When you move countries you have three choices. You can ship everything. You can pick and choose between essentials and sentimentals, or you can take very little. When moving to Germany we sat somewhere between the last two options. We took with us, two suitcases, two bicycles, five boxes and of course, the cat, Mr Pablo. That’s everything-books (we took very few, sold most and digitized our favourites on our e-readers), clothing, jewellery, shoes, games, medication (I took 6 months worth with me), ornaments and bits and pieces.We digitised our books, movies and music months ago, scanned all our documents and kept only the essential originals and had a exhausting amount of garage sales. We sold and donated so much stuff from clothing to food in our cupboards left over. Most of the stuff we bought with us besides the practicals, were small ornaments or gifts.
We had our bikes and boxes flown from Australia which cost a fair bit (I can’t remember how much but waiting 3 months seemed rather impracticable, especially if we hated Leipzig and wanted to move. I’ll ask Chris and edit this accordingly). The hardest thing was complying with the weight limit in each box. We ended up having to pay a little extra for extra weight. Flying our goods took about a week and we had to go to customs at the airport in Leipzig to receive them and pay a small fee. They were then delivered.
We knew we were coming to a furnished apartment but we weren’t entirely sure what would be in it. For example, we found out during transit that there would be no towels or bedding as the tenant we were sub-letting off was taking them with him. It meant that were the first things we had to buy, but luckily we arrived in summer so it wasn’t too much a hardship.
I cook a lot as most people know and I thought people might be interested in how I have coped with creating a kitchen in a new place. I also had a lot of equipment at home for Green Renters workshops like bowls, cutlery, knives, boards etc which was donated to community groups when we left. It’s been a challenge, as finding some things in a new place can take longer, especially when you are used to them costing different prices in different countries! For example, finding affording bedding took ages as we didn’t want to pay 60€ for a pillow so we ended up ordering a heap of stuff from Ikea. I used to laugh at Ikea in Australia as being a hell hole, here it’s far more affordable than anywhere else as well as stocking some things that are hard to find elsewhere.
I want to outline a bit about stocking a kitchen so I’ve decided to include some links to items in case people like them or whatever. I cook a lot of different recipes at home, especially vegan recipes and recipes I am writing for events or workshops in the future. I’ve chosen Amazon links as it’s generally accessible to every country. This is not a paid advertisement by Amazon, just stuff I like or have bought.
What was here when we arrived:
- cutlery and bits and pieces of cooking utensils
- small 3 in one blender
- 4 bowls
- 8 plates (dinner plates and bread plates)
- lots of glasses
- 4 mugs
- 6 wine glasses
- 2 ceramic baking dish
- 2 small mixing bowls
- tea towels
- fry pan and three cooking pots
What I brought with me
- Chefs knives
- Small wooden chopping board (a gift)
- Plastic chopping boards
- Cake tin x 2
- Some favourite tablecloths
- Cloth bags for shopping
- Pastry brush and spatula
- Pasta spoon
- Bottle opener
- Cake server
- Immersion blender
- Norpro 600 Jar Lifter (These are great for preserving things in jars)
What I’ve bought here in Germany
- Plastic/tin plates and cups
- Ceramic plates and bowls
- An apron
- Storage containers for leftovers
- Can opener
- Wooden spoon
- Roasting tray
- Cake tin
- Potato masher
- Tongs (took me ages to find, ended up going to Ikea)
- Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer
- Rolling pin
I still need to buy:
- Cloth napkins -I used to get all mine in second hand shops back in Australia and miss having the choice of so many thrift shops.
- Reusable lids for preserving
- More wooden spoons
- Stock pot/big saucepan
- Portable Burners.
I found these invaluable when I did cooking classes in Australia and as I am keen to do some classes here they are essential, especially if I do some classes at home as our kitchen is quite small and couldn’t fit more than two people. They are quite common here and really easy to find. It also means that I can cook without facing the wall and maybe do some videos!
- Stainless steel Mixing Bowls. I really miss having loads of these from cheap Asian shops. They just don’t seem to be around all that much.
- OMNI V Blender . I’ve heard great things about the Omniblend, especially it being a great affordable but quality alternative to the Vitamix at a third of the price. As I teach stuff like making your own nut cheeses, a good blender is a must, if not two.
