What’s the big Ikea?

So you spent first year in a fully furnished, probably overpriced, SSH room. But what happens when the reality of second year hits and, in typically Dutch fashion, you move into a completely bare room?

Well, the Dutch don’t necessarily have the answer, but the Swedes do.

Chances are, if you’re Dutch then your parents can help you out moving some furniture from home or picking something up from Marktplaats. For international students however, the reality of furnishing an entire room is a significantly more daunting task. The solution: a day trip to the flat pack heaven that is IKEA. It might be one of the slightly more torturous afternoons of your life, but all being well you’ll have your brand new room delivered in a hundred tiny pieces in a day or two.

What you’ll need:

  • A list
  • A budget
  • A million tiny pencils (Ikea can help you with this one)
  • Sunglasses to shield your eyes from the abundance of bright white furniture
  • A stop at the cafeteria for Swedish meatballs
  • Tools (because who can actually put a whole bed together with one tiny Allen key?)
  • A boyfriend who is an engineering student (or similar) to help you put it all together
  • A beer to keep you going through the construction phase
  • Someone to keep you sane (the afore mentioned boyfriend worked well for me)

Once you have all these things, you are well on your way to having the room of your flat pack dreams.


What to expect after your furniture has been delivered:

  • More packaging than you know what to do with, or is really necessary
  • Deciding you’re better off without the instructions
  • The realisation that you actually do need the instructions
  • An eventual sense of pride that you at least assisted your engineering student in putting together your new room

Then you are free to meander down to the Village Coffee & Music and have a flat white with your engineering student, sharing the knowledge that you have taken on and conquered a challenge that would make Dutch dam builders quake in their boots.

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