Moving into your first place soon?

Moving out of home whether it is to a commune, or your first flat can be quite stressful. Knowing what you need to take along or buy equivalents of before you even move out, can make this somewhat more stressful still.

Things I regret not having done before 4 moves in the last few years ranging from a room in a commune to a full on huge flat, to a small flat to now a smallish house.

You don’t need as much furniture as you think that you do. People tend to buy way more furniture than they need because they saw it in their parents' house or grandparents house. Seriously you don’t need a tea cart or even two couches.

I am not a minimalist, I definitely lean towards hoarder side of the spectrum but even I am seeing the appeal of cleaner and fewer surfaces, less stuff, fewer things to worry about.

If you are curious about minimalism then you should definitely check out the following two books:

  • Marie Kondo - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up

  • Margareta Magnusson -The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Go through these books and take some time to figure out your clutter and habits before even remotely considering moving your stuff to your first place.

Ask your parents and family if they have extra things lying around the house that you could look at to see if you could use it in your new place. Whether it is a spare set of curtains or if you're lucky a working fridge.

Every little thing you don’t need to buy can save you some serious money in the long run. Also check with your parents if the furniture in your room is yours or do you need to buy a new bed, desk and so on.

When looking at places to stay:

Very few of us can afford our own place on or started salary, seriously there is no shame in not being able to afford your own place. If you and a friend are both moving out and work in similar areas it might be worth looking into a flat share just between the two of you. That way both of you carry the cost of furnishing the flat. (Article to come on furniture for your first place). Agree on who gets what if one of you moves out and write it down before move out the day so that there is no hard feelings or damaged friendships. I will add if both of you own a car, look for a place with two parking’s or the option to rent an extra parking and share that expense, one shouldn’t be able to park for free but the other can’t.

While living where you work isn’t always a great idea, living fairly central so the commute is easy makes sense. If you work in a Gautrain area, try looking at neighbourhoods where a station is easily accessible for you to reduce your commute and the wear and tear on your car.

Figure out your priorities, do you like nature trails and hiking or clubs and dancing, these do impact the areas where you live that make you happiest, that said you should be able to get to these areas before they close regular so if your commute is crazy home and to work then what's the point of living there?

If you have pets, make sure the building and landlord are pet-friendly, you want this in writing, be warned pet-friendly places are usually hard to get and far more expensive.

Lastly, make sure the shower works.

What advice do you have for new tenants?