Autorin: Lisa Zhang
When I first saw my dormitory studio that I had been given in Im Neuenheimer Feld, I felt at a loss. Everything in the studio was white, the furniture was white and the walls in the rooms were white. Despite having brought some things with me when I moved (mainly cooking utensils and clothes), I found it difficult to imagine how I would fill up the white space to make it more homely. The space seemed to me sterile, a room that you would perhaps find in a hospital or in a nondescript government building. Knowing that I would stay here for a few years, I quickly realised that in order to make it more personal, and hence liveable, I would have to add a few objects to it that would give it character.
Being on a tight budget (as most students are), I could not really afford to buy a whole set of new things. It also seemed like a waste to buy new things every time I moved, which students often do. I looked around in the town centre for second hand shops, but could not find any. That was, until I stumbled upon the “Recyclingkaufhaus”. Recyclingkaufhaus is exactly what it sounds like, a recycling shop, and they have all sorts of things, from furniture to bric-a-brac. The place looks like a warehouse and is filled with interesting curiosa (and useful things). When I was there the first time, I bought a beautiful wooden floor lamp and desk lamp, a rug, and colourful plates. They also have a section with second-hand clothes and second-hand books, if you are looking for those things. The way they price things there is that you take the things that you want to buy to the counter, and the person at the counter will price it for you there. Usually they price things cheaply, since it is second-hand.
Therefore, if you are looking for things to use or decorate your student room with, and if you do not feel like going far away to IKEA, or do not want to buy things that are more expensive in town, I recommend that you have a look at the Recylingkaufhaus and see if you can find what you are looking for there. It can be a bit of a hit and miss if you are searching for something specific, but at least it is a fun trip if you enjoy looking at odd things. Furthermore, it is better for the environment to buy second-hand too.
You can read more about the Recyclingkaufhaus on their website: https://www.recyclingkaufhaus.de/