If you moved across the Ocean, would you sell everything or pay to have it moved? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-12-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I will be heading back across the Atlantic this summer at our own expense. We have had quotes for moving our things (approx. 27m³) in a container, but it's not cheap. Between 7000-8000$ (US).
Are we crazy to pay this money for our move?

Some of the wooden toys that the children have are hand-made (from a local friend), our glasses and porcelain that we got for our wedding are also expensive and not sold in North America. We're also avid book worms, and a lot of our books are out of print or would be hard (and expensive) to replace.
But we COULD just take the minimum (porcelain, important books, a few extra special toys), but then we'd have to fork out just as much (probably) to start all over again.

So, would you pay for the move or sell everything and start over?

Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo

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Old 01-12-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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Is it kind of all or nothing? Like, either you just take a very few things, or you take a whole container?

Starting over sounds like it would be expensive and very time-consuming.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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I don't think I could replace everything I own for $8,000 so that doesn't sound crazy to me.

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Old 01-12-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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We'll be paying to do that eventually. Some things just cannot be replaced. I think in the long run, it's cheaper to have it all shipped. That's a good sized shipment and the price sounds about right.

If you can't fill it all the way, you can do what my friends did... go buy nice new furniture at 1/4 of the price it would normally cost and add that to the shipment to fill it up!

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Old 01-12-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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When I moved to PR from FL when I was 15, my parents shipped everything in a container. You don't have to fill the container. The moving company charges you by the cubic foot or meter. I would check prices for furniture and whatnot in the country you are going to, and compare how much the price difference is. The advantage of just moving everything over is that it's one less thing to do once you move (instead of scrambling around shopping when you have enough to do).

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Old 01-12-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I wouldn't have it moved. I've moved back and forth across the Ocean 4 times and if there is one thing I've learned, it's this... American stuff doesn't fit in non-American "things". Your furniture will be too big for your flat, your sheets won't fit the beds, even your dishes will be too big to fit into the standard European cabinets. People will give you recipes in metric, your wallet is the wrong shape for the Euro, your stroller won't handle the cobbled sidewalks, and your paper won't fit in their envelopes.

Sell everything except the clothes.

Oh, nevermind. I guess you're coming the other way... so you already know what I'm talking about.

Still, I'd only bring back the essentials. Duh me for not reading your post more thoroughly.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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I've made two overseas moves. The first time, we sold everything except irreplaceables and a few clothes. We mailed those things (cost us a few hundred dollars). The second time, we bought space in a container. It was around $2000. We still did not bring everything with us - we had a huuuuuuuge garage sale - but we were able to bring bigger, more awkward things.

I don't know. I like to travel light. I think it's cheaper to ship stuff, but more fun to buy new!
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:36 AM
 
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Actually, 7-8000 dollars doesn't sound too horrible for a trans-Atlantic move. If your things are important to you, I'd do it. As a pp said, it would likely be difficult to replace everything I own for under 10000 dollars, so I think I'd end up paying it.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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I'm sure shipping things overseas is far more reliable now, but when I was about 12, friends of our family moved overseas here to Canada. The things they had shipped took months and months to arrive and almost everything was broken or destroyed.

When they arrived in Ontario, they had to buy all new everything anyhow, while they were waiting for their stuff to be shipped.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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Shipping definitely sounds like the best option.

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Old 01-12-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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The first time, I went with literally two suitcases and a duffel bag, figuring that anything I needed could be had again without the hassle and expense of shipping (of course, I was working with an extremely favorable exchange rate). After which I found that a lot of really basic, commonplace items to me just weren't available, or if available were available only at luxury import prices higher than the shipping cost would have been.

I'd say ship, not only for the irreplaceable kinds of items you've listed but also for the things you might find aren't as replaceable as you thought.
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Old 01-12-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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at first I was all for 'sell sell sell'
being that I've moved continents many times with nothing more than a backpack and a baby on my hip.
most recently we moved from israel to australia, and we actually had an apartment, and furniture and all that stuff. we sold/ gave away everything and started fresh with basically what we could carry in the luggage allowance.
but we didnt have fancy tableware or toys or books to treasure.
I took 1/2 dozen of my best MW textbooks and one small (like, tiny) backpack of toys for DD. no homewares at all.

so its a different situation.
if that stuff is important to you, and it will be cheaper to ship/ not replaceable, then ship it.

