You know the excitement when you can finally move out of your parental home and into your own place in lovely Melbourne. Whether rented or bought, it’s something you’ve been planning and working toward for years. But with that comes a few fears, and a few unknowns. You may find that a pipe burst and you’re suddenly looking for a plumber Melbourne based to prevent excessive damage. Or you may find that your fridge breaks down and you don’t even know who to call or what to do.
Photo by Roberto Nicson, Unsplash
Then, there are the many gardening and maintenance tasks that weren’t your responsibility before now, and you have absolutely no idea where to start.
Having a short, handy guide to living alone for the first time is invaluable. Here are the top tips for living on your own for the first time.
When you first move out of the home, you’re glad to get rid of the parents who constantly tell you what to do. However, you’ll soon find that you need advice. For example, how much do you know about the following:
- How to cook a roast.
- Who to call when the freezer goes on the blink.
- How to keep up the garden during winter.
- Even how to test smoke detectors.
So, the very first thing to do is to gather advisors around you. Experienced gardeners, cooks, maintenance men and more. You could ask your parents, but it’s best to find local people and develop friendships with them. For example, you may find wise new neighbours or a local DIY expert who doesn’t mind giving advice now and then.
Have a few on speed dial, so you’re set for emergencies.
Have an Emergency List
You’re always going to face emergencies. Whether electrical, plumbing or police, keep a list of emergency numbers on your fridge and saved on your phone. Include the following on the list:
- Pool maintenance
- Emergency contact numbers for all members of the household
Find out About Your Machines and Maintenance
The equipment in your home is going to require maintenance so get to know these machines. Keep the handbooks after purchasing them, and make sure to do all that is required for setup and maintenance.
A list of some of the common home maintenance items to consider:
- Washing machines require a regular clean with vinegar and hot water. Check with manufacturers how often this is required.
- It’s important to remove fluff from tumble dryers every time you use them.
- Fridges require weekly and monthly cleaning.
- You need to empty your freezer once a year and clean it out. Remember to lightly dust the pipes behind it once a year, or you could face long-term problems.
- Keep the aircons, fans and heaters free of dust, and check the connections and regulators often. Regulators need replacing about once every two years.
- Make sure the geyser has a protective insulating blanket.
One of the most rewarding chores in life is tending the garden. Sweeping leaves or mowing lawns on a weekly basis may seem a little boring, but you soon see positive changes in your environment. Add a few pretty flowers and a couple of veggies, and you’ll experience the feeling of accomplishment when they grow.
One of the best things to get for yourself is a gardening book, and a schedule of what to plant in which season.
Important tip: remember to maintain your garden equipment and keep the lawnmower blades sharp.
General Repairs and Maintenance Around the Home
There are many chores around the house which require doing. You have to routinely replace lightbulbs, unblock toilets, and unclog drains. Depending on the age of the building you may have to replace a window and redo the putty. Furthermore, your taps may start leaking, and you have to replace the washer. You may even have to get an entire hot water system replacement if yours has broken down.
You can use a handyman to do many of these tasks in the beginning, but you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you learn to do them yourself. Like we said—learn from the experts.
One of the best and most inspiring times of your life is when you can decorate your home and make it your own. If you have an artistic flair, you can create, sculpt, paint and express your personality. If not, use magazines and websites to find inspiration. However, ensure it’s a space you enjoy coming home to, rather than following décor trends.
The Challenge of Holidays
The holidays offer unique problems, if you plan on going away. Here’s a checklist:
- You need someone to look after the house and pets
- You’ll need security features.
- Check that there is sufficient security for your home, including someone to switch lights on at home—unless you have a smart home.
- Ask someone to collect your mail and newspapers.
- A neighbour may have to water your garden.
There are a number of challenges and joys that come with moving into your own home. They are surmountable, with a little help. In the process, you’re learning lessons and gaining confidence. It’s all part of growing up!