Moving for the First Time - What to Buy?

Hi all,

I've purchased my very first apartment, I settle in about four weeks. Wanting the community's help and recommendations on what I need. What are ozbargainers favourites trs for the below items and rough budgets?

  • TV around $1K?
  • Fridge around $1500?
  • Lounge - Up to &$1K would like if it was a sofa bed too
  • Kitchen utensils (knife block, containers, saucepans etc) - can probably go cheap here with kmart stuff?
  • coffee table - 2nd hand?
  • kettle/toaster
  • robot vacuum
  • Dining table and chairs - 2nd hand?
  • Espresso machine

Also, best/cheapest electricity provider?

Any other tips that you can provide would be awesome.

Many thanks in advance!


  • +1

    Buy something from Bunnings that lets you borrow a trailer then grab stuff off the side of the road. Gradually replace with nicer stuff as there are sales.

    • +1

      Mate and I needed to pick up a dining set he'd purchased. Bought a $10 moving blanket and borrowed a trailer. They weren't impressed but there was nothing saying we couldn't. That was a few years ago now so not sure if it's changed.

      • +1

        I think it's up to the discretion of the staff who's serving you.

  • +4

    Don’t buy new for a lot of things. Try Facebook buy swap sells or good karma or marketplace.

    I moved in and bought a bunch of new things that I didn’t use or later didn’t like, but kept because I paid for it. But simultaneously got a bunch of stuff for free that I was happy to upgrade later on when I knew what I want.

    The only things I would buy new are white goods, bed/mattress and couch.

    Also note: couches with a sofa bed in that price range are usually not as comfortable as couches without. Don’t compromise your daily comfort for the off chance someone will stay over. If it won’t be a common occurrence, you may be better to buy a separate air mattress.

    • Thanks. What about the TV? New or used?

      • Up to you really. If you can find something cheap to get you by until you realise exactly what size/model you’re after then I would, but if you know what you want then just go for it.

        I got a second hand one and while it’s a bit smaller than I would splurge on, it’s kept me going and I’ve not really missed something bigger so I never upgraded.

      • New they are so cheap these days a 70 inch Hisense was $900 including Costco membership

  • +7

    A 10k mattress is a good start.

    • Already have one!

  • +1

    Couch - second hand on marketplace. I recommend King couches because they're solid and well-made. You can also have them reupholstered in your preferred fabric, and end up spending a quarter of what it would cost to buy the couch new.

    Utensils and kitchenware etc - IKEA, 365 range.

    Fridge - get one with the freezer at the bottom, much easier to sell later. Look for secondhand but new-ish (ie, people who bought a fridge which doesn't fit their new apartment). You should be able to find something nice sub-$800

    Kettle/toaster - Kmart should sort you out here.

    Vacuum - don't bother with the robot. Get a Dreame v10.

    For power - I've used powershop and am happy with the service, DM me for referral code if you like

    Other tips - buy the bare essentials first, and wait until you're in and living in the space before you commit to furniture and aesthetic. If you can hold off, you'll buy things you like more

    • Thanks! Can't DM you (think you have them disabled). Let me know so I can get your referral code!

      • Whoops have fixed

        Also forgot to mention re cooking - something like an Instant Pot duo nova 6 litre would be a good multi function cooking device for around $150.

  • +1

    Don't forget a microwave!

  • +2

    Single person? You don't need a $1500 fridge. ~250 litre fridge is about $600-900 depending on brand.

  • Gumtree/marketplace and trade up over time,
    The only new thing i bought was a sofa which was my covid present to me.

    Everything else has been second hand.

  • +2

    Wait till you do your first move. Lol. Good luck.

  • I second the trip to Ikea for furniture, I'd probably hold off on the robot vacuum till you have more money since they cost $500+ and you will need a normal one anyway

  • +2

    Here's a few less obvious things:

    • Vinegar and bicarbonate soda - You can use both for washing clothes and cooking
    • Tape measures - Both a small, retractable measure for clothing/your body and a larger one to measure room sizes. Once you start buying more furniture or just buying clothes online, having either of these around is quite handy
    • Regular drill, drill bit set, screws and anchors - It's your apartment so go ahead and drill in as many holes as you want. If you have to drill through brick walls or to drill in to your balcony walls, you'll need a separate hammer drill and masonry screws and anchors. If you don't want to drill, buy command strips.
    • Screwdriver set, mallet, hammer, pliers, utility knife, allen key set, level, etc and a toolbox - None of this stuff is terribly expensive but very useful to have. Go to Bunnings if you haven't already and just pick it all up.
    • Magnetic knife block - Save space in the kitchen with your knifeset. Just look through the kitchen section on Amazon. Lots of useful little items there.
    • Small plastic crate - For recyclables. Get one that could fit in your laundry if possible.
    • LED table lamps/motion sensor wardrobe lights - Cost effective way to reduce electricity use if you don't want to use your ceiling lights all the time.