<a style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;" href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IXNtWHTR35w/VCRD2t98utI/AAAAAAAAJjc/h8VgG5D5iQs/s1600/41-ml-AxC2L.jpg"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IXNtWHTR35w/VCRD2t98utI/AAAAAAAAJjc/h8VgG5D5iQs/s1600/41-ml-AxC2L.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="400" border="0" /></a><br /> <b><br /> </b><b>Luxury items I want more than need:</b><br /> <b><br /> </b> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D9E3GTG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00D9E3GTG&linkCode=as2&tag=atracoo0a-20&linkId=TN2FNSETTXEYWORK">Camco 42803 Picnic Blanket </a> These kind of picnic blankets are great as they have a waterproof cover on one side, so are suitably for wet ground! <a style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;" href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qAJ_U9KVBI4/VCRByjGRncI/AAAAAAAAJis/ntXp38HOoTg/s1600/download%2B(2).jpeg"><img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qAJ_U9KVBI4/VCRByjGRncI/AAAAAAAAJis/ntXp38HOoTg/s1600/download%2B(2).jpeg" alt="" width="389" height="400" border="0" /></a> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QT3HOQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000QT3HOQ&linkCode=as2&tag=atracoo-20&linkId=IO2Y5OFUVKLMIRM4">All In One Picnic Travel Backpack Plates Cutlery Set</a><img style="border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;" src="https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=atracoo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B000QT3HOQ" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" />. Whilst these don’t have the romanticism of a lovely wicker picnic basket, they are much easier to transport, especially when you don’t drive and are cycling or using public transport.
<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UIRUJ2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004UIRUJ2&linkCode=as2&tag=atracoo0a-20&linkId=IMXMH3QHE3YXRYVT">EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers </a>. Seriously can you ever have enough containers? Many of the containers we had back home would be too big for our little fridge and tiny freezer here. <a style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" href="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aH1WoDr_-Ac/VCRBymv-a1I/AAAAAAAAJio/NNgV5m1IndI/s1600/download%2B(3).jpeg"><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aH1WoDr_-Ac/VCRBymv-a1I/AAAAAAAAJio/NNgV5m1IndI/s1600/download%2B(3).jpeg" alt="" width="400" height="266" border="0" /></a> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007TIE0GQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007TIE0GQ&linkCode=as2&tag=atracoo0a-20&linkId=4LHRLRR3KL2CRYVU">NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System</a><img style="border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;" src="https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=atracoo0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B007TIE0GQ" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> ( I had a magic bullet at home and it was really useful for a small kitchen and also for travelling. I’d often take it to workshops in council chambers where there wasn’t much of a kitchen). This is quite similar. <a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-87_dSa5xyJA/VCRBzKqBrUI/AAAAAAAAJiw/x4oBUKsMqWM/s1600/download%2B(4).jpeg"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-87_dSa5xyJA/VCRBzKqBrUI/AAAAAAAAJiw/x4oBUKsMqWM/s1600/download%2B(4).jpeg" alt="" width="389" height="400" border="0" /></a> <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P2NG0K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004P2NG0K&linkCode=as2&tag=atracoo-20&linkId=GJABFK3XYJFHL5TG">Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker</a><img style="border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;" src="https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=atracoo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B004P2NG0K" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /><br /> <a style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;" href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mMvw6WVQkX0/VCRcLYXqJWI/AAAAAAAAJkA/5IJ6h9kgg6U/s1600/SCCPVL610lid_280sq._V159986894_.jpg"><img src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mMvw6WVQkX0/VCRcLYXqJWI/AAAAAAAAJkA/5IJ6h9kgg6U/s1600/SCCPVL610lid_280sq._V159986894_.jpg" alt="" width="377" height="400" border="0" /></a><br /> I’ve always wanted a crockpot. Chris has a strong aversion to them after a childhood of less than palatable meals but I’m hoping I can change his mind when I have the cash! I wonder if people know about the experience of rental properties and kitchens in Germany? In many instances it is quite common for a property to be rented out without a kitchen. It will have a room for a kitchen but no actual kitchen. This means you have to bring (or buy) not only your own fridge and microwave as in Australia, but also a stove, benches and sink. Some tenants even remove the light fittings and kitchen flooring which the next tenant replaces. I still find it quite strange and am grateful for our contained kitchen! Because of this (and the fact that many people live in apartments with smaller kitchens, portable stove tops and small fridges are quite popular. I really miss having a bit fridge and freezer, it’s a definite lifestyle change, and I find myself needing to water bath preserves every time rather than just popping them in the fridge as there’s no cold storage space.