Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Container Mindset: What will we take to Mexico?

Every time we buy something, we ask ourselves and each other, "Will this go to Mexico?"  We often look at something we already own and ask the same question. Recently, for some reason, I've acquired some nude decorative pieces. They just called to me. And yes, they are going to Mexico. I think they will fit into our home there.

 

But we have so many decisions to make. We've done a "big move" once before. Well twice. To Australia and back. Of course, we knew that was only temporary. And we kept a storage shed here for those two years. So we had a backup for things that didn't fit in. This time is not temporary. And we are not planning for a backup storage shed.

But the big point of a container is that you make up your mind what size you are going to get and then, whatever fits inside that all costs the same amount. So you have decided on a price and you fill it up as strategically as you can.


This was our container moving back from Australia. One thing we learned is that the movers make all the difference. When we moved before, we had no choice but to let the movers pack because Australia is very picky about what goes in and out, and for them to be able to certify the contents, they had to pack it. The movers who moved us from Tulsa were awful. The movers who moved us back were awesome. Too bad OSS does not move from the U.S. to Mexico.


The problem with Tulsa is, it turns out, even if you get quotes and choose one company over another, they all contract out to the same movers. That's going to be a problem because we are moving from Tulsa again. At least this time we know enough to get in writing exactly WHO will be loading the container. Not sure we'll have a choice, though. We'll have to see about that.


But once you have a company selected and know what size you are going to use, it's all about the packing. It all costs the same amount. So how much can you get in there and what choices are you going to make? What items are valuable and delicate and need to be crated, like televisions and art? Those do cost a little more to prepare. 

OSS did a much better job for us. They got in a sofa that we didn't think would fit at all, and it's the one we're bringing to Mexico, actually.


I'm not sure if we'll have the option to do some of our own packing, coming to Mexico or not. I hope so, because I have already started. This picture is of our home in Australia, but after last Christmas, I packed all our Christmas things for the move. And I'm not unpacking it until we get there, either.  We saved a lot of our OSS boxes. They are awesome strong and durable. We need to find out more about how packing works between the US and Mexico.

But the point is, I guess, when I ask on the expat boards about some items we are thinking about bringing, some people always pipe up, "We only brought two suitcases. It costs too much to bring your stuff and you can buy everything here." The same thing happened when we moved to Australia. I guess it depends on your stuff. And if you are a nest builder or are perfectly happy with plastic chairs from Walmart or Target or what. 

We have picked out our "stuff" carefully. Some is valuable, Some is not. But we like it. When our kids visited us in Australia, there was a comfort factor. It was still Mom and Dad's house on the other side of the world. We also felt comfortable with our stuff. Lots of it has history and stories. It makes us happy.

So our latest take it or leave it conversation was about tools. We were surprised how strong the opinions were to take them. Probably not a lawn mover or weed eater. Yard help is extremely reasonably priced and your employees will probably have their own tools...maybe machetes...but yes to hand tools, ladders, wheel barrows, and generators. Oh yes, and shop vacs. Those things are not cheap down there and they are often not high quality. You are better off taking your own. Pack tools in a drawer or something. Don't waste space and it won't cost you anything to take them. A generator will take space, but it sounds like it's well worth it. Ladders won't take much room if you have good, strategic packers.

So the adventure continues.  





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