11 November 2019
by Lewis Pitcher
Moving into your first apartment or house in Malta is a big shift; there are always a huge amount of little things that you won’t get told and can be a pain to learn as you go. Because of that, we’ve put together a little list of some of the most important things to know when you’re moving in.
Know Your Dates
Are you one of those people (like us) who relies on Facebook to tell you every important date in your life? Well, when you move here you are going to get a lot of dates thrown at you and it’s the small things that’ll catch you out. Get a list of garbage collection days from your local council first off; every locality has a different schedule for recycling and general trash and it’s easy to lose track. Better yet, try out the awesome BIN IT app for a big helping hand! It’s also worth keeping note of the other services, like any days the gas canister truck comes around, and a list of all the public holidays through the year. Nothing worse than being stuck without supplies when all the shops are closed!
Plan Your Layout
If you grew up in the west or north of Europe, odds are you’re used to houses with fairly standard, probably square layouts. Houses in Malta, on the other hand, are often designed in more creative ways to make the most of the space available. Wi-fi and internet are often the worst victims of layout, especially with the heavy Maltese wall design which can block signals. When you’re getting your internet installed, try and get it as central as possible to your most commonly used rooms. If you can’t, wi-fi boosters or else something more movable like our Plug’N’GO device will help keep your connection strong everywhere. Things like the placement of TVs and, if needed, AC units should be mapped out too; we’d recommend getting a local expert to give some advice on this.
Speaking of internet, no doubt the first thing you’ll want to do is get your internet and phones up and running. Many properties don’t come with pre-installed internet lines, so you’ll have a couple of options about what to do. If you plan to stay permanently, or at least a few years, getting an internet line is pretty quick. Installation is usually done within a week or sooner, either with an installation fee or for free in the case of Home Packs. The installation process itself is usually a quick thing although certain buildings can be trickier for various reasons. If you’re not planning on a long stay, something like the Plug’N’GO could be more useful, as it has a monthly plan that doesn’t need a long contract as well as a much faster setup time.
It’s natural for anyone moving to Malta to expect high temperatures all-year-round, especially as the official stats say that winter almost never goes below 0 degrees. What most won’t tell you is that, thanks to the humidity here and the house designs themselves, winters can feel far worse than you expect. Single-pane windows, no carpeting and zero installed heating systems in the majority of properties means that you’ll be feeling a serious chill if you’re not prepared. In older structures, dehumidifiers can be a big help, as well as some heavy curtains over the windows and extra thick sheets. Most ACs can also work as heaters if you happen to have one, and make sure to keep some warm clothes on; the cold gets inside you fast and causes all kinds of problems.
Meet The Neighbours
This may sound a little odd, but something that foreign residents in Malta often have trouble with is blending in with that incredible Maltese community spirit. Never underestimate what your neighbours are willing to do to help out if you’re having a crisis. It can range from helping with car troubles – something that you can almost always find an enthusiastic volunteer for – to finding lost pets or a thousand other things. As long as you’re grateful and willing to give back, you’ll find incredibly supportive communities all over the country.