The Success of Operation Find-An-Apartment

After hearing horror stories about people taking up to 6 months to find a place to rent in Hamburg, I was expecting Operation Find-An-Apartment to take a very long time.  However, I completely lucked out and was offered on Sunday evening the apartment I viewed in Eimsbüttel last Thursday. I went over last night and signed the contract.  My moving in date is the 1st February but the owners agreed to let me start moving in my stuff on the 29th January.

I’m so relieved about finding a place, especially one as lovely as my new apartment.  It has a balcony – complete with a flower box, a dishwasher and a hall cupboard (storage space!).  The kitchen opens up on to the living room creating a lovely big space, so I’m in no danger of feeling cramped. When I was researching all about Hamburg, Eimsbüttel was the place I thought would be a really nice area to live so I am feeling incredibly fortunate to find an apartment there.

Now comes the hard part, moving.  I officially own nothing.  Well, that’s not exactly true, the household items I do own are a frying pan, a drying rack and a mop, not really items that are useful in setting up a house. I will need to buy furniture, appliances like a fridge, TV and washing machine and things like a dinner set, saucepans, utensils etc.  I also need to buy lights and get them installed – German apartments come without lights.

It is going to be tight.  I have to move out of my current place by the 1st Feb so I have no time to get everything done in my new apartment before moving in.  Basically I have to move, get furniture etc delivered and electrical work done all over the course of 2 days.  It is going to be a logistical nightmare.  Factor in that I don’t speak German and cue me starting to stress out, big time.

I am going to have to get over my issue with asking for help.  I hate asking people to help me.  I feel like it’s an irritation to them, even though they may have offered.  I like to be independent and do everything myself.  But here is a situation where I can’t.  I’m going to need help.  Time for some personal growth and get over this stupid hang up.

I pick up the keys for my new apartment next week.  I promise to take photos of my new place for everyone who has already asked me for them.  Tips about decorating will be greatly received as I don’t have the foggiest idea about decorating and which colours go well with what.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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14 Responses to The Success of Operation Find-An-Apartment

  1. Beaker says:

    If you need a hand with any classical handywork (light installation, etc) I can help you out, we did most of the lamps in our own place ourself, and nobody has had an electrical disaster yet.

    • Riayn says:

      That would be awesome! Currently there is just wires hanging out of my ceilings and I don’t have the faintest clue on how to install a new light.

  2. Jen says:

    I wish I could help! Can’t wait to see photos of the new place.

  3. Mandi says:

    Wow, congratulations — that’s a very coveted Hamburg neighborhood! Can’t wait to see the photos!

  4. Kim says:

    We’ve changed the lights in our house over the past year in the bedrooms and the dining room. Look for tutorials on YouTube–I’m sure whatever how-to booklet in the fixture box is going to be in German and of no help. But it’s not hard.

    And as for decor–just find a few blogs you like and let them sink in for a few months. There’s no need to rush into it. I like Desire to Inspire–they show interiors from all over, including plenty of European apartments. And Apartment Therapy is a biggie. If you can find some that are European-centered, they’ll be more helpful for sourcing things–it’s no fun to find an item and find out you can’t get it ’cause the mfr only ships within the US.

    So happy for you!

    • Riayn says:

      Never thought of looking at how to install the lights myself on You Tube, then again I’m not sure I should mess around with electricity given how bad I am with other household repairs.
      Unfortunately, I don’t have time to spend months looking through blogs as I need to buy furniture asap, I own nothing not even a bed. Therefore the bulk of my decorating will need to be done in the next 15 days.

      • Kim says:

        Oh, I get it! For furniture, basics in neutral colors for right now. For color-decor-fun stuff, that you can let steep in your head.

        I know someone who has the Ikea bed you linked to on twitter and she loves it. Also puts it through its paces, so it’s decently made ;) I don’t know if she got her mattress from there, though.

        Try not to let it overwhelm you so that it can stay somewhat fun and exciting. It’s going to be a packed fifteen days!

  5. San says:

    You need to know that helping each other move is an act of friendship in Germany.
    Unless you’re moving a really big household, you hardly ever hire movers in Germany…. friends help you move and you pay them back with ordering pizza for everyone when the move is done :)

    You really don’t have to hesitate to ask for help.

  6. wodenhausen says:

    Sounds like a fantastic place…hope you’re going to put up some pictures once you’re settled. Glad it didn’t take too long to find something…like you, I’ve heard horror stories! Hope the move goes smoothly. :)

  7. Lita says:


    To live in Eimsbüttel was my dream when I lived in the Hamburg area. It’s a nice part of the city and I hope you’ll enjoy living there!

    If you need some furniture and household stuff, try a tour to the stilwerk at Hamburg Fischmarkt (Hafenfähre), there you will find all kinds of shops, styles and prices.

    Furniture, accessoires and homeware in Eimsbüttel/Eppendorf: (in English only)

    Habitat has a store close to the Rathausmarkt (Neuer Wall).

    An online store with delivery service within 24,0 hrs:
    The people in their callcenter do speak English.

    You can also visit 3 different Ikeas in Hamburg – and order via Interet. They have a “Transport- und Aufbauservice” for very little money.
    They sell furniture, bedding, fabrics, homeware, lightings etc.

    In Wedel, northwest of Hamburg, is another online store:
    Delivery within 48,0 hrs.;jsessionid=1F4A833B3FC87B33E30C85F2E7E8D1D9

    I am sure they will try to help you in English.

    The Mercado in Ottensen, close to Bahnhof Hamburg-Altona, offers some Home decor shops. A “Depot” for example.,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01summarytemplate=Shops-A-Z&cntnt01detailpage=shop-details&cntnt01category=1-Mode%2FTextil%2C2-Freizeit%2FPers%C3%B6nlicher%20Bedarf%2C3-Schuhe%2FLeder%2C4-Dienstleistungen%2C5-Pflege%2FGesundheit%2C6-Lebensmittel%2FPflanzen%2C7-Gastronomie%2C8-Sonstige&cntnt01cd_origpage=64&cntnt01companyid=39&cntnt01returnid=90

    Butlers in Gänsemarktpassage and elsewhere in Hamburg:
    They have an English site also.

    So good luck!

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