This is kind of an important thing to know if you’re moving to Germany, and it’s slipped my mind to write about just because luckily, we have never had to do it. All three of the apartments we’ve lived in have been fully furnished (though “fully” does not mean comfortably or even really fully – but that’s for another time and another post). If you go apartment hunting in Germany, find a place you like, sign a lease, and then show up on move-in day…don’t be surprised if all of the kitchen appliances are missing when you get there.
I’m not talking on the level of blender and toaster. I mean the entire kitchen is probably going to be gone. Dishwasher, sink, fridge. Light fixtures. Cupboards. Faucets. Ventilator. Pipes. Cords. You will be faced with a mess of gaping holes and sad wires connected to nothing. And you will likely be hungry, to boot. In Germany, it’s normal to simply buy a “kitchen” and move it with you to your next apartment. I’m not sure where this tradition stems from, since as far as I know, it’s not the norm in many other European countries (Spain, Italy, and France, for sure). It seems like a self-perpetuating mess and I’m so glad that we have not had to do it, especially since it would run us a couple of thousands euros at the absolute cheapest.
IKEA is a typical store to turn to, but there are usually smaller, local stores as well. I know from friends that it’s possible to hook everything up yourself, which seems like a recipe for disaster. Anyone have any stories about their “küchen”-buying experience? Is this common in other countries?