So, you’ve just moved into your new place and it’s unfurnished, semi-furnished, or just ugly. Nightmare.
Well, we’re here to help you with tips and tricks on furnishing your house in the Netherlands beautifully, yet cheaply.
You have a nice space, you pay your utilities, and bills so you want the place to look nice on a budget. Let’s talk about how you can do that. 👍
Kringloop winkels, i.e. second-hand shops
Ooooh, the almighty kringloops. They have saved me hundreds (thousands, even) of euros when I first got to the Netherlands. I’d moved into an unfurnished apartment, with no internet and no car for transportation, to buy furniture.
I didn’t know a single person and I was completely at a loss on what to do about the fact I had nothing to even sit on. 🪑
I went for a walk around my area and came across a kringloop — luckily, most areas will have them. I ended up completely furnishing my apartment for only a couple of hundred euros: my sofa was €35. 🤯
The owner was so welcoming and delivered it right to our front door for free. Admittedly I was eating my dinner off a kringloop laptop desk for months and my sofa was a weird blue velvet, but it was home. If you have time to really look around you can get some amazing items cheaply and aesthetically pleasing, which I have also done since.
In short, go to a kringloop if you haven’t already! It’s definitely the best place to go if you’re furnishing your house in the Netherlands.
I love IKEA! Then again, who doesn’t? Ikea has 13 stores all over the Netherlands and it’s worth the visit if you have a spare 5 hours or so. IKEA is great if you don’t mind dealing with flat-pack furniture and it’s very cheap. Hence why it’s one of the best ways of furnishing your house in the Netherlands.
No car? No worries. Most IKEA furniture can be bought online and delivered to your house for a reasonable price. It’s probably worth going to their stores though, so you can indulge in their cheap hot snacks. Did someone say Swedish meatballs and 50c hotdogs? 🌭
This is the Dutch equivalent — it’s even owned by eBay. Marktplaats (‘market square’) is the perfect place to visit if you’re after a bargain. Both new and used items are put up for sale on this site — some even free! 💻
Some listings are from regular people like you and me and others from online shops.
You can also list your things if you want to make a bit of cash yourself. It’s easy to use, and if your Dutch is not up to scratch, there are many listings on the site that are written in English.
Facebook groups are the perfect way to grab yourself something cheap. It even has its own marketplace, where you can see listed items in your area or other areas if you choose. 📱
Just go on your Facebook homepage and you’ll find it in the sidebar. There is also a load of free items if you look properly! It’s updated all the time, so make sure you quickly snap up that bargain before somebody else does.
Another way to get yourself some cheap or free goods is to join international groups. There is almost always somebody there who is trying to get rid of their furniture. And because expats are always on the move, they want somebody to take their furniture off them quickly and cheaply so they can move on.
It’s definitely worth joining and looking around these groups — it’s also a great place to sell stuff yourself if needed. 💶💶
Action is by far the best for the smaller, yet just as important little bits for your home. It has paint, duvet sets, cleaning products, kitchen items, little tables, lamps, garden products, candles, DIY tools, and hardware — I could go on forever.
This is the place you need to go if your house is bare and you need the essentials, with a bit of decoration too. Luckily ‘Action’ is found pretty much everywhere in the Netherlands, so you have no excuse not to go.
I live in a block of apartments where we have a bench in the communal area that later became the bench of mystery. Once a member of the building wanted to get rid of an item that’s still in good condition, it would go on the bench for another person to take: from clothes to chairs and children’s toys to lampshades.
I’ve both taken and put a lot on the bench since I moved. It became a thing of me to ask my partner ‘so, what’s on the bench today?’ We even got a lovely coffee table from ‘the bench’ once.
If your apartment doesn’t have one, you better start organising one, the perfect way to get rid of your items without waste and receiving free items in return!
Checking out the noticeboard or communal walls if you live in a block of flats is also worth it — people often advertise items for sale from within the block. 📍 I once got a really nice sofa for only €50 because someone wanted to get rid of it asap to make room for their new sofa.
If the notice is in Dutch and you aren’t fluent yet, translate it! You could be missing out on a bargain.
While it’s impossible to list every single thing out there, but these are what saved me from the tedious and expensive task of furnishing my house.
Do you have any other tips about furnishing a house in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: Syda_Productions/Depositphotos
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2018, and was fully updated in September 2021 for your reading pleasure.