide on my next move. I'm definitely going to see how much (quality, and non-infested) stuff I can get for free. I'm going to try and make it like a game to see how far I can go on limited funds.

A while back I knew a Spanish lady (we did a course together) who was inspirational in many ways - full of confidence and optimism, with two adopted kids and a wife who was a really brilliant chef in a fancy restaurant. Anyway, she invited me and a ton of other people round for a very roudy party in a flat that she had bought. It was an enormous place with high ceilings and big windows, and she'd found it really cheap (it was in a non-swanky part of town). The furniture was an eclectic mish-mash and I commented on how great it all looked - she told me she'd got every single item of furniture via freecycle and other freebie websites. At the time I was like 'it is not possible to decorate an entire flat for free'. She was like 'anything is possible'. It was about 3 years later that I found the MMM website and thought of the Spanish lady.

Torran

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Basically, your bare necessities coordinate with your lifestyle. But you don't necessarily need a dining table or a couch or a desk, etc just because everyone gets those things. Set up your place to make you feel comfortable and to support your lifestyle.


This - good advice.

Also thanks to everyone for the lists of things. So many things I had not through of. A tool-box particularly.

galliver

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Brill! I especially appreciate the advice of building it up slowly to suit my own needs exactly. I was aware that once I started to look into buying things for a new home, I was falling into the trap of thinking 'ofcourse I need x y and z, because these are the things everyone has', without fully thinking about it.
My parents don't have a couch. Not since their old one (bought in graduate housing from neighbors moving out) fell apart when I was about 10-11, probably. My mom made these giant pillows that can be thrown on the floor for lounging while watching TV, reading, etc. They also assemble into a full-size mattress for guests (though now they have some spare mattresses in the garage that are preferable). My dad will just sit in a chair to watch TV, usually with a drink or a cup of tea on the table next to him.

I love cooking and entertaining, so was worried about the expense of finding a table that could fit 6 chairs around it (also I prefer comfy dining room chairs with plenty'o'padding, so you can sit for a good long while). I concur, very much, with the idea of not rushing things, or trying to have a 'dream home' all set up really quickly. I'm not quite mad enough to take out a loan to furnish a place, but I was running away with decorating ideas and planning how to get things really cosy, and in reality I guess doing it cheaply will mean doing it slowly. So the table will have to wait.
A coffee table might get you by in the meantime (at least around here, it's also easier to find a nice one). My bf and I, when it's just us, eat dinner at the coffee table while watching a show rather than at the kitchen table, anyway.  Also, some friends of my parents either didn't have a dining table or had a tiny one, I forget; when we visited them, they set out food on their giant (well, probably 5'x5' or 6'x6') coffee table and we sat on the floor. I think they had spent time in Central Asia (the -stan former Soviet republics) and I think that's a common setup there (using low tables).

So, a bed first. Me, my toaster, my chair and my bed will camp out in the new bare flat until I decide on my next move. I'm definitely going to see how much (quality, and non-infested) stuff I can get for free. I'm going to try and make it like a game to see how far I can go on limited funds.
Sounds like a fun game :) I do caution that with some things you might have a limit. We thrifted a lot our first few months but I think after about 2 months I was like "That's it. I can't find decent chairs I don't hate for under $30/ea. Let's get those ones from Costco." They're wood(ish), padded, folding chairs. Very sturdy and if we ever move up in dining furniture they'll become the spares. And I think that's fine. I tried.

A while back I knew a Spanish lady (we did a course together) who was inspirational in many ways - full of confidence and optimism, with two adopted kids and a wife who was a really brilliant chef in a fancy restaurant. Anyway, she invited me and a ton of other people round for a very roudy party in a flat that she had bought. It was an enormous place with high ceilings and big windows, and she'd found it really cheap (it was in a non-swanky part of town). The furniture was an eclectic mish-mash and I commented on how great it all looked - she told me she'd got every single item of furniture via freecycle and other freebie websites. At the time I was like 'it is not possible to decorate an entire flat for free'. She was like 'anything is possible'. It was about 3 years later that I found the MMM website and thought of the Spanish lady.
Sounds like an awesome lady. :) I'm very happy with our apartment and particularly the things we've gotten since moving in, both new and used. But I think my favorite things have been the thrift shop finds. Our coffee table is solid wood, sturdy, heavy as heck, with 3 drawers and this awesome inset hardware. We get compliments all the time. It was $40, as far as we can tell because it had baby bumpers, which Goo-gone and some elbow grease got rid of marvelously. The other awesome thing was we were looking for a dresser and found an Ethan Allen armoire. Gorgeous cherry inlay and woodwork overall, lovely hardware, near-pristine condition, $255. It's a beast, but I was like, if we can't find room for it at our next place, we can probably sell it for more! It's an old model but similar ones retail in the thousands.  Definitely not something I'd buy new, but...well, I took woodshop in school and I admire good work and...it's fabulous.

