How to Easily Manage Moving In Like a Pro

So, you're starting university soon, and you're either moving out of your family home or your current accommodation.

Moving (back) into university whether it’s your first or third time is always a hassle. Despite having been through it once or twice, we never really get the hang of what exactly we’re supposed to bring, what to leave and where to buy things.

Whether you’re an exchange student that’s freshly arriving in the Netherlands or a first-year anxious to get started, here are the steps you should take for a hassle-free move-in.

Find housing

Yes, moving in presupposes that you’ve already found housing and that you’re simply reading this article to calm your pre-uni jitters. However, no student should underestimate the gravity of the student housing shortage here in the Netherlands. Start looking for accommodation even before you’ve been accepted. It’s much easier to decline a housing offer than it is to find one in the first place. Already found housing? Great! Check out our in-depth housing guide or our tips for getting along with your potential roommates.

keys for room that's being moved into

Pack smart

A lot of the trouble that goes into moving in can be avoided by simply planning ahead. But what exactly is packing smart? Packing smart is limiting yourself to personal items and the strictly necessary. It starts with knowing exactly what you need or rather what is provided for you. This heavily depends on the type of housing you have or are looking for.

If you’re moving into university-provided student housing (DUWO or SSH), most of the time the flat is furnished but is missing things like kitchenware or personal things like toiletries. The same goes for furnished private housing. What is provided is usually general furniture like a bed and a couch, kitchen and house appliances like a washing machine, a fridge and a microwave and a wardrobe. The definition for what counts as furnished actually varies depending on the landlord.

Unfurnished apartments come with nothing but the bare bones: a fridge, a washing machine and sinks. They’re the best choice for long-term investments where you know that buying the furniture will actually be worth it. According to Nestpick, it takes 10, 11 and 23 months to pay back the cost of furniture in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague respectively.

What should you take for moving in?

Contrary to what most articles say, there is a subtle difference between what you need and what you should bring from home. Do: bring any practical objects like mugs that have emotional value and products you’ll miss from home. Don’t: pack everything you need, you won’t have space to physically carry it with you and need to see the accommodation to figure out what’s best.

What you should bring:

  • towels
  • clothes for all seasons, plus smart wear
  • extension lead
  • socket adaptor (for international students)
  • toiletries
  • basic food for the first week
  • rudimentary stationery
  • laptop and charger
  • USB/hard drive
  • phone charger and phone
  • first aid kit
  • umbrella
  • tack
  • recipe book
  • speakers
  • corkscrew and/or  bottle opener

If you can:

  • washing detergent and cleaning items
  • cling film
  • tin foil
  • tea towels

Go out and furnish straight away after moving in

Before your budget is blown on bar tours and house parties, go out and get all the essentials you can’t bring with you. For those in unfurnished housing, this means getting the bulk of your furniture. Of course, decorations and other superfluous items can be bought later. You’ll find that even the most minimalist flats tend to become fuller over time. If you have flat or roommates, be sure to meet them to see what you want to buy, what’s communal and what’s not. Setting boundaries early is just one of the ways you can get along with your roommates. Check out our penny pincher's guide for great tips on where to buy cheap furnishings.

What you should buy while moving in:

  • bed linen: sheets, duvet, blankets, pillows and pillowcases
  • clothes horse
  • coat hangers
  • laundry basket
  • a desk lamp (if you need it)
  • knives (big chefs and a smaller one)  and chopping board
  • pot and a frying pan
  • baking tray
  • plates and bowls
  • cutlery
  • glasses and mugs
  • sponge
  • ladle
  • oven gloves
  • spatula
  • grater

If you are an international student, there are lots of things that you need to prepare for, some of which you may know and some you may not be aware of. The video below gives you an insight into a few more things that many international students don't know but can benefit a lot from while they living abroad. Check it out:

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