We are moving into a new apartment today. The new place is 10 km away from the current one, but it’s only 2 km away from my office (yay!). The new place is so far has given me good reactions: near office, just in front of a bus shelter, just in front of a shopping center, within walking distance of a train/metro station, walking distance from municipal office (gemeentehuis), health center, few walks from daycare (kinderopvang), and an Indonesian take away restaurant (afhaal). However, the apartment is empty in any possible meaning. Well, not quite, actually we have a full functioning and furnished bathrooms and toilet, but the rest are empty. Not even a proper flooring, only beton (the Dutch and Indonesian meaning of this word is the same) thus we still need to cover it with either laminaat or carpet (tapijt). We decided on the laminaat instead.
The walls are unevenly painted or wallpaper-ed. We still need to repaint some of the parts and put wallpapers on other walls. The stairs are also unpolished, the previous tenant used carpet to cover the stairs and it’s obviously seen that they just tear the carpet off and left visible glue remains scattered all over the staircases.
Most importantly is that WE HAVE NO FURNITURE! God help us! Our current apartment was rented furnished, complete with sofa, bed, bathroom appliances, kitchen appliances, kitchen and dining utensils, plates, teapot and teacups, washing machine, microwave, tv, wardrobe, fridge, freezer, etc. We had been living comfortably the past year with all of these rented furniture. Now, we’re moving into a new, bigger place yet so empty and it seems like we’re pushing a restart button… Oh, wait, I mean it’s more like we’re buying a new computer with no operating system on it. Thus we have to install the OS and all familiar and usable applications and tools, if not installing a new or different one.
First thing we need is to properly cover the floor and wall. All had been done by my magnificent husband who’s apparently had hidden talent in building houses and a bit of carpentry. Next part is the furniture. We have none of the basic appliances such as stove, refrigerator, and washing machine. That was just the basic. We also need TV, sofa, bed, wardrobe, dining table, chairs, book rack, curtains, all kitchen utensils, and so forth.
We calculated that if we decided to buy all of it anew then it will cost us more than if we could buy some of it second hand. Luckily there’s this online second hand market place called the markplaats, which functions almost Ebay-like. In MP we could just search the items we need and choose whether we want the new one, the new one with discount price, or the used ones. Of course, the latter will have price lower than 50% of the new one, depends on how long the seller has them or whether the seller also bought it second handed-ly.
We were quite lucky when we found a married couple who wants to move out of their old apartment, to a new fully-furnished one. So, they wanted to get rid of their old belongings so they can totally move out of their current place easily with nothing left behind. First they offered their stove-oven combi (fornuis) and I bod. I read the description that they’re selling it because they want to move out, so I click on their profile and found other appliances on their listing. They also sell their refrigerator, 2-doors with freezer at the top, washing machine, wardrobes, bathroom cabinets, tv, chairs, tables, book racks, etc. Even their bed and mattress are for sale.
The good thing about this kind of seller is that you can haggle the price tag. It’s a win-win situation, we’re in need of the appliances, they’re in need to get rid of the appliances. So, we bought some of their stuff at a bargain price (undisclosed 😛 ) Now, at least we have a stove, oven, refrigerator, wardrobe, coffee table, and bathroom cabinets. We also had a tv from another seller for € 20, an old model but still working.
The first item we bought from MP is a babywagen or baby stroller for € 60. The stroller can be used from 0 month to somewhere around 2 years old. It has 1 seat and 1 sleeping box, so the baby can sit (older than 6 month, I presume) or put in the sleeping box (from 0 month). The seller was an elderly couple who bought the stroller for their visiting grandchildren who live in another city. It’s a jogging stroller type, thus it has 3 wheels with the front one in fixed direction.
Quite a different story for the dining table set. We’re getting them from my Dutch (Nederlands) tutor, Elise, who has a set of unused old dining table. She lives quite far away, but with the transportation cost and the fact that we get it for the price of € 0, and then compare the price with Ikea… It’s worth it. So we’ll take the dining table set and a bonus of microwave (magnetron), also from Elise.
After all the second hand extravaganza, we also bought new items as well. We get it from -where else?- Ikea. Bed, mattress, kitchen utensils, cooking pans, dining utensils, mugs, glasses, serving bowls/plates… all from Ikea.
We still need some things, though. One or two sofas (banken), a wardrobe cabinet (commode), some tables/desks (tafels), some chairs (stoelen), and carpets. But they’re all extra, ‘nice to have’ featurettes 😛
All and all we did a mix-and-match new and used items. Hopefully everything will turn out great and all of the get along very well with each other 😀