Essential Items For Off-Campus House Living: ADVICE PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck C, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Has anyone ever lived in a house of campus during their college years? Well in less than a month, Chuck will be moving into a big house with eight guys total!

    What should I buy?
    What do I absolutely need?
    What don't I need?

    Also,

    Where is a good place to buy a good, cheap bed and mattress? Someone told me Sears.

    How bout a good, cheap computer desk? Office Max?

    So many questions in so little time! Any help would be great.

    adios
     
  2. Jeremy Brown

    Jeremy Brown Agent

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    One thing to keep in mind is to check the local (real) bulletin boards, for people selling desks, dressers, tables, etc.

    I managed to get by with a futon for a couch when in college, which was cheap, though not terribly comfortable. You will also be needing cook ware and dishes (check garage sales), if you don't plan on eating out every day (not recommended). Other things you will probably need are things like shower curtains, lamps, and curtains/blinds.

    If you are living with roommates, talk to them first, you don't need more than one couch, or table.

    Hope this helps,
    Jeremy
     
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    damn, it's too bad you didn't post this last spring. In the spring people thro away EVERYTHING, you can cruise around and pick up all the furniture you need for free or really REALLY cheap.
    anyway, need more info, all 8 of you moving in all at once or are some there already? what have they got?
    obviously you'll need a bed, desk, linnens, a tv.. the usual stuff you need for a dorm room. But you might need kitchen stuff, pots, pans, a george forman grill [​IMG], utensils (cooking and eating) cleaning supplies, a vacuum etc. A new big screen, new receiver, sub, speake.. wait, where was I? [​IMG]
     
  4. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Don't forget the blender...
     
  5. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    4 or 5 of us are moving in about a week before classes start incl my self. We are renting a 17' U-Haul! We have enough couches (like 4-5) and microwaves. Between my roommate and I (2 per room) we have a dresser w/mirror and a kitchen table w/ chairs. We may need one more a/c.

    In case you guys are confused, this house has 3 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, and 3 frigging kitchens!
     
  6. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I don't know if there's one near you, but Ikea has some pretty cheap stuff.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    oh I forgot the kegerator in the basement with the lines up to the kitchen and a tap by the sink [​IMG]
     
  8. CapnSharpe

    CapnSharpe Stunt Coordinator

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    Chuck,
    First things first - go stroll through the departments with graduate students. They leave around July and August and will start having sales on their furniture. I highly recommend the psych department. [​IMG]
    Second - don't buy any used furniture in Oxford. I remember there was one place by the bookstore that sold WalMart furniture for more than what it would cost you new in August. The antique store across the street used to better, but that's because they had quality furniture (I still own and use everything I purchased there).
    Third - if you still can't find furniture try and find some used furniture in Hamilton. I never had to do this, but it seems like a good place for cheap furniture. Just don't make yourself a target when you do - drive a very cheap beaten up car with a factory radio, don't dress like an undergrad, and don't go alone. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Eight roommates-have fun with that one... I lived with a lot of roommated up until recently, and it can get a little crowded. Also, personal politics can get to be a little nasty sometimes-especially when you're the one who exeryone expects to resolve everyting. Some suggestions though:

    -make sure that you find out what everyone else has, and then decide what you need. You only need so many couches. If you need something big (tv,microwave etc), one idea is to get everyone to contribute, and then have one person willing to buy it out at the end (or just sell and divide profits).

    -Don't get taken in by the rental places. We rented a chest freezer for a year (highly recommended with a lot of people), and wanted to keep it for another 18 months. Turned out it was $200 to rent it, or $250 to buy the thing outright. Worth the investment.

    -You can also never have too many fridges. You'll run out of space fast.

    -Figure out how you're dealing with Food, and get a system. If everyone is buying their own stuff, make sure that everyone has their own storage space. If you're sharing stuff, make sure you have a way to figure out who owes who what.

    -It's easiest to delegate one person to take care of all the bills etc, and just collect from exeryone else. Way I did it was that I got an $80/month float from each person, and put that in a second account I had. I paid stuff out of there, and if there was money left at the end of the term it got refunded (or I had to chase people if I needed more). This seemed to work well, and it means that you never run into a case where "I thought you paid for the phone this month" when it gets cut off.
     
  10. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    That's exactly what we plan to do. I think we are all gonna deposit $500/ea in an account and write one check per month.

    Great stuff, guys, keep it comin.
     
  11. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    With all those fridges and a/c units, you're gonna get reamed on electrical bills. Watch out. If utilities are included, check to make sure there's no clause in your lease that requires you to pay for utilities over a certain amount. I know my lease is like that. They find some average from somewhere, and if we go 10% over this average we have to pay the difference.
     
  12. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    This is going be a bit long, but I lived off campus from junior year on in a large co-ed house. Here is what I learned:

    If you cook, hide your good knives and pans in your room. Everyone else will ruin them if you leave them out.

    There is no such thing as communal beer! Communal beer gets drunk by 2 of the guys who have nothing better to do. If someone wants to start a communal beer fund, tell them you want no part of it. Seriously.

