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How to survive uni: moving houses

Date:19 September 2022
Moving in!
Moving in!

Moving is always a challenge, especially as a student. In this blog, student Marjolein shares some advice on how to make this experience as stress-free as possible, as well as recommendations on where to buy your new furniture and other belongings.

First things first: deep clean!

The first thing you should do when you arrive at the house is a deep clean. (Student) houses in the Netherlands can be very dirty, so try to start with a clean one. If you live with others, I recommend creating a cleaning schedule to keep the place clean. My roommates and I use the app Flatastic for this because it allows us to add groceries to a shopping list. In addition, we use a shared calendar, the app TimeTree, to plan out when people will cook and to know when others have something planned.

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Thrifting, IKEA and grocery stores

After you've sorted through these issues and unpacked your belongings, you'll most likely need to purchase some things. I've provided a few suggestions for this below.

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First, I strongly advise visiting thrift stores before you shop for your new room or home. You can often find a lot of (un)used furniture and other items here that you can still use; it's a lot cheaper and better for the environment. My favorite thrift stores in Leeuwarden are Goederenland and The Estafette, but the app Kringloop can help you find thrift stores all over the Netherlands. Every Thursday there is also a flea market on the Wilhelminaplein. After that, you should go get the remaining supplies from another location.

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You may already know this, but in the Netherlands, Ikea is your best friend. You can easily find a variety of items for a reasonable price here. Can't seem to find what you're looking for, or is it too far away? The Centrale in Leeuwarden is a place where several large shops sit side by side; here you can find Kwantum, Casa, and Leen Bakker for interiors. Then there's the Mediamarkt for electronics, the Blokker for household goods, and many more stores. I recommend going to the Intratuin if you're looking for plants to liven up the space. Hema is a nice store for school supplies, or go to Action if you’re looking for a cheaper price. Lastly, Kruidvat is a nice drugstore if you just want to get something without a prescription. 

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There are numerous supermarket chains in the Netherlands, all of which are excellent. However, I have some advice for you to avoid making the same mistakes I did. The supermarket called Albert Heijn is very nice and has a large selection, but it is the most expensive supermarket, so I recommend going to Lidl or Aldi if you are looking for the most affordable groceries. Smaller shops in the city center or near the train station, such as AH To Go and Spar City, are also more expensive than other stores. The market is the cheapest option for fruits and vegetables, and if you want the best bread, go to the market. I recommend Jumbo as an alternative to Albert Heijn because their selection is larger and they frequently have their own brand that sells products at a lower price.

Some important practicalities

Next to these recommendations, you will also have to make sure you’re registered in the municipality of Leeuwarden, find a GP and/or dentistget a BSN number, and a lot more. Click on the links and get informed about it. Do you have more questions about moving to Leeuwarden? You can contact the university or email the SIS committee of the study association of Campus Fryslan: