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Questions about packing, shipping, and the menaje de casa


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Thanks to anyone who can help answer these questions.  I have just about completed the packing of my worldly goods for the shipper to move.

1.  My rugs are each rolled tightly and covered in plastic sheeting and tape.  Do I need to wrap them in anything more, or is that sufficient?  Also, when listing on the menaje de casa, do I list  #48 as "6 rugs"  or do I list #48 1 rug, #49 1 rug, #50 1 rug, (each as its own line item)? 

2.  In order to keep the boxes approximately the same weight and maximize the , I did NOT put all books (heavy) in one box and all pillows (light) in another box.  I mixed pillows, books, clothes, a blanket, favorite coffee mug, a pair of curtains, and a power tool wrapped in a towel in one box. On the menaje, do I write Box #17:  pillows, books, clothes, blanket, coffee mug, curtains, Makita Drill xxx serial # xxxxx-xxx , towel?  Or can I write books, clothing, linens, Makita blah blah blah, coffee mug?  Or is there an even easier way to do this?

3. I know the menaje cannot have anything added after it is approved.  Can something be removed?  For example, we are really debating whether to bring our 2 all leather, beautiful Pottery Barn recliners.  They are heavy and will cost us several hundred dollars for space/weight....whereas we might be able to sell them  here NOB for a decent price and buy something similar in Mexico.  So at the last minute can I choose to NOT include those items in the shipping van, even if they are listed on the menaje? 

4.  How careful are the movers with everything?  I'm not packing fragile dishes or mirrors, nothing like that, but they don't handle things like the airport baggage guys(cringe, gulp), do they?  I have some unique 6' expandable to 12 feet traverse rods that i love, packed them in skinny boxes, but still I am hoping the boxes won't get bent....

Anything else I am missing?  Please, let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I put all the tools, appliances etc in boxes of third own not with  other items as they like to check those so they do not have to go into boxes with other items.The rug question  It does not matter.. If they are rolled separately list them with a different number if they are rolled together give them one number.

I do not know if you can take things out but I do not see why not. Just omit to ship them and say nothing on the paper, just tell the mover they are not there.

Some movers are careful and some are not, if it is something you do not want damaged wrap it well . I lost a couple of metal lamps that were not well packed.

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Hmmm.  Thanks.

What about combined items in ONE box, like clothing, books, the ubiquitous coffee mug, curtains, blankets, sheets, arts & crafts supplies, wall plaques, photos, etc.?   Can I shorten that to clothing, books, decorative craft items, linens?  Waht about things like personal photos, how nitty gritty do I have to be?  

 

 

 

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We just used general categories - photographs, household linens, clothes, kitchen, bath, etc... Take those rods and whatever you packed them and strap them all together to give that added strength and if you can shove each down the center of a rug all the better.  I appreciate what you tried to do with the weight of each box but spreading things out.  

 

However, about those PB recliners - bring them you will not find the quality here and they are built to last longer than you so hopefully you will have them at least 20 years or more and amoritize that shipping over that time and voila easy decision.

 

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Good, about the chairs.  Now, about the rest of the stuff.....

I looked over Rolly Brook's menaje and I see he combined items, but he kept all electrical stuff  (and it was a lot of stuff!) in separate boxes.   I don't have near as much as he has on his list, only about 9 or 10  power tools jumbled in with towels and sheets and pillows, so if aduana wants to open each box and pull out shorts and shoes, God bless 'em.  The rest of it is your regular run-of-the-mill clothing, hobby items, knick knacks and such.....about 30 boxes total along with 6 rugs.  A drop in the bucket compared to what some people ship! 

BTW I talked to a shipper who was very thorough in explaining how detailed I had to be, but I think he made me paranoid.  (Then again, I think he was doing it so I would throw up my hands and let his guys come up and pack, and record it all).

I asked him about bringing my art supplies in.  He told me I could not bring in more than 5 of anything, or aduana would think it was commercial.  Like, only 5 paintbrushes.  And they had to be used (now, why would I be brining in a used paintbrush??????).  5 balls of green yarn, 5 balls of red yarn, etc.  5 curtains, 5 sheets....does that mean 5 flat sheets and 5 fited sheets, or 5 flat sheets in TWIN and 5 flat sheets in KING, or 5 sheet sets, period?     

Good lord, I am going crazy.

 

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They are quite interested in electrical items  so you will need to list them all separately. Might want to bring those nice recliners they will be hard to replace here. I brought mine and glad I did. Mattresses are also worth bringing if they are good ones. Sheets with deep pockets 14" are hard to find here.  You can get away with _ box towels and sheets. You should list each rug  (separately 8X10 wool rug). I did mix a box of hand tools and had no problems. The strangest things do disappear in transit, spoons for instance. We had a box with a coffee pot well wrapped and spoons taped together stuffed beside arrived here with  . Everything should be used household effects.

