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Old 15.10.2019, 21:18
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Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

We're moving to Bern from Washington, DC and wondering whether we should keep our furniture or ship it (2 bedroom apartment). We may or may not come back to the States, depending on whether we like in in Switzerland.

What did you guys do with your furniture when you moved? Ship it? Sell it? Store it?
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Old 15.10.2019, 21:39
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Re: Questionnaire

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We're moving to Bern from Washington, DC and wondering whether we should keep our furniture or ship it (2 bedroom apartment). We may or may not come back to the States, depending on whether we like in in Switzerland.

What did you guys do with your furniture when you moved? Ship it? Sell it? Store it?
Depending on what you have got, disposal is usually best, shipping costs or storage costs a huge amount.
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Old 15.10.2019, 21:54
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Re: Questionnaire

Welcome to the Forum.

I know you only asked about furniture, but members often want to know what else they should bring vs. buy. This is particularly true if you're footing the bill for the shipping container.

Here are a ton of threads to get you started:

What to bring from the US?

What to bring from Home

preparation for going there : anything special to bring/do before?

What to bring? What to just buy in Switzerland?

Moving to Zurich From US - What to Bring?

How much money to bring?

What Should We Bring

Can we bring money into Switzerland?

What to bring to Zurich? Moving

Arrive in 2 weeks, what to bring?

What to bring in bulk

Whatever you bring you'll either have to dispose of here or haul back home when you're done living in CH. Although many companies help with moving costs coming this direction, many don't help with costs when you leave. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 15.10.2019, 22:34
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Re: Questionnaire

Thanks fatmanfilms and 3Wishes for the informative posts.

I'm also leaning towards moving only essentials, not furniture. However, I have no idea what to do with our furniture. It's really hard to sell anything for a decent price in the Washington DC metro area. People generally buy new. Any out-of-the-box ideas?
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Old 15.10.2019, 23:57
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Re: Questionnaire

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Thanks fatmanfilms and 3Wishes for the informative posts.

I'm also leaning towards moving only essentials, not furniture. However, I have no idea what to do with our furniture. It's really hard to sell anything for a decent price in the Washington DC metro area. People generally buy new. Any out-of-the-box ideas?
When we moved from Sydney we gave some things to friends who lived nearby, then shipped the rest to family who lived in a large country town about four hours' drive away and they kept what they wanted and sold the rest over time.

If your family are further off, or simply not in a position to do that, then I'm not sure what options you have.
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Old 16.10.2019, 08:38
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Re: Questionnaire

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Thanks fatmanfilms and 3Wishes for the informative posts.

I'm also leaning towards moving only essentials, not furniture. However, I have no idea what to do with our furniture. It's really hard to sell anything for a decent price in the Washington DC metro area. People generally buy new. Any out-of-the-box ideas?
Be radical and have a garage "everything for free" sale. Or see if any charities might be interested in having some of it.
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Old 16.10.2019, 08:49
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Re: Questionnaire

And of course get rid of appliances on 110 V as you would need a transformer to make it work here (220 V).
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Old 16.10.2019, 19:20
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Re: Questionnaire

Good ideas.

Has anyone moved and shared a container with someone else?
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Old 16.10.2019, 21:58
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

We turned up in Basel with 2 suitcases, leaving our gear in storage in the UK. Initially we had a furnished apartment arranged by my agency.

Once we found a place we wanted - unfurnished - we got the basic furnishings via second hand shops (Brockenstübe), and discount furniture shops. I notice stuff like small appliances - kettle, toaster etc appear on the EF market place on a regular basis, plus you have discount lines of such items in Coop etc.

After 2 years in CH we finally moved our stuff over. Not much furniture, but mainly things like our set of Le Creuset pans, decent kitchen knife set, Wedgewood china set which we like and cost $$$$ to buy here.

HTH.
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Old 16.10.2019, 22:18
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

We shipped our stuff from Scotland last year after we found a new apartment to move to, but this was partly because when OH's contract became permanent after 3 years he was cheeky enough to ask for a relocation package. His employer normally gives 7.5k for this, as he had been in Basel 3 years they offered him a reduced amount of 5k. He argued his case on the basis I'd given my life up in Scotland to follow him here.

TBH, we'd just bought the house in Scotland 3 months before he was offered a contract here and had just bought some new furniture, so didn't want the hassle of shopping and the expense of buying it all again. I also had things back there that I was really, really missing, mainly sentimental things. For instance I have a 1960s orange fibreglass column lamp that belonged to my parents and I can't live without it as I love it to bits!
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Old 17.10.2019, 01:34
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

Posters may have missed this but OP says they'll see whether they like it here. Subject to how quickly they think they'll decide, storing their stuff for a limited time (12 months? 24? whatevers) may be the most practical way forward.
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Old 17.10.2019, 09:11
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Re: Questionnaire

If it is stuff you don‘t care too much about, is there a charity that would take them? Otherwise maybe take it to a fleamarket or have a garage sale and sell for <insert minimal amount> apiece.