Sorry to keep rambling :)

PtboEliz

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[/]
 But I think my favorite things have been the thrift shop finds.
[/quote]

Those sound like great finds, galliver. I bet every time you see those pieces of furniture you smile. I heartily second thrift shop scores - I'm also a new first-time homeowner and I've largely outfitted my kitchen from second-hand stores and church rummage sales. I got some beautiful glass and table wear and all of my larger utensils for very little. Someone else mentioned that the kitchen stuff nickels and dimes you - I can see how it would but it doesn't need to.

I keep a wish list of stuff for my new house in my phone so when I'm near a shop I can check in. I recently got a lovely $4 vintage radio, some $1 decorative cushions and a $3 bed skirt.

dess1313

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you'll find once you're in what you will really need.  to just survive you'll need a bed, and a chair.  each house/apartment has a different configuration and depending on that you might use a lot of different stuff

thrift shops are fantastic, as well as craigs list/kijiji etc.  plates, bowls, pot, frying pan and basic cutlery can all be gotten here quick.  anything past that depends on how/what you cook

need something to store clothes in eventually.  if you have a closet just get some hangers for now. thrift shops can have some good finds but you'll have to look for them.  small plastic totes are good for holding stuff like socks and such.  bedding for your eventual bed.  some people use futons/sofa beds for a while which work as well

shower curtain/body products/bath mat.  cleaning supplies.  a vacuum eventually

don't go on a spending spree of fancy decorative stuff.  you'll find out what you need as you spend more time there.

Jakerado

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I'm going to support the plunger and tp recommendations. Aside from that and a place to sleep...build it up slowly as you find what you need.

For example, for furniture I have 2 end tables, a desk, a chair, a bed, and...that's basically it (do a couple stained pine shelves I hung count as furniture?). No couch, no dining table, no dining table chairs, etc. I have this set of items because that's what I've found I need. The rest might be nice, but only for looks. Your needs aren't the same as mine; you might want to throw big dinner parties, or have 6 people over to watch a movie and so on, which will make certain furniture items more important for you than me.

Rural

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In a new place,, you need to be able to eat, to sleep, and to keep yourself, your belongings (clothes), and your space reasonably clean. If you figure out what those mean for you, you can then get by just find and pick up luxuries secondhand or for free as needed.


I still don't have a dining table of any sort, over two years in the new house, thought it will happen eventually when my husband gets time to build one. You'll have to decide what your priorities are.


On the issue of TP: you need some of that when you go over to clean prior to move in. With luck, the plunger can wait until the next trip, but no longer because of the downside.

Midcenturymater

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Wait for the right estate sale and you will get original wallpaper eventually. Etsy also has vintage wallpapers that don't always cost a fortune. If it something you just love so much, you just save up for it first. For me very high prices put me off even something I am in love with. But I find things I love at estate sales and it us much more fun. Good will can be more expensive that the half price day at an estate sale where you pick up 5 amazing quality utensils for $5. They just want rid of the stuff on that last day and you can make offers on stuff. Just Google for them or check estate sales.com))

pbkmaine

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One thing I have seen decorators do with very expensive wallpaper: just use it on one "accent" wall.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 10:42:47 PM by pbkmaine »

The_path_less_taken

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)

FYI the wallpaper I really wanted is the Zebra-print one from Margo Tenenbaum's bedroom in The Royal Tenenbaums - for anyone who knows that movie so well they know it's very wallpaper. This probably gives a chilling insight into how mad my decorating plans are. It's made by a company in New York that seems to sell Only Wallpaper. They call it their 'iconic' design and they don't even have the price on the website. I think it's safe to say I can never afford it, no matter how much money I have. Also my boyfriend (who has his own house, decorated in a minimalist style) was plainly horrified and worried about our shared future when I showed the zebra pattern to him.

