Pet Mayhem

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If you’ve just moved out of home and are finding it a little bit of a struggle, a bit stressful and a bit hard. Don’t get a pet. Just….Don’t. Get a goldfish, or a rat, or something easily confined to a small space. Don’t get a dog, don’t get a cat. Your stress levels, especially if they were bad before, will be through the roof. Especially with puppies and kittens.

You have to get used to whiny, mewing, messy animals. You have to follow them around what seems like 24/7 simply to make sure they don’t start the dreaded “sniff circle”. That ever dreaded maneuver that means something bad is on its way. Then you try a frenzied run to get the lead, your shoes, poop bags and treats. Chances are, you’ll of missed your opportunity and then you’re not sure if you should scold the dog because of what it did, or leave it alone because it’s probably been too long and they won’t remember what they’ve done.

Then you factor in the finances. You will most likely need to spend well over 150 on the dogs first night. Toys, bedding, blankets, food, cleaners, training pads and leads. Then you’ve got the cost over months. Vet visits, vaccinations, medicine.

Then you add in the time. A puppy and kitten will need your time. Lots and lots of your time. You can’t just seat the animal in your house and expect everything to be hunky dory and that the animal will entertain itself. You need to regularly excercise the animal. Constantly. Every night when you come home from work you need to take the animal out for a walk. Every-single-day.

Reconsider your choices. Get something that has plenty of fun in a glass bowl or a cage.

Not enough incentive? Consider the worst smell known to man, now combine that smell with a hot, sticky and mushy mess. This is what your cat and dog will do, quarterly, during the day. Enjoy.

Then again….How can you refuse a face like this?

When someone goes

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It’ll either be incredibly saddening or a massive celebration, depending on your relationship. There are, unfortunately, a multitude of things you need to do before they go (aside from have a going away party).

  • Make sure no rent is outstanding with your real estate
  • Make sure no damage has occurred in their living space
  • If there is damage caused by the individual make sure to have a discussion with them about taking some of the bond to cover the damages
  • Make sure you have a replacement tenant (if you need/want one)
  • Make sure you’ve separated their stuff and your stuff and are agreed that is exactly what it is
  • Make sure to give the real estate agent two weeks notice
  • Make sure to get into the real estate and sign all appropriate paper work
  • Make sure to party hard prior to them leaving
  • Make sure to get their contact details in case anything should crop up in regards to before they vacated
  • Have any bills in their name signed over to yourself
  • Get prepped for the new house mate
  • Write out an advert to place online/in the paper for the vacancy
  • Make sure you time the new tenant/your increase in rent payments with the departure of the previous one
  • Make sure the previous tenant returns all their keys and any copies
  • If required, do another condition report
  • Get a forwarding number for any callers or visitors to the house
  • Clean!

You should find that this list (while extensive) will not leave you unprepared for a new housemate or life without your old housemate. Also be prepared for a house balance shift and personality adjustment. Different housemates have different tendencies and you might move in with one of the house mate types as discussed in previous posts.

House, Villa Unit or Apartment?

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It is a solid idea to plan before you move out. Probably one of the biggest decisions you will make (next to how much to pay for rent) is whether you want an apartment, a unit or a house.

All three have major ups and downs.

Apartment

Pros

  • Cheap- apartments generally run between 100-350 a week for a standard to good apartment. More modern, designer architecture filled ones can run upwards of 1000 a week-Avoid.
  • Secure, if a thief has a choice between a house where it’s residents are out, or an apartment where 10 other close by tenants might hear him even if the occupants are out- The safest choice would be the house.
  • Easy to keep clean. Apartments generally contain between 3-5 rooms, and small ones at that. They are no bother to tidy.
  • You can make great friends with your neighbours, some neighbours are genuinely fantastic people. It’s a good way to increase your social circle.
  • No garden/lawn upkeep.
  • Low energy costs. A few rooms mean a few lights and less power/heating used.

Cons

  • Space. If there are more than one or two people then you’re going to find apartments more than cramped. Apartments are generally aimed at the singles/couple market.
  • Pets. You most likely don’t get to have one.
  • Noise. You need to be careful of making too much noise. Due to being in such close proximity to your neighbours you will generally find that noise will be a commonly occuring issue.
  • Bad neighbours. You don’t have a fence seperating you, so you might find neighbours getting to you quickly if they are; Annoying, noisy, nosey, bitchy, arrogant, deceitful, violent or aggressive.
  • Light. With few windows comes little light. Good luck at finding a bright and sunny apartment.
  • Hot/cold. If you are on the top floor you will find it extremely hard to stay cool- extremely hard. Top floors get extremely warm in summer and there’s very little you can do to counteract it. However in winter, even a small heater can warm a small apartment.
  • No garden.
  • Parking. There’s usually very little- if any.
  • Shared water costs. This may or may not occur in your property, but sometimes water usage is distributed evenly between apartments.
  • Generally not kid friendly.
  • Not good for share accomodation- Little to no privacy

Villa Unit

Pros

  • The advantages of an apartment with more space and no neighbours directly adjoined.
  • You might have a backyard.
  • You might be allowed to get a pet.
  • You will have between one to four neighbours.
  • Noise is less of a problem.
  • Upkeep. Sometimes upkeep around the yard/gardens will be completed by the groundskeeper.
  • Parking- You might have access to a garage or at least a car space.
  • More kid friendly than apartments.
  • Better for share accomodation (1-2 people)

Cons

  • Space. Whilst there is generally more in villa units, you might still find space to be a little bit of a problem.
  • Yard. You might have to upkeep the yard yourself, keeping in standard with the surrounding villa units.
  • Security. Villa units are usually located on a block of 2-5, but are seperate enough from each other to have yards and thus access points unseen from neighbours. This may be moot if you have a security gate/fence around the perimeter.
  • Cost- The cost of a villa unit compared to an apartment is higher due to extra space, a yard, a car space etc.

