The Move to Tweede Jan Steenstraat

A couple weeks ago, we moved into our new place, and what an adventure it was.

Let me first say that in Amsterdam, moving is no easy task. This is mostly in part to the incredibly steep and narrow “Dutch staircases.” We thought the stairs in our Airbnb were steep, but compared to our current winding ladder situation, they were a breeze. In fact, this is why all Amsterdam houses have a large hook that hangs off the top of the building. Movers throw a rope around the hook, and use it as a pulley to get their furniture up and into their apartment through the window, rather than bringing it up the stairs. And if you’re really sophisticated, you can hire professional movers who use a vehicle with an elevator-like extension. Lucky for us, all or our furniture was coming in boxes, so we didn’t need to use the through-the-window method this time.

Moving day started with an IKEA delivery to the new apartment. We paid for delivery to the second floor but had heard that IKEA delivery guys can be quite stubborn and lazy (yes, you pay for delivery by which floor you live on, and actually, it’s more like the 3rd floor because in the Netherlands they count the ground floor as 0…something that I find very confusing). Sure enough, Conor ended up bringing up most of the furniture himself, as they tricked him into signing the form before bringing everything up.

In the afternoon, I met Conor back at the Airbnb to get all of our bags over to the new place. Of course it was raining. After many trips up and down the 69 stairs of our Airbnb with 50+ lb bags, we packed ourselves and the bags into a cab and drove to the new place, where we carried all the bags up 35 “stairs” (ladder rungs). It was exhausting to say the least.

We spent the next few hours putting together furniture and getting settled in, and then went out for a little celebratory dinner at a local Portuguese restaurant. It wasn’t until we returned after dinner that we realized the heat had never kicked on. Not cool. If you know me, you know I have very little tolerance for being cold, and the temperature had dropped significantly within past few days. We tried everything (including watching a really dorky dude on YouTube explain how to reset your thermostat) but couldn’t get the heat to work.

So we turned to Plan B – take a really hot shower to get warm, and then bundle up in cozy clothes. This would have been a nice plan if the hot water had worked. On to Plan C – slippers, flannel pj’s and gloves.

The next day, our buddy Eeg (our housing consultant) came over to help us sort things out. He and Conor worked together to figure out how to turn the heat on – apparently there’s a button in our extra room on the 4th floor that resets the whole thing. This also solved our hot water problem.

Just when we thought we had worked out all the kinks of our new place, we tried to run the dishwasher, which promptly overflowed all over the kitchen floor.

It was a rough first 24 hours at Tweede Jan Steenstraat, but since then we’ve really settled in. The place is pretty bare furniture-wise, but we look forward to making it our own over the next few months.

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