Furnishing on a tight budget
Moving to Denmark the smart way!
You got accepted to the study programme you were dreaming about, and now it is time to move to a new country and a new apartment. Maybe it is your first time living alone/away from your parents.
Back when I started, it was indeed my first time living in an apartment, and since then, I have moved a couple of times, so here are my tips to save some money, and be a little kinder to the environment at the same time:
Reuse is heaven for those who care about their purse and/or the planet. It is a place where people can bring their old furniture (cupboards, desks, beds, etc.) or smaller things like plates, flowerpots etc., and anyone can take them for free. In the previous years, they even had pre-packed boxes for students with most of the necessary things that you need in a kitchen. I think it is definitely the best place to start your hunt for both small and bigger items. If you don’t have a car to carry your new treasure home, it is possible to rent/borrow one of the bikes, which can help with the transport of bigger items.
Genbrugsbutikker (Second-hand stores)
It's very common for second-hand stores to have a great selection of furniture and other home items, which is not necessarily true to my home country (Hungary). If you're not lucky with Reuse, this is a great second option, since you can find some really good deals. If I remember correctly, I bought my first desk (a huge corner edition with shelves) for 40-50 DKK a few years back. Back then, I also bought most of my kitchen necessities in these kinds of stores; it was way cheaper than the new stuff, and the closest IKEA was 1.5 hours away, so it wasn’t really an option :D
Here's a couple of my favorite second-hand stores in Aarhus:
Top tip: You can easily find more options by typing "genbugsbutik" into Google/Google Maps 😀
Facebook groups (& Marketplace)
I was very surprised when I found out that you can find basically anything for free here in Aarhus by browsing certain Facebook groups. We did have a similar group in the previous city I have lived in after moving to Denmark, but it was not as active as the groups that I have found here.
One of the groups is called “Storskrald i Aarhus..”, this group is really active, so you should keep an eye on it while you are looking for furniture. The other group is called “Gives bort gratis/søges Århus”, here you can even ask the members if they maybe have a certain item. If you search for the keywords “gratis” (free) or “gives bort” (giving away), then you will probably find a few more of these types of groups.
I have also found a good looking group with English as the main language this one is called "Free your stuff Aarhus", but the Danish ones are in general more active, so you should definitely check those out too.
Facebooks "Marketplace" is also a great place to browse for free items too, just look for the above-mentioned keywords in the item description.
Make a smarter "big" investment
Besides the deposit and prepaid rent that you have to pay when moving into a new place, furnishing and decorating your new home can easily become the next big investment, since most places are rented unfurnished. So I hope you can use some of my tips to get a great start in Denmark 😁
Bianka R, Bachelor top-up Chemical and Biotechnical Technology and Food Technology (alum).
About Bianka: An alum from the Academy, Bianka wrote this while still studying. She has now bought a house in a nearby town with her partner and is planning to stay and work in Denmark (at least for a little while 😉).