    Unless you want to start raising some pet rats, make sure that there is a clearly defined cleaning schedule for all public rooms. Every room gets cleaned once a week, save for the kitchen, which gets cleaned every day (i.e. everyone clean up after themselves) and "super cleaned" once a week. The guys who gets stuck with the bathroom or kitchen get either a six-pack of beer or a pizza (paid for by everyone else) as payment for hazardous duty. Rotate the cleaning jobs.
    People who wuss out on cleaning get teased for the whole week, and maybe suffer some sort of indignity that the cleaners dream up. There is no excuse for not cleaning, and I mean that.

    Instead of one guy dealing with all the bills, divide it up. One guy for phone and cable, one for electricity and water, etc. Definitely make people give you money first and subtract.

    Make sure that as a group you have:
    A vacuum
    A mop and bucket
    General cook ware

    If you are geeky (like we were) have:
    A server for you house network and or a router so you can all share broadband internet

    Have fun!
     
  13. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I'll second not buying decent knives and cookware-they're nice to have, but they'll also get destroyed by roommates.

     
  14. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    any more recommendations?
     
  15. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Insurance on that dorm theater of yours.

    - Steve
     
  16. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Have a backup plan. What are the terms of the lease? If one person bails, is everyone willing to pay more until a replacement can be found?

    Also, what about common products? TP, paper towels, dishwashing soap, etc? Charge everyone an extra $5-10 a month for these items and then have one person buy it, then rotate each month. Its not so much an issue with guys, but when I lived with 5 other girls, none of the others were willing to buy TP. I ended up keeping the roll in my room and carrying it to the bathroom with me each and every time.

    What about rules for your roomate? Sharing a bedroom is even trickier. What about girlfriends staying over or stumbling in drunk? Do you guys have similar study habits? Its a royal pain when you're trying to study for a final and your roomate is doing his gf right there in front of you. I've seen it, its not pretty.

    Never again will I have roomates. Its not worth the pain and agony. I'd rather have a tiny 1bdrm apartment in the bad part of town than share my space with others (except my husband of course).

    Whatever you do, make sure that all conceivable situations are discussed beforehand and that you have enough spare cash to bail if the need arises.
     
  17. Scott Diedrick

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    Here are some items that some have not mentioned and could go un said here as people recommend obvious items. I mean of course you know you need a bed and a couch, towels and plates. Why don’t we also recommend that you have water, air, and porn.
    -1 Phish poster
    -At least 3 strands of Christmas and/or Jalapeno lights string up in random locations for “mood lighting”
    -Satin pillow cases
    -Incense + incense burner. More important for liberal arts majors.
    -A street sign or two. Bonus if you get something that lights up (traffic signals or walk signs).
    -A can pyramid, preferably beer.
    -Victoria Secrets catalog on the coffee table. Girls seem to like to look through yours. I think in the hope that if they are nice to you, you just might buy them something they mention.
    -Empty pizza boxes. If you are neat freak you can have them stuffed into the top of your trashcan, but never more then 1/3 in the can.
    -Drug paraphernalia is popular, but never my scene.
    -A black light and poster/or other objects that take advantage. Bonus is you paint secret messages and designs on the wall in laundry detergent.
    -Dark curtains so you can shutout the light of mid morning and sleep off that hangover.

    Well, I could go on and on, but work calls.
     
  18. Aaron Copeland

    Aaron Copeland Second Unit

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    Set up a LAN with your roommates (assuming they have PCs), load some sweet multiplayer games, skip class and have some fun. That's what I did [​IMG]
    Aaron
     
  19. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  20. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    When I was in college, I rented a house with six other guys. We all had our own rooms. I had a futon, a desk, a lamp, a bookshelf, and a small dresser and my old dorm fridge that I hid in the closet. And of course, my Grateful Dead posters! We had cheap dishware, silverware, and pots/pans that everyone had accumulated over the years. So that was never a problem.

    I think the biggest problem is that some people never cleaned up after themselves in the kitchen. This was a pain in the summertime because little bugs would be flying around. Pretty disgusting, but I was at my girlfriends house much of the time.

    Back then we had nintendo which took up a lot of time. I guess you would get an X-Box nowadays. And you need a tv to play the games on.

    We did split all the utilities evenly, ie local phone, cable, rent etc.. We made sure everyone had their own long distance phone company so they could use their own phone card. Saved a lot of trouble of trying to figure out who owed what for the phone. We tried a month of doing it regularly but it was a pain for the person in charge. Although make sure you have the responsible guy do the collecting for all the bills.

    We had two bathrooms that we divided into two groups. And then those groups were responsible for cleaning the bathroom. I don't think we ever had a schedule on who was to clean it. I think we kept a list and kept track of who's turn it was and when it got disgusting, we told that person to clean it.

    As for cleaning supplies, I think we all brought stuff from home. Much easier to take from your parents house. Plus that stuff is cheap anyway. Sometimes I would buy stuff and other times someone else would. We were a very laid back group. I can't say that I ever had any conflicts with anyone. One guys girlfriend was there alot, but we didn't care, it was a big house. Then she brought over a puppy that we had for a few days. We loved that little dog!

    We were all good friends. Some have lost touch but there is still a strong bond with the majority of us. And all of us are very easy going. I think that's the most important thing to have. Don't get hung up on all the petty squabbles that can happen. It always helps to have a party or two to let off steam.
     

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