Since moving into our new place, I’ve realized that I wish I had known a few things about moving across continents to study. Precisely why I’ve put together this post for students who are just as clueless about moving into a brand new unfurnished apartment in a country completely foreign to them.
I do feel the need to point that this post is US-oriented so you might have to improvise a bit if you’re elsewhere and there is no Target or whatever.
1. Antibacterial wipes
Go to your nearest Target or Walmart or Costco (if you’re like us and are always needing to wipe something down with and need half a dozen bottles of Lysol wipes) and pick up a bottle of Lysol wipes. You will not be sorry. They’re good for everything.
No doubt the apartment will clean your apartment before handing you the keys (though it’s really hard to say whether they do a good job of cleaning or not) but you should really consider wiping things like the toilet bowl, door knobs, counter tops, light switches and just about any surface that you will be touching quite often.
2. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, towel)
So you may have packed these and brought them with you or you might have accidentally left out something or you were thinking of buying these upon arrival – it doesn’t matter. As long as by the end of the day you got your stuff, you’re good.
You’ll be needing this before you turn in for the night and when you wake up, right?
I know they sell toothpaste at dollar stores so you might want to check that out. Or if you’re thinking long-term, go to Costco and get the 6-pack (or was it 4?). Target had this awesome selection of towels and they were going for a good price so I got one.
3. Bed sheets and pillows
Hopefully you move in AFTER you buy your bed. If you don’t and assuming you don’t have a couch, I’d probably recommend getting an airbed. Airbeds are not too bad in terms of comfort and they come in handy if you ever go camping or stay over at a friend’s place.
So you’ve got your bed, now go get your sheets and pillows. Target has some really cute options especially around August when they have College/Back to School selections but if you’re going for something more affordable, Walmart is the way to go. Tip: if you don’t like ‘hairy’ bedsheets (because I don’t), get the sheets with a higher thread count.
No table, no problem. Chairs are probably what you need more than a table since they are easier to load into a car and you can actually sit on it. We got 4 chairs from Target for $20 each. I know. Why are chairs so expensive? But wait, you have even seen the office chairs? They go for about $80-$150.
I would also recommend getting a dining table first so that you can eat at it. And here’s a tip from me to you, just get a sturdy six foot long table instead of a fancy dining table set. If only IKEA delivered. We planned on going down to get some furniture but then we remembered the fiasco we encountered at Canada’s IKEA where we couldn’t even LIFT the box from the warehouse onto the cart. Yeah, so that was out. I also read reviews that it’s always madness in the IKEAs.
But who needs IKEA when you have Costco delivery?! We ordered two tables from Costco and they were delivered SUPER fast. I literally got the second table the next day!! Kudos to you, Costco. The only problem we ran into was trying to get the dang table out of the box. It took 3 people to do it. Anyone know any tips for getting a table out of its box?
Let’s just assume that you’re coming from a country with different battery adapters. It’s such a hassle to have to get different adapters for different countries but thank goodness for universal battery adapters.
6. Clothes hangers
We got a bunch from The Dollar Tree but then Target also had great back-to-school sales on household items so we got another bunch. You should see our closet. They are a range of bright pink and green clothes hangers. I was against buying so many but seriously, they’re useful for everything. I will buy more if I see them on sale.
7. Plastic bags
I feel like plastic bags are so necessary whenever you are. They are good for garbage, collecting clean and dirty laundry (if you haven’t already got a laundry basket), keeping all the small things, as an alternate for gloves, wrapping stuff…
Um, who needs those kitchen trash bags with drawstrings when you have plastic bags that you get from grocery stores that you’re going to throw away anyway? #theasianwayisthegreenway
Bottled water to be specific. If you’re like us and don’t drink tap water, get yourself a crate of bottled water to last you the first few weeks before you settle down in your new home. You’ll be so tired from running around and moving furniture and going to school that you won’t have time to boil water or even wait for it to cool down.
I personally would rather go to Target because Walmart is, well, Walmart but things are cheap so sometimes it’s just better. But here’s something I learned: shop online from Walmart. Stuff gets to your doorstep and you don’t even have to set foot in there. Awesome? I think so.
Any questions on where to buy other stuff? Let me know, I’ll be more than happy to send you in the right (read: affordable) direction. If you have any tips or know of any more affordable options, feel free to list them in the comments.