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Old 20.04.2010, 03:55
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bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

now that the idea of moving to CH is starting seem more like a possibility, i find myself eyeing everything in our apartment with an eye for would i bring it or not. i like my stuff. i don't want to let any of it go, but that's just silly.

are there things that you wish you had just brought with you? or left behind?

for example, i am a bit of a stroller junkie here in the u.s. and have one to suit every purpose (single chariot for running, baby jogger for around town, mac umbrella to keep in the car, and a double jogging stroller for hanging out with friends and their kids and for when we have a second). i can't imagine parting with any of them, but it would be foolish to bring all of them with me. i know that.

thanks for the feedback!
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Old 20.04.2010, 08:53
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

A lot will depend on who is paying for the move of your stuff. If you're paying, bring as little as possible, if the company is paying then bring what you think you'll need - but be prepared to pay to return it at your cost when you return to the states (or alternatively dispose of it here).
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Old 20.04.2010, 09:24
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

We did some major shopping before coming here, of course we still had to buy some stuff when we arrived and we knew how big our place was going to be. I agree with evilshell, if the company is paying then buy it there, it will be cheaper. We even had an agreement with my company and they paid for a second shipment (but we were coming from within EU)...good luck!
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Old 17.06.2011, 17:23
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Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

Hi all,

My family will be moving over to the Lausanne area in August from the USA and as I sort through all our belongings trying to determine what to stuff into the seagoing container the company will provide I wonder....

Is there anything you wish you had brought along that is now impractical to retrieve. Or, is there anything you brought that you now wonder why you ever thought you'd need it?

I realize a lot will depend on the housing we end up with but things like... a snowblower, a gas grill (would require modifications), the kids battery powered car, all those toys....., a big crate of non-perishable food??

I'm assuming the less the better, but any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 17.06.2011, 17:55
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Re: Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

Depends on how long you are thinking you will be staying for and the chance you will move back to Ohio, or else where USA? If it's less then 2 years, I have 1 word for you...Ikea. You can buy what you need here and pawn it off for half the price, or less, and never have to mind the costs of containers, insurance, VAT, or some drunk at the port not securing your container correctly only to watch it float on the Atlantic.

What kind of gas grill is it? I think the tanks a pretty international. Don't bring alot of junk you aren't sure of. You pay in your taxes for the garbage man to come and pick up trash, but at the local grocery store (Coop, Migros, Denner, etc) you pay for the garbage bag they have to pick up more.

Leave all glass at home, it will break.

If you love beer, remember this, your beer brewed there even if it has the same label, is not the same beer licensed to some brewer here. Although, apparently, there is a few good beverages here to be had, but, if you don't have it already, chest hair will be required to be grown in the process.

Who does the baking/cooking? Bring all measuring spoons, Pyrex measuring cups, and baking soda, and the like. Forget about cheesecake pans as they have them here already. CRISCO...bring it by the ton, and brown sugar if you ever want the taste of a true cookie ever again. Bring us some Crisco too, I have Francs for you....

Plochmans or French's mustard if you like Mustard. The mustard here will burn your nose hairs out, and the American Style mustard is killer on Bretzels here.

Try to embrace the European experience, especially if you are here just for a short while. It's far cheaper and you can sell it before you go to another expat fresh off the boat.
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Old 17.06.2011, 18:00
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Re: Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

For food, there is American Food avenue in geneva. Look at their website and you will see what they have. (they have many products and are very nice and the ship all over switzerland)

I agree with the previous poster if you are short stay then you can find most things. Most places are smaller than the us so that might be taken into consideration.

Clothes and furniture are more expensive here. Leave your electronics and get them here. There is a very active used market as many people come for only a short stay and their companies give them a stipend for electronics.
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Old 17.06.2011, 18:04
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Re: Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

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Hi all,

My family will be moving over to the Lausanne area in August from the USA and as I sort through all our belongings trying to determine what to stuff into the seagoing container the company will provide I wonder....

Is there anything you wish you had brought along that is now impractical to retrieve. Or, is there anything you brought that you now wonder why you ever thought you'd need it?

I realize a lot will depend on the housing we end up with but things like... a snowblower, a gas grill (would require modifications), the kids battery powered car, all those toys....., a big crate of non-perishable food??