(though I'm still a fan of cutting ties and not having material attachment)

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I'd take everything I could afford to, and espeically those things which would be hard/expensive to replace. I wouldn't take furniture though (unless its antique/family).
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
I'd take everything I could afford to, and espeically those things which would be hard/expensive to replace. I wouldn't take furniture though (unless its antique/family).
:

Check the exchange rate. The American dollar is weak right now; your money might go further by only taking what you really need/want and buying the rest in America.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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I tatally regret selling and giving away most of our posessions. When we arrived in America we were shocked at how expensive furniture was, and how low quakity it was. I also hated selling my books. We sent about 5 boxes of things we didn't want to part with, incuding antique books, wedding gifts which we really liked (gave away a few we didn't like) and all our clothes which didn't travel with us.
If I was doing it again I would have everything shipped that I wanted to keep and the good quality furniture that we have bought over the last 7 yrs. It's taken 7 years to replace almost everything we sold/gave away which is far longer than we thought it would take.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I would definitely ship my stuff with me. The idea of moving to a new place and having to furnish it just doesn't sound like my idea of fun. The time to shop around to find affordable/quality things would negate the savings savings of selling everything and buying new here.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
Is it kind of all or nothing? Like, either you just take a very few things, or you take a whole container?
I'm wondering this, too. Furniture and all of that stuff I would buy once I got there, but is it not possible to bring some special things?

Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang wild.gif, born 11/17/12 

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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We just did this and paid to have stuff shipped. I'd keep looking for quotes...we moved from the west coast of USA to Europe and it was only about $4000 for a quite large container.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I just made an estimate about the 8000$.
Our quotes have been between 5000 and 8000 EUR for the smallest sized container. But we live in Germany, which has quite stringent laws for container packing (for insurance purposes and perhaps secrutiy reasons) which means we need to pay men to pack our valuables, sofa, beds and bicycles. Paying the help is what costs the most!
We checked about packing the container ourselves, but in Germany it isn't possible, which means that the moving companies can make a bit of money out of a move.
There's the packing of the container, then the transport of the container to a port (we don't live anywhere close to the sea), then the transport across the ocean, paying customs duties, then unloading it on the other side, then transport to our new place.

Single mama to a 5yo and 8yo

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Old 01-12-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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We would sell most of our stuff, keep the nice toys and a few irreplaceable things, and buy new in our new home. But we don't have much that's valuable or sentimental, and I am always looking for an excuse to get rid of stuff.

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Old 01-12-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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I would take the valuable things that have an emotional attatchment like special toys, photos, books and buy used furniture ect when I relocated. I would ship the other stuff jsut through the post.
Angela

It always takes me several passes through the stuff to really get it down to what is the most important to me.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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I'm surprised at some of the "just buy new furniture" advice. Are we talking about WalMart quality furniture, or spending many many hours at thrift/resale shops? Just the BASICS of refurnishing would be:

Parents' bed
Two kids' beds
4? dressers
Dining table and chairs
Sofa (maybe some living room chairs and a table)

But most people have a lot more, right? Like bookshelves, nightstands, lamps, small appliances. My in-laws lived on a boat for a few years -- when they moved off the boat and back into a house, they spent over 30K to furnish it. I about fell over when they told me that, because it doesn't LOOK like 30K just to look around their house. But to buy everything all at once, that people usually accumulate over years, and to have it all be reasonably nice quality, takes a bigger chunk of money than you might expect.

OTOH some people re-furnish every time they move houses, because what worked in one space doesn't work in another. A friend of mine was moved around by her work a lot -- she had a house with massive rooms in Baton Rouge, and her furniture was on a scale to fit the rooms. We took quite a few pieces off her hands when she moved to a townhouse in DC that was 12 feet wide, she could only fit like dollhouse type furniture in there
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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I would bring the irreplaceble stuff (books, toys, wedding gifts, etc.) and sell the rest.
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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Another reason to let them pack it for you is so that if something ends up broken, THEY pay to have it replaced.

