This is a post from one of our AIWC members who writes the blog, Schwingen in Switzerland.
She has some great expat tips, so I wanted to share her post, Geneva Expat 101, Lesson Four – Furnishing an Apartment on a Budget:
Switzerland is expensive. Very, very expensive. The high value of the Swiss Franc hasn’t helped (thank you Switzerland for devaluing your currency). As a result, we have been looking for ways to get the things we need here on a budget.
We tried to make our new home organized, warm and homey. To do this on a budget, I relied heavily on brocante (secondhand). Since Geneva is such a transient community, you can get lots of nice things used. Some of the best stores to go are Caritas, CSP and L’Armee Du Salut. A few weeks back, I went to check them out with some friends. We were amazed by what we saw and all of us found “treasures”.
|Sometimes, there are extra markdowns on certain items.|
|Sadly, none of us purchased the Courvoisier cannon.|
|None of us purchased the mounted fish head either. It is still up for grabs. Interested?|
|Seriously, they have tons of whatever kind of household item you need.|
|They have furniture too.|
|Tons of it.|
|On the hunt for a smokin’ deal|
|Rugs, books and CD’s. Oh my.|
Here are some places you can go to get what you need on the cheap:
- Salvation Army (L’ Armee Du Salut) – We purchased a giant armoire here to store all of my clothes and a nice lamp (it fits Swiss plugs).
- CSP (Centre Sociale Protestant) they are all over – I purchased a ton of flower pots here. This is a great place to go for books too.
- Caritas stores are also all over – you can get just about anything here. One day, I spent 49 CHF and came home on the tram with a table for our kitchen, a vacum cleaner, a steamer/rice cooker, and a plant stand. It has been a great place to get appliances. We have gotten a hairdryer, a rice cooker, a fan and a racklette set there.
- The classifieds on glocals.com has also been a really useful. We were able to buy our spare bed and TV there.
- Advertised brocante weekend sales
- Plainpalais flea market