You have officially been accepted to the University of Amsterdam and you have found yourself moving to the vibrant city of Amsterdam. Besides getting used to biking around the city and buying a heavy duty raincoat for those gloomy wet days in the city, you are probably faced with the challenge of moving into a new space. Whether you come from a nearby European country or halfway across the world, you might find yur lost in the simple task of finding the resources to help you move smoothly and turn your new house –or probably a room– into your very own home.
Our reporter Irma Krimelyte, a self-proclaimed specialist of moving on a poor student’s budget, presents her the furniture guide survival.
Obtaining cost-effective furniture
To start off with the basics, the question of where to acquire cost-effective furniture has a universal answer: IKEA, the paradise of budget shoppers. Amsterdam has one IKEA store located in the Zuid-Oost (Southeast) part of the city. It is easily accessible by metro as well as a bike. The store, like any of the chain’s branches, is filled with affordable modernist Scandinavian designed furniture. Some of the perfect pieces for your home might include a bed frame, dresser, or a minimalist dining table. The furniture can be purchased in store as well as delivered to your home for a fee. If you’re the crafty type, the furniture can be assembled with the aid of a drill, or IKEA’s very own assembly service. As well as having an array of furniture, IKEA also has a quite a variety of sleek tableware.
Decoration: Make it your priority
For most of you newcomers, decorating might not be on the top of the list of priorities when moving into a new space. However, isn’t it important to create a space where you feel comfortable to come home to after a hard day of mental labor? In my experience, it is not necessary to splurge your limited cash in the specialized decoration shops of Amsterdam. Of course, if your budget permits, there are numerous concept and antique stores carrying unique pieces. However, if you’re on a tight or student budget, my favorite store for décor pieces is Xenos. “Xenos”, translated from Greek, means “foreigner” or “guest”, which might appeal to the high expat population of Amsterdam. The store chain specializes in diverse goods: anything from kitschy mirrors and fun wall decorations, to fuzzy doormats and colorful lighting. The feel of the store is cozy, with pieces specializing in a woodsy concept. Personally, I have found a mirror and multiple small decorations to liven up my humble abode.
Ultimately, no home would be complete without daily amenities. Simple things like shampoo or laundry detergent can be found in any grocery store like Albert Heijn or Lidl. However, if you’re looking for a broom or a dishrack, ACTION will satisfy most of your needs. It is a discount store known for selling affordable everyday products. You can also find food or cooking tools in the store.
Like a mama bird sending off her baby birds from the nest, I hope that I’ve taught you enough to conquer the mission of moving in, or to Amsterdam. Now, all that remains for you is to go out and enjoy the unique fun that Amsterdam has to offer, and most importantly: your new-found home.
- Contributing Writer (Spring 2018)