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Old 01-12-2008, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cee3 View Post
I've made two overseas moves. The first time, we sold everything except irreplaceables and a few clothes. We mailed those things (cost us a few hundred dollars). The second time, we bought space in a container. It was around $2000. We still did not bring everything with us - we had a huuuuuuuge garage sale - but we were able to bring bigger, more awkward things.

I don't know. I like to travel light. I think it's cheaper to ship stuff, but more fun to buy new!
We did something like this.
We moved transatlantic twice. We sold all the furniture and electronics most of the books and replaceable toys etc, and mailed boxes of irreplaceables and clothes.
We only shipped Dh's tools and tool boxes as these cost thousands of dollars and replacement was more
Good luck it's tough to decide what to get rid of.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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We had a similar choice to make (only less money was involved $3000). It was across the country (actually from Ohio to BC, Canada). We ended up bringing everything.
We would have been better off, financially, to sell everything in Ohio, and buy new(used) when we got here EXCEPT for dp's music equipment and guitars. It would have cost more to replace them than he could have sold them for, and the money that we would have saved from moving them, wouldn't have made up for all the furniture and music equipment.
Plus, some of his guitars have sentimental value.
Moving only the music equipment would have been nearly as much as moving it all- at that point it wouldn't have made any sense to leave our stuff.

I did some major decluttering, and got rid of everything that didn't bring me joy. (lol). We did save money getting a smaller uhaul, and taking about half of our stuff. Plus, it's nice to not have a lot of clutter to find a place for here.

It seems that there is some stuff you would be bummed out to leave. I'd ship it (after decluttering).

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Old 01-12-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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SOme people who move across the ocean and know they may be moving back don't bother to accumulate the kind of higher-end "we will have this for the rest of our lives" kind of furniture that settled people do.

I know I haven't accumulated anything that potentially might not come back with us. Every purchase is made through the lens of "will it be worth it if I only keep it for 5 years" and "will it be worth shipping back"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
I'm surprised at some of the "just buy new furniture" advice. Are we talking about WalMart quality furniture, or spending many many hours at thrift/resale shops? Just the BASICS of refurnishing would be:
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:09 PM
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When we moved from Europe to the US, we sold all the furniture and apliances. We max'ed out of luggage limit on the airline (I think we even went over, but they didn't fine us). We sent four boxes of dd's stuff through the post office. Anything that didn't fit in the suitcases, one of the cardboard boxes, or which didn't get sold was left to our landlady to do as she saw fit (included a sattelite dish, cell phone, etc).

Once in the US, we had to completely refurnish, but had enough clothes and other essentialls to last for a long time.

Quote:
SOme people who move across the ocean and know they may be moving back don't bother to accumulate the kind of higher-end "we will have this for the rest of our lives" kind of furniture that settled people do.

I know I haven't accumulated anything that potentially might not come back with us. Every purchase is made through the lens of "will it be worth it if I only keep it for 5 years" and "will it be worth shipping back"?
:

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Old 01-12-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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i'm a sentimental person and i'd want to take the books/toys/etc along. i think it would be worth it to me. could you send those another way?? or is it enough stuff that the container is the best way?

mama  to 3 farmboys (, & ) and 1 farmgirl ()
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:40 PM
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I think it's really relative.

I mean, we are moving this month and at first I was going to rent a uhaul truck and do the whole big move thing. Then the more I thought about it, the more it was pointless to me.

I have not much of value, and what I do have I can fit into a small Uhaul trailer. I'm giving everything else away.

I'm saving over $1000 this way. Isn't that sad that I don't have anything worth $1000. But all my stuff has been given to me, or handed down. And we're building a new house and it's going to have all new appliances and furniture...so there ya go. All my sentimental stuff is going in the trailer.

So if your cost of replacing what you left/sold is less or equal to shipping it, I'd leave it behind. (Not the sentimental stuff, that would go)
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