“Furnishing a flat is like playing The Sims. Except that you do not have any cheat-codes for simoleons.”
No, dear Readers. Furnishing a flat comes nowhere close to playing a computer game: Putting costs aside, reality is much more complicated and dangerous – I would say, outright hazardous. So, in case you are thinking of moving somewhere new, have a look at my list of DOs and DON´Ts. If nothing else, it should save you some bruises (and euros).
2. DO shop around and DO be creative. a) You can do a whole bunch of things yourself (IKEA “paper” furniture, anyone?), b) don´t buy fancy decorations – paint your own pictures or use some of your favourite photos!, c) look up second-hand stuff (I bought a brand-new fridge for 100 euro), d) ask your friends for help (i.e. never try to build a huge wardrobe on your own – the blood stains on mine could testify…).
3. DO make it quick. The longer you live more or less at two places at the same time, the more time-consuming, exasperating and frustrating moving becomes. Once you have your new home “ready”, go ahead and move. There is no point in prolonging the pain.
4. DO go shopping with someone else (your significant other, ideally). Trust me, having someone who can think clearly even after the whole day of running around beds, wardrobes and stoves is priceless. (True story.)
5. DO expect that the costs are going to be higher than you thought. While your first guesstimate might be around 1000 euro, reality knocks on the door when you realize that “this is still not the end”: After all, you do not just need (?) painted walls, new fluffy carpets, furniture and some kitchen appliances: Make sure to include even “the little things” – pots, plates, mugs, bed linen, curtains (especially if you live on the first floor), etc.
6. DON´T be a perfectionist…for once. You don´t need to have everything ready before you move – many things can be done “on the way”, so to speak. Besides, it is easier to finish all cleaning and furnishing once you actually live somewhere instead of coming there from far away once per day.
7. And finally… DO throw a party once you are done! You deserve a rest, your friends probably too – and your new flat desperately needs some spilled red wine to get the right “living” atmosphere.