Me: but zebras!
Him: how have you managed to seem normal


If  you're even mildly artistic, you can stencil that on a wall in an average size room in about an hour, probably with a can off 'oops' cheapo paint from the 'didn't want that color' bin.

Also....if you're having trouble finding zebra patterns...a burro is pretty much similar body shape to a zebra. You could free hand sketch one on the wall, add stripes an voila!

Another thing that looks cool is to have a neutral background and plain black silhouettes of running horses (zebras for you). Cheap to try yourself, and if you think it looks like shit: a can of paint an hour later it could be gone.

Torran

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Painting the zebras huh... painting the zebras.. interesting.

So... I still don't know how to post an image or photo in the body of a message, but here's a link to that wallpaper.

http://www.scalamandre.com/scalamandre-designer-zebras.html

It totally COULD be hand-drawn! I mean, I'm not particularly proficient but I do love painting. If I took my time I could totally nail this. Well it might not look exactly like the wallpaper, but it would look like I had a wall of zebras, which is essentially what I'm going for.

FIXED IT! Thanks you guys. Thank was a great suggestion.

Jeremy E.

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DON'T ASK FOR A LIST OF STUFF TO BUY! this is how you waste money and end up with useless shit. Figure out what you need yourself and don't buy what you don't NEED

Playing with Fire UK

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When you are asking around for second hand stuff, ask your parents/older colleagues to ask for you.

Households that have just got married (received presents of nice kitchen bits and getting rid of their first bits) or two people who have lived alone and moved in together could have loads of stuff they could pass on.

Polaria

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It may be worth looking at what IKEA offers. I am not saying you have to source EVERYTHING from IKEA of course.

There are also thrift stores, pound shops, Wilko... Hasn't the British Heart Foundation second-hand furniture shops?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 05:16:49 AM by Polaria »

edmundblackadder

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From experience of living in an unfurnished space when my stuff had been delayed in shipping, the first few days you will neeeeeeeeed:

- shower curtain, if the shower isn't a self-contained cubicle
- bath towel (bathmat if you can)
- plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon, drinking glass (if your tap water is safe), heatproof mug
- dish soap & sponge
- rags or paper towels
- mattress, blanket, fitted sheet (you don't *need* a pillow but it's nice)
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- scissors
- toilet paper
- trash bags
- your preferred beverage or other small physical pleasure (chocolate? beer? favorite sweatshirt?) for when the world is terrible & you need a hug and/or you have accomplished A Thing and there is no one to high-five you

Have some cash on hand if you don't know where the ATMs are.

Torran

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Yes Polaria absolutely, the British Heart Foundation have excellent second-hand furniture shops - I've been having a root around have found some stuff, although they (quite rightly, since they are a charity) charge about the same as IKEA for some things. Probably a much more ethical way to buy things though!

I have my eye on a kingsize bed frame + kingsize mattress, totalling about £450, unused, from my local branch just now.

Hoooover, sadly none of this can go into action straight away, because the flat purchasing has been cancelled.
I was planning on putting in an offer today if there were no problems discovered on the second viewing, but for the second viewing my dad (who works on building sites mostly) came to have a thorough investigation of the cellar, which showed a potentially massive plumbing problem. So THAT'S why it was so cheap.

Because of the particular arrangement in that block of flats (no factor - to use British terminology, not sure if that's the same term used in other countries) there would be nobody to oversee tthe organisation and payment for this work so I would have to organise getting it fixed and co-ordinate every other owner in the block chipping in financially, if the plumbing work affected the whole building. As you can imagine, this can cause problems if you are unable to track down an owner, or they just straight-up refuse to pay - and then you have to go to the council to get a court order. Worst case scenario: massive horrible legal arguments with new neighbours.

To paraphrase Captain Awkward, the general feeling therefore was:
Bees! Run!

So after dwelling on it a while, I decided to indeed run away from that. And now, back to the drawing board.