Don't worry about removing anything just don't ship it.

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hand tools are not problems but electric tools I listed the serial number model number and whatever the requirements are same with electronics, everything else I mixed. 

If you have confortable  recliners I would bring them Beds I  found comfortable  ones here but if you have a favorite or very expensive one one bring it, Bring sheets and towels and good knives.

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1 hour ago, kimanjome said:

Good, about the chairs.  Now, about the rest of the stuff.....

I looked over Rolly Brook's menaje and I see he combined items, but he kept all electrical stuff  (and it was a lot of stuff!) in separate boxes.   I don't have near as much as he has on his list, only about 9 or 10  power tools jumbled in with towels and sheets and pillows, so if aduana wants to open each box and pull out shorts and shoes, God bless 'em.  The rest of it is your regular run-of-the-mill clothing, hobby items, knick knacks and such.....about 30 boxes total along with 6 rugs.  A drop in the bucket compared to what some people ship! 

BTW I talked to a shipper who was very thorough in explaining how detailed I had to be, but I think he made me paranoid.  (Then again, I think he was doing it so I would throw up my hands and let his guys come up and pack, and record it all).

I asked him about bringing my art supplies in.  He told me I could not bring in more than 5 of anything, or aduana would think it was commercial.  Like, only 5 paintbrushes.  And they had to be used (now, why would I be brining in a used paintbrush??????).  5 balls of green yarn, 5 balls of red yarn, etc.  5 curtains, 5 sheets....does that mean 5 flat sheets and 5 fited sheets, or 5 flat sheets in TWIN and 5 flat sheets in KING, or 5 sheet sets, period?     

Good lord, I am going crazy.

 

Many of one item is an issue for Customs.  What we did was NOT combine all the like items because of that nonsense.  You can do the same with your paint brushes.  Spread them out in your packing.  I don't know which shipper you are using, but when I called Strohm White or maybe it was Chapala Moving) and went on their site, I saw WAY too many restrictions.  We couldn't bring fabric!  We found another way around all this by using a different shipper AND as miserable as it was, we repacked so things were spread out all in different boxes, so it did not look like a lot of any one item.  They even said we could bring NO paper products such as tissues or extra rolls paper towels.  For that issue, we used those items as padding material in our packing and had no issues.   The other thing we did (which is probably way different from the rest of the people) is not submit a Menaje de Casa and, therefore, not involve the consulat.  We did pay taxes, but shipper we used said it would come out about the same as using a commercial broker when you included their high fees.

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Wow, Zeb--thank you!  I am prepared to pay duty, which I think is 16.9%, if I can get a cheaper rate in movers. Regarding movers, I called a bunch; they are all restrictive, but some more than others. Who did you end up using?

Agreed, the easiest but most painful way to do this is to split everything up in boxes.  So, it makes a messier inventory, but that's how it goes.

 I'd like to hear from people who have had problems when they shipped things in, and what those "things" were that created the problem.

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Please understand two things;  Your Mexican mover is responsible for your move IN Mexico.  Your US mover will back your stuff and move it to the border.

All restrictions are from the Government of Mexico, not the mover(s).

Strom-White moved us without and damage or difficulty.

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Those aduana dudes probably earn less in two days than what you used to earn in an hour.  There's one special thing they like to avoid ..... work.  They'll get a gold star for finding drugs, by way of sniffers,  and get nothing for finding you packed too many artist brushes. 

I got robbed in La Paz BCS at the aduana on my trip here to GDL 3 years ago; some machinist tools, a digital camera. 

I got robbed about 15 years ago for an electric guitar and a stereo amp by the aduana.  It seems boyz toys and occupational necessities are dear to them. 

They also specialize in small items of value, something of value that fits into the pocket.  I doubt they want to be seen hauling a sofa out to their car. 

It's a crap shoot, I assume is based what sort of vigilance they face by their superiors, some are lax, some are not.

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On 9/4/2017 at 8:38 AM, kimanjome said:

Wow, Zeb--thank you!  I am prepared to pay duty, which I think is 16.9%, if I can get a cheaper rate in movers. Regarding movers, I called a bunch; they are all restrictive, but some more than others. Who did you end up using?

Agreed, the easiest but most painful way to do this is to split everything up in boxes.  So, it makes a messier inventory, but that's how it goes.

 I'd like to hear from people who have had problems when they shipped things in, and what those "things" were that created the problem.

 

 

 

 

The point of the menaje de casa is that it is a one-time opportunity to bring your possessions into Mexico without paying duty.  IMHO, it makes no sense to scrimp on movers; they are your assurance that your household goods will make it to Lakeside without damage.

If it were me, I'd call SEYMI, Mexico's best international mover, based in Guadalajara.  SEYMI does have English-speaking customer service, if you need English.  SEYMI will coordinate your move from your home in the USA to your home in Mexico, contracting with a USA-based moving company to bring your household goods to the border, where SEYMI itself will take over and bring your things to Lake Chapala.  IMHO they are the best in Mexico.

http://mudanzaseymi.com.mx/en-us/

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13 hours ago, More Liana said:

and what those "things" were that created the problem.

