Farewell cigarette smell and orange kitchen

01:02, Jun 08 2014

Briscoes and Bunnings – my two favourite places of late. 

Robbie and I took advantage of Queen’s Birthday weekend and shopped our little hearts out. We spent about $1500 and there were no clothes, books or CDs (fun things) in sight. Our trolley was full of dust masks, tools, painting trays, rollers, disposable drop sheets, primer and a spirit level.

‘‘We’re meant to just be buying what we need for this weekend,’’ I quipped. ‘‘What do you need a spirit level for?’’

Robbie’s reply: ‘‘Ummm, well when we put the magnetic knife rack up in the kitchen, you want it to be straight don’t you?’’

At this stage, we didn’t even have knives, let alone a magnetic knife rack. I pointed this out but Robbie told me to stop being so stingy and let him have his beloved spirit level. He won that round.

Moving weekend is finally here and I am incredibly excited. Scared and overwhelmed yes, but excited nonetheless. 


For the last 15 months we’ve been living in a fully furnished flat so we literally have nothing. Robbie’s excitement for kitchen appliances, cutlery and plates far outstripped mine but I found buying wall primer a lot more fun than it should have been.

Our friends and family have taken pity on us and we’ve managed to score a fridge, some rugs and renovating tools as well as their free labour. A friendly Christchurch couple have even gifted us a washing machine, which is great. 

I tried to make cleaning sound fun by creating a Facebook event to invite people to our working bee. We also chucked in the promise of pizza and beer at the end of the day and I noticed that a few of my friends were conveniently unavailable until around dinnertime. It looks like we’ll be priming walls into the night because the more we can get done, the sooner the smell of a thousand cigarette butts will leave the house.

After buying all the gear we’re going to need, as well as the basics to put inside our new home, our savings account is looking rather meagre. We still have to pay a builder and a plumber for the work that needs urgently doing in the kitchen so it just makes me nervous when I hear people say this: ‘‘Make sure you’ve got savings for the problems that will just pop up in those first few weeks’’. Oh dear....bring on pay day! 

The next few weeks are going to be tough but once the house is liveable and we’ve acclimatised to paying a mortgage, I’m determined to treat myself a (long overdue) hair cut.

What did your savings account look like when you bought your first home? 

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