This thread has been invaluable however, because I now have a much better plan for how to buy things and in what order. Particularly the chat about how it's the small items that will nickel-and-dime you (is there a British way of saying that? or rather a Scottish/Glaswegian way? There must be) - so I'm buying things bit by bit in charity shops, with a maximum of £5 for the largest items allowed. Aiming to get most things for £1. This is to avoid having to do an emergency dash to Tesco/IKEA after moving in and realising I have to eat noodles from my cupped hands because I have no bowl and no fork. I looked in Tesco and was very disheartened by the ridiculous prices for it's most basic home-ware (i.e £4 for a mug, which adds up...). Also, charity shops definitely have that smug-moral-superiority advantage ;) It's not shopping, it's recycling.

MonkeyJenga

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I knew exactly what wallpaper you were talking about, from my obsessive design website days, and I had to laugh, because your money would be gone right quick on that one.

I think it's great that you're going slowly and looking for cheap/free options! I spent way too much money "decorating" back in the day, on items that have not retained their resale value. I regret nothing everything.

Too bad about the flat, but lucky your dad caught the issue. Good luck hunting out a new one!

Torran

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Thanks Monkeyjenga!

Yeah after a few days of feeling sad, I just felt mega relieved - that I have a dad who is prepared to crawl around in the CREEPIEST cellar I think I've ever seen, and get covered in fluff and probably spiders, to find a leaking waste water pipe. So I didn't have to pay for a survey; and I didn't buy a house only to discover it was going to be a financial, and emotional, nightmare.

Phew.

Now back and looking at other flats, sadly all of the nice ones are £20,000 more expensive than the sad-flooded-cellar flat (and the actual rooms/layout is just pretty similar), but hey.

My boyfriend pointed out, if I save for another 4/5 months, I can increase the amount of deposit I can put down on a flat, which would mean I have more choice about what I go for - e.g a few more months of exteme frugality = several years living in a flat I actually like, which doesn't have any massive problems to be fixed.

Glad you get the wallpaper situation. Oh, the zebras. Those zebras.

Apart from slowly buying a lot of 1980s homeware from charity shops, I'm trying not to think too much about interior decor. Incase I go wild and buy £££ worth of that wallpaper. I must not.

former player

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You know, the leaking waste pipe could probably be sorted for rather less than £20k.  Just saying.  (Provided the foundations are OK, of course.)

Nickyd£g

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Regarding street found furniture, I also found a wooden dining chair in the street a year or so ago.  Perfectly fine condition.  I carted it home, then asked a friend who was doing decoupage to decoupage it.  It gave her practice and I got a like new chair.  Its a one of a kind, decorated in lots of different colours and patterns, and everyone comments on it when they see it!  I use it as my bedside table, as I didn't have one :)

Best of luck Torrance!

GuitarStv

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I'd pick up the following:

- 1 plate
- 1 cup
- 1 spork
- 1 knife
- 1 large pot
- 1 large frying pan
- 1 can opener
- 1 cutting board
- 1 warm blanket
- 1 bed sheet
- 1 pillow (optional, but nice to have)
- 1 towel
- whatever toiletries you need to get going in the morning
- A shower curtain.
- a bunch of hangars for your clothes (if you have closets that need hangars)
- One screwdriver that accepts multiple bits (a shocking number of things will need to be screwed in for minor house repairs)
- Curtains or blinds for your bedroom and any bathroom where your naked body would otherwise be on display.


Other than that you can sleep on the floor (no need for a bed), and eat while sitting at the counters (no need for a table).  When summer rolls around you probably want to pick up some yard tools so that the neighbours don't complain about your lack of maintenance.

Noodle

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Sorry about Flat #1 but perhaps something even better will come along for Flat #2. When I was shopping, the first condo I seriously wanted was exactly what I was looking for in terms of space, layout, etc. But I didn't have my financing yet (it was a "survey the landscape" sort of trip) and there were several other offers. Flat #2, in a neighborhood I hadn't even thought about, has its own issues, but is in an actual walking neighborhood...something rare in my city and something I care about quite a bit.

Hopefully (esp with more time to look) you will find lots of high-quality used finds! If you do have to buy IKEA or their ilk to fill holes, I have actually had pretty good luck with that sort of thing. I have two "real" pieces of furniture (thanks grandparents) and the rest is IKEA/Target/Amazon/generic online store--my couch is used (bought before bedbugs were a thing) and the bed I bought new from a mattress store (headboard came later from the Land of Fiberboard). The key is to be careful with it, and also to buy the absolute simplest items available. The fancier they are, the more obvious they are cheap.