Here's what can create a problem:  I crossed in TJ with a desktop in my car.  The "cop" said no way, you can't bring a desktop into Mexico, a laptop yes, desktop no.  I gave him $5. 

A few months later I crossed with a laptop I bought as a favor for a friend.  The cop said, no sir, you cannot bring a laptop into Mexico, a desktop is okay, laptop no.  I gave him $5.

Look, they may or may not search your things, it's their job to search, and their boss might be watching, but they really don't care what you've packed. What they do care about is who's going to win some silly soccer game, or that you give them $5..

There is no way we can foresee anything that happens at the border.  You're used to order and consistency cause you're a Gringo.  They might strip-search you cause you're unshaven and have an ugly Gringo accent.  Money talks, period 

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I drove down many times from Canada, bringing more of my stuff each time (no big furniture or giant plasma TVs). Never was asked, hinted at, or otherwise for a bribe and never offered one. Most of the time they just waved me through, sometimes did a cursory check, always friendly.

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1 hour ago, mudgirl said:

I drove down many times from Canada, bringing more of my stuff each time (no big furniture or giant plasma TVs). Never was asked, hinted at, or otherwise for a bribe and never offered one. Most of the time they just waved me through, sometimes did a cursory check, always friendly.

That's my experience (almost) too.  I think I've crossed about 50 times, always in a car.  Jeez, crossing into the USA is MUCH more problematic.  Crossing into Canada can be problematic.   

That migra regulation about having a certificate of health for your dog .... what a joke!  Damn, that was wasted money!   The migra put his hand in the car and petted him, asked what his name was. 

Mexico needs you.  They're not going to hassle you too much, unless you've made a bad impression.

The USA migra will hassle you cause you fit a profile, like being 20 to 40 years old with a long mustache and a tattoo. .  

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Using Strom (before they sold to White and become Strom-White) we broughta 53 foot trailers, piggy-backed another bunch of personally-important "stuff, and on our own later made two trips in a large SUV stuffed to the max.   To this day we never regret the cost of bringing across the border those items we had carefully/thoughtfully selected over the years.   Not every one chooses to invest so carefully in material goods, but if you do it is important to bring with you those items that make a difference in your daily life.   There are ways of replacing the items you left behind or items that come to the end of their useful life, but in the meantime it is not so easy to replace the simple pleasures of prepping vegetables with an excellent knife or a bringing to life a lamb stew in a Le Creuset dutch oven or sinking into a DWR chair to read another book.  

BTW:  I think Thomasville is available in Mexico City.  thomasvillemexico.com.mx . 

Of course, if NAFTA fails, we may all be back to requesting friends and family to bring peanut butter, etc.  with their visits.

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GDL is a huge city, as you know, and there are plenty of Mexican folks who enjoy the "good things in life."  There's a Danish kitchenware shop on Ave. Mexico next to the Office Max, lots of fine flatware and cooking utilities.   

As far as NAFTA, BC, BCS and Sonora are in the free zone.  People who travel from the Baja to the USA to collect goods in bulk have special Frontier licence plates.  And they had them way before NAFTA.  Once they're back in the Baja there's nothing stopping them from shipping inland. 

Fine furniture is found in lots of neighborhoods, not so much shopping centers or marketplaces.  San Juan de Dios is the second largest marketplace in Latin America, and it's for pofolks. 

The rub is you have to be in an upscale zone to find stuff like leather sofas, china and such.  A lot of those specialty stores advertise on Facebook.  Hope this helps.

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On 1/2/2018 at 1:21 PM, modeeper said:

Here's what can create a problem:  I crossed in TJ with a desktop in my car.  The "cop" said no way, you can't bring a desktop into Mexico, a laptop yes, desktop no.  I gave him $5. 

A few months later I crossed with a laptop I bought as a favor for a friend.  The cop said, no sir, you cannot bring a laptop into Mexico, a desktop is okay, laptop no.  I gave him $5.

Look, they may or may not search your things, it's their job to search, and their boss might be watching, but they really don't care what you've packed. What they do care about is who's going to win some silly soccer game, or that you give them $5..

There is no way we can foresee anything that happens at the border.  You're used to order and consistency cause you're a Gringo.  They might strip-search you cause you're unshaven and have an ugly Gringo accent.  Money talks, period 

I didn't say that, about "what were those things that created a problem".  Look back at the string of posts.  That was kimanjome who said it--give credit where credit is due, please.

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On 1/1/2018 at 11:58 PM, More Liana said:

 I'd like to hear from people who have had problems when they shipped things in, and what those "things" were that created the problem.

Huh? OIC, I quoted a quote on your post's quote.  My reading glasses fog up often.

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