    A few other things to consider:

    • Toaster oven - I have no kids so this thing is perfect for most of my cooking needs despite also owning an oven. I own a Breville Combiwave (3 in 1 microwave, airfryer and convection oven) which is top of the line but Breville has other lower priced models that may be more suitable for you. Also consider a separate airfryer.
    • Brabantia Wall Fix - Google it. I was using normal clothes airers previously but a bit of wind, wet towels, oodies and a lot of clothing at once were too much to handle for it. You can always just use your dryer but if your balcony has the space, consider a wall fix.
    • Plants - My wife has become a greenthumb lately so consider adding a plant or two later for aesthetics, purifing air, etc.
  • +1

    Auction houses for stuff especially deceased estates and display home clearances. Factor in 20% premium (although some Sydney houses seem to be 25%).

    Mum picked up a near new dryer the other week for $35.

    Keep lists and limits. Join the FB group Street Bounty for your area (Sydney groups are broken up into regions).

    Ask family what they have.

  • +2

    You’ll notice there aren’t many specific answers for the best XXX for $YYY. Just buy a reputable brand fridge that suits the size you want/need. Couches are subjective the colour/comfort combo you like won’t suit others. Note that sofa beds aren’t as comfortable as regular couches or beds - it’s a compromise.

    Kitchen utensils etc just start with cheap stuff from Kmart etc. if it breaks but better, if not you’ll find out what utensils you can get away with cheap for. Just avoid cheap saucepans.

    Buy it as you need it to spread the cost out over time. Don’t try to go from nothing to fully furnished in a week.

    • Buy it as you need it to spread the cost out over time. Don’t try to go from nothing to fully furnished in a week.

      This is kind of what I meant to say. Thank you

    • Any saucepans/pots/pans you recommend?

      • Nope. Haven’t bought any this century.

  • +1

    New locks should be the first thing you buy.

    • Can I get them to re key the lock rather than completely new locks?

      • +1

        You can - I’m not sure if it would be a big cost saving, compared to installing a new lock.

        One of the best upgrades I’ve made to my apartment was installing a Schlage smart lock. It’s very liberating being able to leave my house without a key. And it gives me peace of mind knowing I can check when the door has been locked/unlocked, when I’m away from home.

        (I keep a spare key in a key box not far away, but I’ve never had an issue in three years of operation).

  • Facebook market place all day everyday. Splash out and buy a new TV. Also buy yourself a toolbox and a few cheap power tools.

    • Aside from a cordless drill, power tools and apartments don’t really go together unless you are doing a full renovation

  • If you have the option to make additional payments on your mortgage - put two thirds of your allocated funds for furnishings into that!

    Your taste will change. You won't know even how you want the rooms set up. Give yourself time to settle into your space. Buy stuff off Facebook Marketplace, go to op shops, see what is out for clean ups. By decent but inexpensive stuff - you may have it for a lot longer than you intend on.

    I can't speak highly enough of stoneware plates and bowls. It's nice to not feel a molten plate of hot foods on your hands (and lap if you are eating that way). Someone else mentioned plants. Get some, it's actually nice to have them around.

  • Another vote for Facebook Marketplace, plenty of good stuff other people just don't want anymore. Even if you had to hire a ute for a day and organised all your pickups for that day you're likely to save a fortune. Aim for solid timber furniture if you're buying from facebook, plenty of if floating about and it's much much nicer and longer lasting than anything else.

    A good lounge, bed and dining table are pretty much all you really need, everything else you can get bit by bit as you find you need it but somewhere to chill out and sleep and eat are the things that will drive you crazy if they suck.

    Cheap plates and cutlery sets are fine for your first set, but get a decent knife to cut stuff up and a couple of chopping boards.

  • Wanting the community's help and recommendations on what I need.

    Buy as little as possible. Then expand as you need others.

    Basic basics?
    . bed
    . table/desk + chair
    . fridge

    Of course needs are individual but still I'll start with the very basics and then expand.

  • +1

    As someone in a similar situation to OP (I was going to post the same question) what brands would people recommend for the essentials e.g. fridges, couches, TV etc. Also any reason not to buy a robot vacuum cleaner as opposed to a normal one as a few people above have mentioned.

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