Buying your own house is one of the most stressful but exhilarating things you will ever do. There’s so much to think about- mortgages, surveys, move in dates and signing of legal documents – as well as all the practical stuff. But then there’s the fun part- making it your own! A place where your own style and personality can develop and grow to achieve a space that you can feel completely relaxed in.
Having recently moved in to an unfurnished rented house with my partner I felt I could share my experiences with you and provide you with a help line to the conundrum that is- moving in to your first house. To start with you’ll probably have a to do list as long as your arm, but I’m here to help. You’ll probably have already been given some bits and bobs from family and friends so I am going to provide you with a list of essentials and some advice that I hope will help ease the transition without over stretching your pockets and also avoiding the possibility of spending the first few months using a blow up bed and sleeping bag as your sleeping quarters and living of take aways due to lack of cooking utensils.
I promise you it gets better after the initial madness!
So first and foremost;
Moving in day
There are some things that you’re going to need access to within the first few hours of moving in, like a kettle, mugs , tea, coffee, cleaning stuff and toilet rolls. Trust me, you’re definitely going to need the coffee and tea after you’ve spent hours hammering together flat pack furniture!
Bed and Bath
For the big spends such as the bed, mattress, duvets and pillow, you should try to buy the best that you can afford, these are things that are going to last for years and you will thank yourself down the line for buying better quality products.
For bed linen, make sure you have a couple of choices so as when it comes to washing it’s not a marathon task to try to get it dry on time for going to bed that night. Take a look at zara home where you will find a great range of patterns and colours to choose from at purse friendly prices, or if you want to spend a little bit more I would suggest taking a look at West Elm or Ferm Living for something a bit more unique.
For your bathroom, again at least 2 sets, with one bath towel and two hand towels per person. John Lewis have a wide colour range and are great value for money.
Cooking and dining
Start with a small collection of basics for the kitchen to make sure you’re not having to live off takeaways. I would suggest buying a set of saucepans that will get you going and then you can add to this at a later date. It is also often cheaper to buy a set of knives too. For both the pots and the knives I would suggest looking at marks and spencers products, they are really good value and cope well with the general wear and tear of cooking. We bought a set from M&S when we first moved in and after 2 years they’re still going strong.
For serving spoons and other utensils I really like the contemporary and modern products from John Lewis’ House Range. The range is very affordable but they haven’t scrimped on the overall aesthetics of the design. You will also probably want to pick up some necessities such as washing basin, bin, mop and draining rack. We didn’t have a draining rack for the first few weeks as I liked how uncluttered the sink looked without it.. oh how wrong I was. After washing through breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes the sink area looked far from clutter free!
Table wear is the next thing on your list to get. Paper plates may seem like an easy option for a while but after the initial first few days you will most definitely be bored of the idea and want to eat of proper tableware with knives and forks- I would recommend opting for a cutlery set with a mixture of spoons, forks and knives in it, so as you’re not spending all your time at the sink! I really like the products available from Skandium, their products are beautifully designed yet functional and ooze simplicity.
For glasses, a set of tumblers and a set of wine glasses will be fine for a good few months and then you can invest in some more when you feel you need to. If you’ve got the space I would also suggest investing in a dining table and chairs. When friends and family start to visit you do not want to be serving them dinner at a coffee table or eating of your lap from the sofa. It was fine in your student days but now that you own a house it really is worth the investment. I like the selection Habitat offer as well as John Lewis’ House range.
If you have the budget for a sofa I would suggest opting for one out of Ikea. I really like their KARLSTAD three seater and this is the one we invested in when we moved into our house. It comes in a range of colours and different fabric textures and is really good value for money. If you don’t have the budget just yet think about visiting a secondhand furniture shop; you never know what bargains you can find. If even that stretches your budget you could always set up some deckchairs, then once you can afford a sofa they can then be used during the summer in your garden! At the moment, Tesco have some really quirky and colourful designs on offer which would be perfect for brightening up your back garden when the sun comes out.
Good luck with the move!