All that to say...
Starting largely from the ground up- what furniture/things would you plan to have/invest in if you were starting over?
I have a feeling we may wind up quasi camping-out in our new place for a bit while we reestablish ourselves there, but I'm looking at this as an opportunity to really purposefully choose what we invite into our home.
I've done that more than once, and it's really quite fun. Definitely freeing.
Don't plan yet. You might get a house with built in closets or you might get one without even a wardrobe. It's also going to depend where you and what is cheap. You might be able to live without things that you thought were essential because they're really expensive to replace. And you might get attached to your cardboard box furniture after a while. But, I'm not sure how different Canada and the US are, really.
We always build ourselves new bookshelves because they're easy, fill up a room and are great for storage. Have you seen knockoff wood? http://ana-white.com/
You end up with a surprising amount of little stuff, because it will slide into cracks and crevices in boxes. I have thread from five moves ago, for example. Fabric and clothes, too. I have not left behind any scarves because I use them for packing.
OMG that Ana White stuff! The tree house bed would be so fabulous for a kid. We live in a one-bedroom 600 sf apartment and I don't ever want a big house even when we have to move out of this one. This kind of bed would work as a private space for an older kid no longer co-sleeping, and if there were more than i kid, they could each have their own tree house bed in one big shared room!!!! As far as what I would replace..
A mattress (perhaps with box spring, but NO bed frame) big enough for co-sleeping
A table and 1 chair for each family member
Desk and work chair (we use our computers a lot)
Shelving system for toys, books
Some kind of family wardrobe if there were no closets
Totally optional, if there was space, would be a couple of arm chairs or bean bag type chairs for the living room.
2 sets of linens and two towels per person (if there is a dryer, just one set may be enough)
Im kind of doing that right now, Im moving from Japan back to the states. The military moves our household goods but DH is deploying and our goods will be put into storage until he gets back (Im not going with him till his next duty station since he will deploy less than 3 weeks after checking in). We have very little in household items anyway (toys, a few kitchen items, clothing and a living room couch) so we would be redoing most anyway..
Luckily my MIL/FIL live where Im going to be living until DH gets home (thats why Im moving there, doing a deployment without a support system wouldn't work) so they are getting a few items for us before we get there..
Important things to me:
-bed for me/baby with bedding
-bed for DD1 and DD2 with bedding
-dining room table (I use my table as a desk, crafting area, school area, extra place to prepare food, place to eat etc) and enough chairs to fit everyone
- a couch for the living room
- at least 1 large pot, one saucepan and one frying pan
- a couple of sharp cutting knives
- enough dishes to last a day and silverware
- a cookie sheet, a casserole pan and a bread pan
- a bookcase (we all LOVE books though and have quite a few packed in our suitcases)
- A towel for each member of the family
- A few toys and someplace to store them
- kitchen utensils: grater, large spoon, spatula, can opener
- at least 1-2 mixing bowls
- shower curtain and rug for in front of the shower..
-someplace safe to put the baby down if I need to
-coat hangers to hang things
-someplace to neatly put undies/PJs etc away
-basic cleaning supplies
Of these my In-laws have gotten:
dishes, a set of pots/pans, the living room set, some toys, washer/dryer (not on the list but so nice they were able to get them so us!), a bouncy seat for the baby and some toys for the girls.
They are picking up beds for the girls this week and are looking at a dining room table and bed set for me. Im ordering bedding for the girls soon and they are going to pick it up and wash it so its nice and clean when we get there.
Now Im sure Im a bit more high maintenance than some people. I like comfort so sitting/sleeping on the floor, using paper dishes etc is something I wouldn't want to do more than a couple of weeks if I had to. What you want totally depends on what you like, people in your family, situation etc.
OP, have you moved? How's it going?
We're doing this too. We have a 1000-pound shipping allowance, and we're bringing our bikes, some kitchen stuff and a few special things (a few rugs, blankets, decor items). Ds will bring his Legos, dd a few toys. We're bringing our laptops.
We're getting rid of a lot of clothing, since we're changing climates. No furniture can come.
Right now, I'm demanding:
Chef knife & paring knife
The good stainless pots and pans
A handful of cooking utensils
Coffee cups we're attached to
Teapots & kettle
A couple dish towels (can use in packing)
Bath towels (very expensive in new country)
Sheet sets for each bed (very expensive in new country)
Special quilts for each child
4 bikes (1 for each family member)
As much of dh's clothing as we can ship (long story)
3 laptops (carried, not shipped)
For clothing, we'll only need summer things and a warmer layer for winter months. I plan to bring light dresses and skirts/shirts, a sweater and a jean jacket, workout clothes, running shoes and sandals, and keep the underwear as uncomplicated as possible.
Children will wear uniforms to school, so they only need a few casual things. We have to buy uniforms in country. Packing swimsuits.
Other than that...sandals and sneaks for all but dh (he needs a work wardrobe). Hats, my scarves, sunglasses, extra sunglasses. Spare extra sunglasses. Maybe an umbrella.
Most clothing will come in our flight luggage, along with some toys. Water bottles and important paperwork will be hand carried.
What am I forgetting?