House

Pros

  • Lots of space. If you’ve ever moved from an apartment to a house- you may of noticed that you didn’t have anywhere near enough belongings to fill the house. This being said, you can also get tiny houses.
  • Your own yard. If you are in a house the chances are high that you will have a sizeable yard.
  • Garage. You’ll most likely have one, if not a double one on a house property- failing this you will have a driveway or parking space.
  • Shed. You might even have access to one of these. Great if you are a handy man and own a bunch of tools/house improvement belongings.
  • Pets. Sometimes allowed, sometimes not, but more often than not allowed- at least compared to apartments.
  • Only two neighbours. One to either side!
  • Noise. It is a lot less of a problem compared to villa units and apartments.
  • Kids. Houses have plenty of room for little terrors to run amock.
  • Seclusion. You can have your own privacy in a house, normally not available in an apartment or villa unit.
  • Share accomodation friendly, which generally negates the cost.

Cons

  • Cost. Houses run your budget into the ground a lot faster than apartments or villa units.
  • Need a rather large amount of furniture to make a house look good.
  • Power use will generally be a lot higher than for an apartment or villa unit.
  • Easier target for crime.
  • Yard upkeep will definitely be yours to maintain.
  • Bond is a hefty “first time renter” hit to take in a house due to large rent PCM cycles.

It is generally a good idea to way up the pros and cons, weigh the balance of rent in the favour of either a house, unit or apartment, decide who you will be sharing with and for how long, then create a major budget and see which will be the more sensible option.

Don’t forget, you are in this house for a year unless you incur some major costs. Make the smart decision before you go!

Chorely not

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If you’ve brought it up then you most likely know what being universally hated feels like. Your entire house probably let out a collective “Ughhhh, really?”.

Regardless whether you are a mum in a bought house with children, a renter who likes to keep their place neat and tidy, or a one-of-a-kind share accommodation tenant who wants a clean house, you know what I mean already.

You can’t lightly step around the issue of living in a deli of dirt, a grotto of grot, a house of …. well you get the picture. Someone in the house is going to disagree about there being a method of organising the cleaning duties. Chances are that someone is the same someone who had that mexican stand-off with you about taking the garbage out for so long that flies started making your house a regular stop in point before the tip.

This isn’t going to be an easy step and you’re most likely going to be initially (or permanently) disliked. So is there anyway to make things a little more bearable?

Yes. But only a few.

Chore Wheel. Randomise it. With a Chore Wheel it doesn’t seem like you’re setting out a bunch of rules for people to follow and it’s entirely random who does what on what day. There may even be weeks where one individual escapes the chore wheel entirely. That being said, however, some weeks they might find themselves on it every single day.

Chore Dart Board. Every house member throws a dart for the day, that day that person is doing that chore. This psychologically shifts the blame off of you. If you throw a dart and it hits a chore, you feel like it was your poor decision to throw the dart in that way. Change it up a little with bonuses E.g: I.O.U chores, Chore Free Day or a prize of some sort. Make it a game.

Chore Sheet. It’s probably the most controlling option, but things get done. Plus when someone isn’t home- they pick up the slack the next day as they got to skip. There’s a variety of downloadable chore sheets from the Microsoft Office program. Alternatively you can find one here and here.

If you’re a mother, the chore dart board and chore wheel are probably the best options. As children can see it like a sort of game. If you are in a share house or rental accommodation with a friend then it’s likely that you’re mature enough to have a conversation and agree to fair terms on the Chore Sheet.

The cleaning has to be done and one person shouldn’t be stuck with it all regardless of accommodation type.

In our house, we have a chore sheet (which hasn’t been followed once since it’s introduction)- however we have dealt with a Housemate War that somewhat hindered the shared duties.

Good luck with whichever deadly avenue you choose to wander down!

The simple bare necessities-House

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Yes, you need two glory boxes. Or one majorly large one. Your first, as discussed in the last post should contain your kitchen essentials. That which you need regularly to make meals for yourself or, in the case of baked beans, that which you need to get you by on those nights when you have nothing else!

The second glory box contains your regular use and very essential cleaning and household items. As I discussed in the last post, you’re only making life easier for yourself if you have these items before you move out. You will miss them greatly if you arrive at a situation with no solution.

  • WD40- Top of the list for a reason
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Chux (Yes two packets-Kitchen and house)
  • Scourer (Again, yes, two.)
  • Shower Power
  • Draino
  • Mr Muscle general cleaner
  • Glass cleaner (not the No name brand-It leaves streaks)
  • Ajax Spray and Wipe
  • Carpet Deodoriser (If your house has carpets)
  • Cedar wood oil (If your house has hard wood/polished floors)
  • Glen20 room deodoriser
  • Dishwashing scourer handle (Very handy-Fill with dishwashing liquid and you can clean your dishes in a sink with just water- Available at Safeway for about five dollars with three heads)
  • Mortein Surface Spray
  • Mortein Fly/Bug Spray
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Lighter
  • Torch
  • Tea Light candles
  • Rags (at least 4-You’ll thank me later)
  • Power Board X 2 (Each with 4-5 plugs)
  • Double Adapter
  • Extension cord (1X2 metre, 2 X 3 metre)
  • Packet of batteries (10-20 (AA and AAA))
  • Washing Powder
  • Softener
  • Pegs
  • Cord (tightly knit hemp rope works too) at least 4 metres

You will need, at least once, all of the above in your time living away from home. You will immediately regret not having any of the above (if only for the one to two hours before you go to the shops and get more).

Bookmark this post, I will be adding more as more situations in my own house (and my friends and family) arise.

Can you think of anything else? Leave a comment below if you want to add to the list.