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If you love to cook, bake, and putter in the kitchen, bring your best knives, pots, and pans.  Those are all more expensive here than they are in the States--if you can even find what you want.  Selection in Guadalajara or Mexico City is better than it used to be, but still not as broad and deep as it is where you live now.

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We just bought a house here and are in a similar situation.  At first we were told to sell everything NOB, to only arrive with our suitcases and electronics. However, the more research we did the more we learned that that was not the wisest decision. In our first trip via airplane we each brought two huge suitcases with us packed with linens, towels, clothing, and essential odds-and-ends like extension cords, etc.

My husband returned NOB while I remain here, Lakeside, trying to get the house set up.  I have learned the hard way that Walmart does not stock everything I want or need. So, contrary to our original intention, we WILL be bringing items from NOB. I've been compiling a list (grows larger every day) of everything I am missing. This includes our favorite kitchen utensils, other soft goods like placemats and trivets. Vitamins, enough to last several months. Good scissors. More linens and towels. Floor rugs--impossible to find great quality rugs here in Mexico like I have NOB, and even with shipping costs, it's still cheaper to ship than to buy here. Curtain rod rings. Small tools, like a chop saw, Makita drill, Dremel, and Sawzall will be wrapped in towels and put in the shipping lot. Garden tools, like hand clippers. My favorite artwork, which can all fit into a 24x24x36 box. I am, however, still debating on whether or not to bring a life-sized, carved wooden unicorn from a temple in Bali (thank goodness it comes apart).

What will save us about $1500 USD is if I drive all this stuff in a UHaul to Laredo, and drop it off there for a mover to transfer to a "Lift", about 7x7x4'. I was quoted appx $2500 USD by Strom White, the best quote I received.

I decided not to bring furniture, that seems to be the easiest item to buy here in Mexico. It's the gizmos and gadgets (thank you, China!) that we are so accustomed to buying NOB that are difficult to find here in Mexico.  Something to consider is also to make occasional trips back to the states, Border runs, so you can fill the gaps as you go along.  Houston is a cheap flight, and Volaris allows you to bring 4 full suitcases at a cost of $199 USD.

In a couple weeks I will be returning NOB and preparing to sell the house there.  Like someone mentioned, an Estate Sale is the way to go. There is no way I could handle a yard sale of my entire house contents. I would much rather have someone else handle it, even if it cuts into the profits.

I'm glad you posted this question.






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I know you didn't ask if you should bring your household effects or sell everything, we do tend to wander off the subject here!

To add to the advice already given; if I knew then what I know now, I'd have had a couple of big garage sales and donated the rest to a reputable charity, or to friends. We could easily have replaced everything here for the $16,000 it cost to haul from Western Canada, plus we had to pay another 2,000 before the moving company would release our load!

Plus many small items disappeared, glass table top chipped, didn't bother insuring the move, mistake.By all means bring your small appliances, an electric blanket for the winter months, linens, towels, kitchen stuff, good china, and anything precious to you; but furniture ? no.



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Jistme wouldn't bring their load again and yet we would definitely bring our load again.  We have spent 12 years enjoying our furniture and things and expect we will enjoy them for much longer.  Good quality is expensive.  We like a more "old fashioned" household look.  The cost per year for bringing them is going down but the pleasure remains the same and while we listen to stories about uncomfortable chairs, quickly broken down sofas and secondhand rustic cabinets.  Bring what makes you happy to live with and add to it over time.  Know that you will have some regrets and of course some unexpected pleasurable surprises.


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We hired Lake Chapala Movers to bring all of our stuff from Houston, but that was 15 years ago and prices are much higher now. We filled up a 40' trailer with everything, including a hot tub! Everything made it safe and sound.

We told our dry cleaners why we would not be returning. He said, wow, we have another couple moving to Ajijic, Mexico. We then met Jerry and his wife, (no last names) at their "going to Mexico sale". It really is a small world.

I almost forgot. We lived on the same street a couple miles apart.

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