Tag Archives: ikea in berlin

Starting to look like home…


Due to the Deutsche Bahn tickets scheduled for 2 weeks of relaxation,  I must apologize, for this blog post has been sitting and waiting to be posted for far too long. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist and felt the absolute need to add pictures. Our last taste of summer in Münich will be posted shortly!

Contrary to what we were doing in all of June, we are insisting on settling into Berlin, not seeing it. We are unpacking heavy boxes instead of even-heavier suitcases. Instead of delirious jet-lag my mom and I had come down with a summer cold and we can now get on the U-Bahn to a certain destination without consulting the map three times. And I know for a fact that I now know more about IKEA than I ever knew or thought I would know…

Your average shopping trip at our nearest Lidl...

Your average shopping trip at our nearest Lidl…

Since purchasing our beds, closets, and various other appliances that are either Siemens or IKEA, we have been working hard at putting them in place. After building and un-building our stuff countless times, my father knows more than all of us about the distinctive IKEA building style. So we threw the picture-comic instructions aside and went on our intuition, which, with the aim of the directions and assembly being “simple”, wasn’t all that hard. Everything was packaged in long packages of cardboard, and so I am weary to say that I have broken down and folded and squashed and jumped on and bullied more pieces of stubborn cardboard than I ever care to admit. After 9 hours of screwing, drilling, alan-wrenching, and hammering, we collapsed into a package of tortellini, bought as a last-second attempt to make food at home and not go out. Everything looked great – save for ourselves and the fact that, due to our uneven floors, my tall closet was leaning forward at a scary angle until we remedied the problem by shoving broken pieces of wood under it. IKEA is all about accessorizing right?

The movers came on the 8th of July with a fat truck full of our boxes. They also had all day and therefore weren’t in a monumental rush to haul all of the boxes up the 4 flights of stairs. Instead, they slowly rolled their lift up until they reached our window and started loading boxes that way, thereby avoiding a whole lot of stairs and sweat. They offered the lift as an extra cost and seeing as we weren’t the ones moving everything, we naturally declined the 450 Euro add-on. Of course, they brought the lift anyways. Only after making absolutely positively sure that my parent’s mattress did not and would not fit through the window did they haul something up those dreadful stairs, which ended up being the first and last time. As the day wore on, the “we’ve got all day” attitude ended and we scrambled to unpack every box.

Faster - Faster!

Faster – Faster!

The packers in Chicago packed us. And so the unpackers here in Berlin had to unpack us. And take the packaging material with them – which we were grateful for. After climbing the fence of the next door school to stuff our squashed boxes from IKEA into their paper trash dumpster multiple times, we were not in a hurry to have to somehow hide mountains of packing paper, stacks of bubble wrap, and oceans of Styrofoam peanuts in someone else’s trash because the puny containers in our courtyard are not enough. Apart from the fact that our apartment looked like it had just exploded and we were completely exhausted, it was a pretty productive day. Since then, our days in Berlin have been a little less intense, and the apartment already has seen an exponential decline in the amount of boxes sitting around. In fact, we are unpacked and it’s starting to look  like home.

The first (or second) batch of hot chocolate in the new kitchen.

The first (or second) batch of hot chocolate in the new kitchen.

Home is where the heart (and toys) are.

Home is where the heart is… and where the toys are.


A Recaptured Month…


It has been one month since arriving here in Berlin. As always, time travels faster than one thinks possible and yet the day of our departure seems like yesterday. We have certainly accomplished more here in one month than we would have in Chicago. Throwing the need for relaxation aside and sometime into the future, we have jumped from one place to the next within the city and our to-do list.

Racing ahead...

Racing ahead…

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We have:

  • Become real residents here, as is now shown on our passports and every other official-looking piece of paper, complete with a multitude of stamps to verify that we are indeed who we say we are and actually living here.

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  • Signed up for the BVG transportation services to avoid the ticket-buying hassle and instead got official photos, which were attached to official cards, which were stamped elaborately for at least 10 minutes.
  • Gone to IKEA twice to look and finally to buy. Decisions regarding beds, closet combinations, bookshelves, lamps, and more were decided. Trips to the new apartment were taken frequently in order to make extra sure what we buy will positively absolutely fit. As my father says, “measure twice, cut once”. In this case, buy once… Or four times if you have four kids.
Testing out mattresses at IKEA with a passive vigor...

Testing out mattresses at IKEA with a passive vigor…

  • We have swung on almost every swing, ran on almost every fortress, and zipped on absolutely every zip line we have come across. We have even developed a playground-rating system. I believe a 5-star playground includes at least 2 Ping-Pong tables, a huge fortress with climbing walls, at least 2 swings, a creative and unique aspect, a big playing field, a water-pumping system, a tree house, an obstacle course, other stuff I can’t remember, and of course, a high-speed quality zip line. Believe it or not, we’ve come pretty close to a 5-star. This is officially child-heaven.
  • We have pushed our way through as many flea markets as we can, searching valiantly for things to decorate our new home with. Emilia bought a bag of old stamps and Josephine a babushka doll. So much for antique furniture…
Flea markets are as crazy as some of the places in South-East Asia, minus the women hacking live fish to pieces with cleavers.

Flea markets are as crazy as some of the places in South-East Asia, minus the women hacking live fish to pieces with cleavers.

  • We have visited the must-see sites such as the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall, Kurfurstendamm, and of course, the KaDeWe, a massive shopping center that has practically everything you could expect to be there, more, and a massive floor dedicated to every food ever.
Bear-pit karoake at the Berlin Wall Park...

Bear-pit karoake at the Berlin Wall Park…

Turkish Döner Kepab always brighten up a day's trip.

Turkish Döner Kepab always brightens up a day’s trip.

  • But, most importantly of all, we have found it necessary to try most ice cream places we see, at the going rate of one scoop per day. I’m pretty sure we would have gotten fat were it not for the ample amount of parks to go running (a new pastime of mine) and swimming pools complete with a heated outdoor and a 35 meter slide.

German efficiency has prevailed. 🙂

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