We used a website called Bostaddirekt which we used the last time we were searching for an apartment. This time we filled out a profile about ourselves including why we were visiting and a picture of our family. They encourage you to give as much information as possible so that landlords feel like they know you since you will be living in their apartment. I contacted a few landlords about their apartments after seeing pictures and info on the website but this landlord actually contacted me. She saw our profile and picture and sent me an email saying they had an apartment near downtown and that they had kids so we would be able to use their crib, high chair and toys while we stayed there. We had some of our friends look at the apartment before we agreed to rent it and they also picked up the keys for us since we were not here before our landlords left.
Please come in . . . and take off your shoes :). I love being back in the land of no outside shoes are worn inside! #insideshoesforthewin
(I will post captions below the pictures.)
When you walk in the door the first thing you see is our coat closet and shoe rack. To the right of this is also a closet that our landlord put their things in to store while they were away.
While still standing on the doormat if you look to the left you see a long hallway. The first door is our closet, the second door it the bathroom, the next open doorway leads into the playroom (and our bedroom and living room) and then the open doorway at the end of the hall is the kitchen.
Looking back at the front door. Also known as stroller parking :).
Our main closet is in the hallway and not in our bedroom.
That took a little while to get used to but I kind of like that it is in the hallway because it means there aren't clothes all over the floor in the bedroom. Another bonus is that since we are sharing a bedroom with Linnea we can get into our pajamas in the hall without waking her up at night. I brought about 14 short sleeve shirts and 5 long sleeve shirts plus a pair of jean shorts, a skirt and 4 pairs of pants. Jake brought less than me (duh) and my plan is to do laundry about once a week. We bought one bath towel for me (Linnea uses mine at night) and one for Jake. We brought one set of sheets for our bed and two sets or Linnea's bed.
This bathroom is huge compared to the one we had the first 2 years we lived in Stockholm. It has a bathtub and a washing machine (which I haven't used yet because I'm kind of scared :). There is a heated towel rack (which is pretty common here) but the floors aren't heated (heated floors are also pretty common so I was surprised ours weren't heated).
A few months ago I started cleaning the bathrooms every Tuesday and called it Toilet Tuesdays. Well now it takes me less than 10 minutes because I only have one toilet (and bathroom) to clean!
Right outside the bathroom is this wardrobe cabinet. I use this place to dry and straighten my hair and to store extra bathroom supplies (medicine, vitamins, hair products, etc). There are some interesting codes about outlets in bathrooms and kitchens so most bathrooms don't have outlets. Ours has one right above the sink, next to the light, but since there isn't any counter-top space I use this wardrobe cabinet instead to do my hair. It works great and it similar to what I did at our last apartment.
One thing I realized after moving back to the States it that living in a small apartment forces you to be cleaner/neater that maybe you typically would be because you see your messes more with less living space. In Olathe sometimes I would leave a big mess (pile of towels, humidifier that was drying out, etc) in one of our bathrooms and it would be there for a couple of weeks because I had 3 other bathrooms I could use without having to see the mess I left. Since this wardrobe cabinet doubles as vanity and a catch all place when we come in the door I have to put my hair dryer and straightener away whereas at our house I could/would leave both out all day long because I didn't see it way back in our bathroom.
This is to the right of the wardrobe cabinet and is a little office area/play area for Linnea when I'm cooking dinner.
Pantry and fridge/freezer.
I LOVE that the freezers here have drawers. It just makes more sense. I'm always dropping/knocking plastic containers off of shelves in our freezer in Olathe and then they crack. #freezerdrawersrock The pantry is right next to the fridge and is warm because of the heat from the fridge. I don't like that. I feel like our food shouldn't be that warm so I usually leave the door open and just hope Linnea stays out of it.
The kitchen is much smaller than the one in our house but it isn't actually that small by Swedish standards. I do wish that I could stand by sink and have the dishwasher open at the same time.
We brought the family calendar I made and hung it up above the kitchen table. Linnea likes to look at all the pictures and often points and talks to it during meals. They had a high chair we could use while we lived here which has been really great! They also had kids' plates, utensils, and cups.
The view from the kitchen. Several trains run right outside our apartment. It is a bit loud especially if we are trying to video chat or watch a show but it isn't too bad. We don't notice it when we are sleeping which is nice. Linnea likes to watch the trains while she eats.
When you leave the kitchen and go back into the hall if you turn left you will be in the playroom.
There is a toddler bed and toys in the room.
Linnea loves to climb onto the bed, hug the owl and gorilla and then throw them on the floor to then try to put them back on the bed.
From the playroom you can either go right to our bedroom or left to the living room.
Our bedroom is really big. When you first walk in you see Linnea's crib (which they set up for us since she isn't big enough for the toddler bed) and some cabinets.
Her crib has little rockers on the feet that allow you to rock the crib a little with your hand.
Our bed is 180 cm which is bigger than a queen but smaller than a king. It feels huge! Plus they have a twin bed (in grey) next to it so their older child can sleep there if he wants. The bedroom does have shades which helps since the sunrise is around 4 am and sets around 9:30 pm.
So far sleeping in the same room with Linnea hasn't been bad. The first night was rough because of the time change and jet lag. Letting her cry for any amount of time means we have to hear all of it. But after that first night she has pretty much been back to sleeping 12 hours at night. There have been a few mornings when she woke up early and had a hard time waiting until it was time to get up but overall it has been good. The floors do squeak quite a bit so if I get up to use the bathroom anytime after 5 I have to be careful to not wake her up. It helps that we have a curtain splitting the room so she can't see us but she does know where are there.
Our living room is next to the bedroom and off of the play room.
We LOVE this couch! We loved the couch in our last apartment too. It seems like couches like this one are very common since they are often used as guest beds for visitors. We did rearrange a bit and moved the couch to where it is now because when I sit on it I can see out both the windows instead of having it under one of the windows and facing two walls without windows.
Our "office" area.
We do have to walk up a flight of stairs before we get to the elevator which is a pain but it isn't too bad once you get a good routine going.
Another extra perk that we didn't know about until we got here was that they had a bike we could use. Jake has been riding it to and from work every day so his commute is only 10 minutes instead of a 30 minute walk or 30 minute metro trip.
There is laundry in the basement that we can sign up for in 3 hour time slots.
The dates are at the top and the left side of the board has the 3 hour time slots. If you don't want to reserve a spot you "park" your lot at the bottom of the board.
In the laundry room there are two washers, one dryer and one drying cabinet. I LOVE the drying cabinet. It is basically a drying rack where you hang your clothes up but then it blows warm air in the cabinet to dry your clothes while they hang up.
Two washers, one dryer and one very cute assistant!
After you pick your cycle the machine weighs your load and then tells you how much it weighs so you can dose the correct amount of detergent.
We like the apartment and that it is so kid friendly. There are safety plugs in the outlets and a few things on the tops of the doors so they won't close all the way and pinch her fingers. I wish the kitchen and living room were open to each other because it makes it a little difficult to make dinner when she wanders off, especially now that she can climb onto the couch and toddler bed. She really likes standing on the toddler bed so that is a fun thing to walk around the corner and find :).
It is fun living in someone else's place and living with things you didn't pick for decorations and other everyday things. When we first got here I had a hard time not wanting to make the apartment exactly the way I wanted. For example, there is one and only one trashcan in the entire apartment. I'm used to having one in every room but instead of buying trashcans for each room for only 6 weeks we are just dealing with it.
I hope you enjoyed the tour!