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Thanks fatmanfilms and 3Wishes for the informative posts.

I'm also leaning towards moving only essentials, not furniture. However, I have no idea what to do with our furniture. It's really hard to sell anything for a decent price in the Washington DC metro area. People generally buy new. Any out-of-the-box ideas?
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Old 20.10.2019, 19:49
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

Moved here from Nashville a year back, my advise would be to sell it all, or at least not bring it. Once you get it all here it would be a logistical nightmare getting it to wherever you plan on residing in Bern. Plus, you can get good deals on stuff at Broki's and thats half the fun of moving somewhere new.

Cheers.
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Old 20.10.2019, 20:14
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

Thanks for the new answers/experiences you have shared. It looks like it's really a case-by-case basis. I think we'll send up shipping our valuable stuff and sell the furniture we don't really care about too much.
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Old 20.10.2019, 20:41
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

I’d recommend selling/giving away most everything. Pay to store what’s sentimental. See how you like it here and after a year or so pay to ship what you really want/can’t live without.
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Old 20.10.2019, 20:49
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

We took everything with us, but we were moving from the UK and my employer paid.
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Old 20.10.2019, 22:43
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

It will really depend on what you have and why you have chosen those items. Certain types and styles of furniture may be difficult or extremely expensive to replace in Switzerland. Post-war solid woods, hand made, and industrial steel furniture come to mind and may be worth moving.

Mainstream items will be easy to replace or upgrade. Uniquely American items will not. This applies to more than just furniture.




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We're moving to Bern from Washington, DC and wondering whether we should keep our furniture or ship it (2 bedroom apartment). We may or may not come back to the States, depending on whether we like in in Switzerland.

What did you guys do with your furniture when you moved? Ship it? Sell it? Store it?
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Old 20.10.2019, 22:43
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

A heads-up re: donating furniture

Perhaps the DC area is different, but I am currently trying to clear out my mother’s house full of nice wooden furniture, largely early American, Shaker, and Prairie style, in Chicago. I thought it would be easy to donate the lot to one worthy cause or another.

No one will take it. Not Goodwill, not Amvets, not Purple Heart, not Salvation Army, none of the usual charities.

Took me by surprise, as just 5 years ago when I did this for my ILs i had no trouble finding charities to take the donated furniture. Times seem to have changed.

It seems organizations today are very picky, as they have been flooded as this generation downsizes. If it’s not mid century modern or newer, if it is not in ‘unused’ condition, or if it is wood anything... good luck.

So as you decide what to do, perhaps first put out feelers as to current policies your area charities have in place.

Getting rid of a house full of furniture can also end up being expensive.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 21.10.2019, 08:22
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

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A heads-up re: donating furniture

Perhaps the DC area is different, but I am currently trying to clear out my mother’s house full of nice wooden furniture, largely early American, Shaker, and Prairie style, in Chicago. I thought it would be easy to donate the lot to one worthy cause or another.

No one will take it. Not Goodwill, not Amvets, not Purple Heart, not Salvation Army, none of the usual charities.

Took me by surprise, as just 5 years ago when I did this for my ILs i had no trouble finding charities to take the donated furniture. Times seem to have changed.

It seems organizations today are very picky, as they have been flooded as this generation downsizes. If it’s not mid century modern or newer, if it is not in ‘unused’ condition, or if it is wood anything... good luck.

So as you decide what to do, perhaps first put out feelers as to current policies your area charities have in place.

Getting rid of a house full of furniture can also end up being expensive.

Good luck with your move.
Hey - checkout Craigslist - there is a free section and I bet if you put it all there it would be gone within a day. There is also “nextdoor” which is basically a social network just for people in your immediate vicinity and is per-neighborhood. I got rid of quite a bit this way.
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Old 21.10.2019, 08:24
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Re: Questionnaire (moving from the US to CH)

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Thanks for the new answers/experiences you have shared. It looks like it's really a case-by-case basis. I think we'll send up shipping our valuable stuff and sell the furniture we don't really care about too much.
Whatever you end up doing, USPS is going to be cheapest route and make certain you mark every box as “moving - personal items - kitchen stuff”, it it doesn’t include “moving / personal items” in the description and then you list the contents with values you will receive a tax bill for everything.
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