Tips from past JETs!
1. Comparing does not a happy JET make
Try not to compare your arrangements with other JETs because someone will always have it better than you do. This is your home for at least the next year, so make the best of your situation.
BUT talk to other JETs about what your predecessor left you, some people might inexplicably have hundreds of coat hangers while you have none. You can save money (and hassle) by swapping things with other people. Getting rid of unnecessary items from your predecessor in the first few months will help you settle in and make the place feel like it’s really yours.
2. Daiso is your friend
It is not wise to skimp on household possessions because you want to save money. There will come a time when you’ve had a rotten day and are feeling especially down. Even the smallest of extras at home will help make you feel better. So, find a few things that will make your place more comfortable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money – check out the ¥100 shops for things that will make you laugh or be useful around the house.
Decorating your place makes a huge difference. Simply by putting up your personal belongings around the house, like pictures, posters, books, magazines, and anything from home, your house or apartment will begin to feel more like a home. It’s your home, and it’s worth the investment- make it a place you like being in.
3. More expensive items
If you had a predecessor, hopefully you already have a TV, electric heater, electric fans, etc. For anything else, check out Sayonara Sale pages on Facebook, or second hand shops like Off House if you want to save money.
Nitori and Ikea are also good options, but make a list before you go there to avoid spending impulsively!
4. The Sounds of Gaijin
For many of us, this is our first experience living alone. Playing the radio, podcasts, music, whatever background noise you prefer, can help a lot with adjusting to this.
Some TVs in Japan are bilingual, which means that at the push of a button you can switch between English and Japanese if a show is being broadcast bilingually. Look for the 音声切換 (on-sei-kiri-kae) button on your remote. The NHK channel usually has bilingual news at 7pm and 9pm. Foreign films generally can be viewed bilingually as well.