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?

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Food Etiquette

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It’s best to discuss etiquette before you begin living with someone so you know what is and what is not acceptable in regards to food. Some houses utilise a complete share system (one person shops one week and the food is free reign- one person shops the next and so on and so forth). Other houses utilise the common items and personal items rule (salt, pepper, milk, butter, bread, flour etc. are shared food- dinner items, fruit, vegetables, pizzas, alcohol are personal). Other houses use the all items are personal rule.

To varying degrees- They all work. Some more effectively than others.

All items are shared– With this method it’s a free for all. Any food you want, you had better eat quick because you can’t claim dibs in a free for all environment. You also run into the problem of selfish housemates. If on your week you go out and really stock the entire place, the next the housemate (instead of throwing you some cash for your massive effort) might just buy a small shopping load and claim that the house didn’t really need that much food. This has the foundations of a massive argument.

Some share, some personal- This is probably the best method in my experience. Milk, pepper, bread, salt, flour, butter etc are all shared as it makes no sense to have three pepper shakers, three open cartons of milk, three containers of butter etc. Not only will you be able to fit minimal items into your fridge/pantry, you’ll find you waste double the amount of food. With this method you still get your personal self bought items such as pizzas or doughnuts, but you’re still contributing to the house.

All personal- Probably best to try to avoid this method. You’ll triple up on anything and everything in the house and wars will break out when a personal item is used. It’s just a scary situation- Avoid at all costs. It’s for selfish uncooperative houses.

It’s definitely best to find out what kind of house you’re moving in too.

In any case, always share so that when you need something you won’t feel bad for asking. Always ask before taking, and always ensure that everyone around you is as happy as you can make them without over stepping your limits. A full bellied house hold is a happy house hold!

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!

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.

The simple bare necessities-Kitchen

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Glory box, Treasure chest, Out of Home Kit, Starter Pack.

Call it what you will but before you move out of home you should always have some bare minimum, essential things. Not the big fridge, couch or table items. But the day-to-day items that make your life exponentially easier and simplify your time out of home.

Do NOT leave home without the below (unless of course you’re a minimalist- then you can leave home with a shirt, a pair of pants, one fork, and a swiss army knife!):

  • Cutlery, preferably a four pack
  • At least two plates, cups, bowls and saucers
  • A set of chux (dish cloths)
  • Scourer
  • Two tea towels
  • Can opener
  • One or two wooden spoons
  • A chef set (Spatula, slotted turner, salad turner, etc.)
  • One chef knife
  • Two chopping boards
  • Pan set (small, medium large at a minimum)
  • A baking tray
  • A baking dish
  • Glad wrap (No brand is fine)
  • Glad bake (No brand is fine)
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Corn Flour
  • 4 cup a soups
  • 8 cans of baked beans

The above items are what I consider to be the bare minimum of kitchen essentials. You can even get by on just a little less if you plan ahead (one large pan instead of small, medium and large for example).

I think a lot of young people have lost the art of the Glory Box (sounds dirty- it isn’t). It’s a simple way of ensuring your first week at your new place isn’t spent hungry because you can’t cook any of the food you’ve bought.

My first week out of home I shifted into a place that had all the above, but I kept the Glory Box. When my first move went badly (lasted a month), I came home, moved out again and took the Glory Box. I’d of struggled in my first week if it wasn’t for that little treasure trove of kitchen goodies.

Start early, get it together, when you move out you won’t regret having these things “back up ready”.

Humble Beginnings

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Start small. Start cheap.

Don’t expect to head off from home and enter into a decadent place with lavish furniture and beautiful decor. It’s just not going to happen. Well… unless you’re a lucky Trust Fund Baby.

In the first stages of your renting history you should search for a place that you can afford and then some. If you have a weekly income of approximately five to six hundred dollars then don’t head out and grab yourself a four hundred dollar a week place (unless you’re sharing the cost). My general rule is approximately 25-35% of my weekly income should be allocated to rent.

If you are ever spending more than 50% of your weekly income on rent, you’re doing something terribly wrong.

Also, stick with the basics. When you move out initially you need the essentials not gorgeous designer furniture. The major basics include:

  • Fridge
  • Bed
  • Washing Machine (Unless there’s laundry facilities-but this can get expensive quickly)
  • Clothes Horse (Clothes Hanger) if you have a yard with a washing line then this is obsolete
  • One couch
  • A table (four seater minimum) with at least two chairs
  • A cupboard or tall boy for your clothes
  • TV/Computer with TV connectivity

This isn’t including your small necessities but you should have at least the above before you move out, even then you can knock items from the list. If you can’t afford a table, eat on your couch (just be careful), if you can’t afford a washing machine, use a laundromat etc. The items are listed according to importance. At a bare minimum you need a fridge, a bed, and a place to sit. You can accumulate the rest later.

If Minimalists can live with the bare minimum, you can too!