I'm assuming the less the better, but any thoughts would be appreciated.
Load as much as you allowed. Even electrical things. Do not forget that there are adapters/transformers for lots of things. In case of the gas grill the question is how much it did cost originally. To replace the kids battery powered car might be rather expensive here, so load it ! A crate with your favourite non-perishable food may be an idea. Do not forget that your company pays for the container and not for the weight, so that the weight does not matter. So, first load the most important things, but when you have the important stuff in the container, fill the empty space with things like beloved chairs, and in case of doubt even furniture. FILL IT UP
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Old 17.06.2011, 18:04
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

I know there's another thread on this subject but I cannot find it. However, this one might give you some idea of the things expats hanker for.
What do you absolutely need from abroad?
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Old 17.06.2011, 18:22
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Re: Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

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Depends on how long you are thinking you will be staying for and the chance you will move back to Ohio, or else where USA? If it's less then 2 years, I have 1 word for you...Ikea. You can buy what you need here and pawn it off for half the price, or less, and never have to mind the costs of containers, insurance, VAT, or some drunk at the port not securing your container correctly only to watch it float on the Atlantic.

What kind of gas grill is it? I think the tanks a pretty international. Don't bring alot of junk you aren't sure of. You pay in your taxes for the garbage man to come and pick up trash, but at the local grocery store (Coop, Migros, Denner, etc) you pay for the garbage bag they have to pick up more.

Leave all glass at home, it will break.

If you love beer, remember this, your beer brewed there even if it has the same label, is not the same beer licensed to some brewer here. Although, apparently, there is a few good beverages here to be had, but, if you don't have it already, chest hair will be required to be grown in the process.

Who does the baking/cooking? Bring all measuring spoons, Pyrex measuring cups, and baking soda, and the like. Forget about cheesecake pans as they have them here already. CRISCO...bring it by the ton, and brown sugar if you ever want the taste of a true cookie ever again. Bring us some Crisco too, I have Francs for you....

Plochmans or French's mustard if you like Mustard. The mustard here will burn your nose hairs out, and the American Style mustard is killer on Bretzels here.

Try to embrace the European experience, especially if you are here just for a short while. It's far cheaper and you can sell it before you go to another expat fresh off the boat.

Thanks for the information. We are signing up for a 3yr stint so a decent amount of time to acclimate and enjoy the adventure. We'll probably move back to the states after but we'll see how things go and what opportunities arise. We're selling the house so I've also been trying to use this as an opportunity to clear out some of the 15+ yrs of stuff we've been accumulating. I'd be more than happy to barter a few tubs of crisco for an introductory tour or a line on a good babysitter
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Old 17.06.2011, 19:54
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

Ditto to much of what has been said!

I wish I had brought more of the children's toys. My boy has wanted to go back to the U.S. all year because we left behind most of his: big lego sets, rokenbok, enormous battery operated ride on tractor, several RCs, etc. This stuff to a 7 (now 8) year old kid means much more to him than I had thought, and I thought I knew! It's like these are his status symbols, his comfort, his sense of self. Not how I raised him, but this is his reality, like it or not.

Same to some extent for my littlest one (age 4). But with her she seems to have forgotten these things more easily.

I saved some money on shipping by not bringing all that. But I wound up buying a new wooden kitchen for the littlest one, as a child that age seems to require a wooden kitchen in our family.

Thank heavens for Christmas. By then we seemed to have accumulated enough lovely toys that now they are everywhere just like in our house in the U.S. So feels like home!

As for clothes, everyone dresses differently here. My 11 year old found she needed an entirely different wardrobe to fit in. Again, not exactly my values, but I don't miss the tie dye, anyway!

We brought 8 bikes and use them all all the time. Skis too of course.

I think if you are just adults, stuff doesn't matter much. I went from a huge house to a 130m2 apartment, and it's fine. But if you are thinking about children, then they need the things they hold dear, no matter how cumbersome.
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Old 17.06.2011, 20:06
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

If you are coming from the States with young kids stock up on their special foods. My toddler is a fussy eater and i buy all sorts of fruit bars, real fruit sweets, apple crisps etc which is easy and cheap back home but expensive and hard to source here. Plus they will want their familiar comfort foods too whilst you are settling in.

