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How to prepare for your next move

Date:27 July 2022
Try and use a bakfiets during your next move!
Try and use a bakfiets during your next move!

Moving into a new room can be time consuming and an organizational mess. If you live close to Groningen or are moving within the city itself, you will probably bring all kinds of boxes with you. Some bigger, some smaller, filled with clothes, books and all the important belongings to you. During the move, you most likely will have to buy or move furniture, set up your contract and move all your things from one place to another. Luckily within the city of Groningen everything  is manageable as it is rather flat and easy to reach. If you want to learn more about the new neighborhood you are moving to, take a look at this blog

When I moved to the Netherlands. I was lucky enough to be brought by my parents who helped me set everything up. Afterwards, as it is rather typical, I got my fair share of moving themselves or their friends across town. During that, I learned a thing or two about preparation and what to watch out for. So, I put together some useful tips for you, that should help you to survive the day and make it as relaxed as possible.

Tip 1 -  Pack your necessities separate

Let's start with the beginning - packing. I actually have several  tips about this (essential) part of moving. Before you start packing up everything in various big moving boxes, think about the things that you might need first. By that, I mean on your first night and during the first chaotic days which are  filled with sorting and organizing. My tip, to avoid having to search through the boxes, is to pack a backpack or small box with your most important items. Personally, I would go with  a toothbrush and toothpaste, pajamas and some clothes to wear on  the first days. It is just like packing for a small trip and it will definitely save you a lot of time and frustration in the end! .

Tip 2 - Mix and match the contents of your boxes

During  the last times I moved, I’ve gotten more and more efficient in managing to fit my belongings in moving boxes. If you want to save some space, do not simply empty your closet straight into the boxes. The tip I would like to pass on here is rather seeing what fits together. For example, to make sure your plates or other fragile items survive the journey, place your clothes, towels or other soft material in between. More importantly, isolate the boxes by putting a towel on the sides of the boxes, this way you really don’t have to worry about breaking anything. In addition to this, if you have some bigger items, see if it actually makes sense to put them in a box. Sometimes it’s smarter to  lay these items on top and carry them together. This saves boxes and you can directly put it in a safe space in your new home. 

Tip 3 - Pack it in a bag

This one, I’ve only figured out recently but I’m so happy I did. If you struggled like me to fit your pots, pans or plants into moving boxes, this tip is for you. Instead of using the good old moving boxes, switch to big and sturdy bags. You can get them at every grocery store and if you want the most famous version, take a trip to the Swedish furniture store. If I have to guess, you’ll go to at least one furniture store during your move anyway. So while you’re there, just grab a few and you’re good to go. 

A little extra note on using those bags. If you move somewhere that's in walking distance, just hang the bags on the steering handle of your bike. Now you can transport a lot at once and get to take a small break from carrying and emptying boxes. 

Tip 4 - Not everything needs to come with

Now that you’re in the process of packing, you might notice a few things that you wouldn’t   necessarily miss. For me, it was mostly clothes and small decoration items. Before you drag them along, go through your things and sort them out. Everything that doesn’t spark joy or you simply want to get rid of, goes on a pile. "Now, what to do with the items on the pile?". If it’s something you would like to get some money  for, you could use Marktplaats or Facebook to sell them. For everything else, you can bring it to one of the various second hand stores, like Mamamini, throughout the city. There are some stores, for example Appel & Ei or Reshare that are specifically for clothes and will happily take what you have to offer. If you decide to give up furniture pieces but do not know how to get them to either the recycling center or a second hand store. I have some good news for you. Some second hand stores offer free pick up, so just give them a call and check. Otherwise, it is nice to know that you can borrow a bakfiets for free if you bring something to the recycling center. 

Tip 5 - Rent a Bakfiets

I am a big fan of bakfiets. They are very useful  for moving as they fit so much, and are an easy way to transport all your belongings. You can rent them for example at Stadswerkplaats close to the vismark. The first time biking on one  can be a bit adventurous but you will quickly get the hang of it, I promise. If you don’t want to go back and forth a couple of times or have something that doesn’t fit, you could also borrow a small van. If you bought something at a big furniture store, they often offer  you transport  to bring your new purchase home. Just check online and you will find the option that works best for you.

I hope these tips will help you with your next move and make it less chaotic. When moving out of one place  into another, it takes some time to feel at home again. However, with every move, you get the chance to build and decorate a room exactly the way you want. You get to discover a new neighborhood, find new bike routes and meet your new housemates. Apart from the stress the moving brings, it’s worth it in the end!

For everyone who will be moving to Groningen in the future, check out this blog in which our allumi Karishma gives you an insight into what she would have loved to know before moving here. Additionally, Luc gave some tips for international students moving here in his blog.

Check out our website for more important information about accommodation and any questions you may have. 

Happy moving!

About the author


Hi! I am Anna, a 22 year old International Relations and International Organization student from Germany. Next to my studies, I’m an active member of my international student association but I will still find time to tell you all about my plants or my favourite spots in Groningen.