I find quality kids clothes and shoes hideously expensive in CH, so think ahead and buy their next size up. Remember winter wear too. Also decent ladies underwear is expensive. All these things don't take up much room.
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Old 17.06.2011, 20:54
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Re: Wish I brought it/wish I had left it at home

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Load as much as you allowed. Even electrical things. Do not forget that there are adapters/transformers for lots of things. In case of the gas grill the question is how much it did cost originally. To replace the kids battery powered car might be rather expensive here, so load it ! A crate with your favourite non-perishable food may be an idea. Do not forget that your company pays for the container and not for the weight, so that the weight does not matter. So, first load the most important things, but when you have the important stuff in the container, fill the empty space with things like beloved chairs, and in case of doubt even furniture. FILL IT UP
Wollis I would Groan at you if this was a little bit more serious. Load it up? What happens if he decides to move back on his own expense and has either to pay to dump all his items at the, well, dump, or pay to move it all back? Also electronics? It's soooo not worth the hassle to keep a bunch of adpators and cords in order. Or be late to work, have to iron some clothes, but instead your are looking for a cord adaptor under a chest on the floor. I have been there bringing electronics from France over, and have already blown up a CD player, Coffee Machine, electric razor, and Kitchen Aid Mixer, and those items were attended to by a Swiss electrician who even had the nerve to send me a bill for the items he in correctly changed the cords on, and he knew he made my electronics into rubbish. Keyboard for comp with US settings is hugely a must if you must. Trying to re adapt your fingers to a new system is terribly time consuming.

I would like to add to bring your bikes. But don't get to clingy to them. As a shock of entry to the CH, please go into a bike store, any one, you choose, and check out the prices. You can find bikes for as high as 20,000 CHF, and most are atleast 800 to 1000. If your bike was made however some where like the following...China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or Taiwan, once it breaks a piece, even the seat, either junk it or have it fixed in France, as they don't fix them here. Well that's an exaggeration, but some parts they don't. Or will cost more then you paid for the bike in the first place.

As far as clothes, it is possible to find quality clothes here, or on a day trip to France. But remember before you load up on all your status label clothes in the US, they might not be status here. If you want to save on clothes on the exchange, buy quality over brand names.

Also, bit tip....load up on Fruit of the Loom socks or under wear. Cheaper, better quality, and you'll thank me for it later.
Also Abreva, Bengay, Tylenol or Excedrin, Motrin for the ladies. They don't have these brands, it will be cheaper for you by far, and you know in what quantity works best for you.
Also, if you are into Levis or Wranglers, it's true, a pair at Manor can cost as much as 200+CHF...no joke.
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Old 17.06.2011, 21:58
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Re: bring it with? sell it? buy it in CH? buy before you leave?

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Ditto to much of what has been said!

I wish I had brought more of the children's toys. My boy has wanted to go back to the U.S. all year because we left behind most of his: big lego sets, rokenbok, enormous battery operated ride on tractor, several RCs, etc. This stuff to a 7 (now 8) year old kid means much more to him than I had thought, and I thought I knew! It's like these are his status symbols, his comfort, his sense of self. Not how I raised him, but this is his reality, like it or not.

Same to some extent for my littlest one (age 4). But with her she seems to have forgotten these things more easily.

I saved some money on shipping by not bringing all that. But I wound up buying a new wooden kitchen for the littlest one, as a child that age seems to require a wooden kitchen in our family.

Thank heavens for Christmas. By then we seemed to have accumulated enough lovely toys that now they are everywhere just like in our house in the U.S. So feels like home!

As for clothes, everyone dresses differently here. My 11 year old found she needed an entirely different wardrobe to fit in. Again, not exactly my values, but I don't miss the tie dye, anyway!

We brought 8 bikes and use them all all the time. Skis too of course.

I think if you are just adults, stuff doesn't matter much. I went from a huge house to a 130m2 apartment, and it's fine. But if you are thinking about children, then they need the things they hold dear, no matter how cumbersome.
Thanks for the info, your boy sounds a lot like ours... our house is littered with lego. I'm not to worried about the 2yr old but the 7yr old is a lot more resistant to change. I'm sure he'll adapt quickly enough but the first 6 months or so I'm guessing will be kind of rough
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