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Moving with nothing?

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teacherquinn
6/3/2017 12:35 EST

Reading the posts regarding shipping household goods makes me ask if anyone has moved with very few of their belongings. I have some things that I would like to keep....a few kitchen items, photos and such, our bicycles, and clothing. Other than that it seems like it would be easier to sell/donate everything and start fresh. None of our 'stuff' is super expensive and totally replaceable. We have four Vespa scooters, but from my research I understand it will be difficult to import and license. Again...sell them and replace when we're settled. We plan to rent so we may not need furniture items anyway.

I'm good with paying import fees, VAT, and whatever else is required, but I love the idea of a totally fresh start.

Has anyone done this? It's just 'stuff' right??

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Sixyears
6/3/2017 13:26 EST

We have not moved overseas yet but have moved 7 times in 11 yrs. Each move we get rid of things. This month we gave our six kids all their photos diplomas and collected stuff
There is such a freeing effect to getting rid of things. That's not to say I don't look for something I know I had only to find out it got donated. Sometimes it gets frustrating but like you said most things are easy to replace. Good luck with your move

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kawazaki
6/3/2017 13:26 EST

The less you ship, the better. It costs money to ship and gives customs more to look at. Most things can be purchased here with some exceptions. I took a 2 month trip in Portugal first to establish SEF, IRS, Saude, etc and decide what to ship. Hand carry all prescriptions(all you can) and ship supplements such as vitamins. No discount drugstores here. Leave the bicycles and Vespas. I sold, donated, or trashed most of what I had. If all of your goods are more than 1 year old you are supposed to be exempt from import tax. Bring receipts, especially electronics. Hope this helps a little.

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craigandmicki
6/3/2017 13:26 EST

Hundreds of people have moved here with little to nothing; a few hundred more have shipped their entire, precious households only to find that furniture is too large, things just aren't needed, photos could have been scanned and viewed on the TV and computer, books should be electronic...or found the need to adapt, learning that bed mattresses in Portugal are specially designed to wick humidity away, appliances don't work (of course, there's the plug adaptors, but a lot of stuff burns out if not also on a converter). We moved here with a suitcase each. Hadn't been intentional, but that's how it worked out. We gave away hundreds of thousands worth of possessions. Would love to have my designer suits and bags and shoes, all of which would be unworn or unusable; would love to have my Frette bedding but the beds are differently sized and I can buy Frette here if I traded in amazing little sidetrips for less amazing stuff. Those of us with little to nothing from home feel like a weight has been lifted. We are free, unencumbered, can go anywhere. It's a really tough choice to make, and perhaps one that can be put off...we stored some stuff with family and brought it back to PT in our suitcases over the years. And some will just stay with family forever.

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Yesitisme
6/3/2017 14:26 EST

A few years ago I moved to Germany. I sold most of everything I owned and never looked back. As members have said, it's liberating.
I was older than most and felt everything I owned would give me extra cash for my future purchases. I made two trips anad each trip I checked two 28 inch bags with clothing and sheets and towels and of course shoes.
Nothing else.
Freedom is a wonderful way to live.

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heasley
6/3/2017 14:39 EST

I'll weigh in on the side of minimalism too. We are moving (hopefully) later this month and are only taking 2 checked bags person. There have been some sentimental items that were hard to part with. But overall each garage sale or trip to the donation center feels like a great weight lifted off of my shoulders. Best of luck!
Heather

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MidMO
6/4/2017 09:10 EST

Wow, reading this is inspiring. I've been downsizing but this is what I needed to see. I will use this thread as my daily devotional...reading it with my morning coffee. I have limited myself to one carry-on and one checked item. All the rest is to be sold or donated.
Now if I can "just do it"!

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Yesitisme
6/4/2017 10:51 EST

To the original poster and MidMo,
Years before I made my move my home had been burgled twice, the last time just about cleaned out, including my sentimental belongings.
When that happens you realize 'stuff and things' are just that, nothing more.
Go weight free and you'll have a stress free move.

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Sixyears
6/4/2017 11:22 EST

Or do the ship option and take a lot of baggage. Either way works I would think

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kawazaki
6/4/2017 12:27 EST

A carry-on and 1 checked bag IS barebones. I eliminated car, bicycle, many tools, furniture, kitchen, and still had 4 pallets that I shipped. I left my clothes here from my earlier vacation trip and checked-in a larger suitcase when I moved here. I did bring stereo, 60" TV, PC hardware, lots of DVD's, photos, travel souvenirs, etc. That would have cost too much to buy here. It is a personal choice how much to bring. Some things can be replaced and some things not. If you can prove everything valuable is over 1 year old you should avoid customs tax. Good luck!

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kawazaki
6/4/2017 12:30 EST

If you bring anything video like TV, DVDs, DVD player you need a PAL to NTSC converter because of the different video signal format.

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Mikeywaz
6/4/2017 19:30 EST

We are moving to Portimao in November with just a few suitcases (I hope!) We will sell or donate furniture and belongings and keep a small storage unit in San Diego for the "memories" we don't want to part with. I can't imagine shipping a household abroad.

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MariaandJim
6/4/2017 19:44 EST

We are moving to the same area in October! We should hook up!

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teacherquinn
6/4/2017 20:09 EST

Thank you so much for the encouraging replies. I love the repositioning cruise idea. I will check into them and see if they allow dogs. I'd much rather pay to take them along.

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wallymountz
6/5/2017 03:23 EST

This is not our idea of the way to move. We've moved twice now, once from the US to Ecuador and again from Ecuador to PT. Certainly not a fun experience, but my wife and I both agree that we couldn't imagine leaving decades of memories behind, not to mention the quality furniture we've accumulated. Just another viewpoint.

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drewmckee
6/7/2017 07:16 EST

We moved to Singapore in 2009, Moscow in 2015 and now preparing for Portugal. Like so many others have said, skinnying down is likely the best (easiest). We already bought a place in Portugal and have spent the last year outfitting it with stuff mostly bought on the local economy. We keep it simple and just buy those few items we actually need; keeps things uncluttered. I think moving often makes you realize how much junk you have and that you really don't need most of it. I think twice before I buy anything that doesn't fit in a duffel bag.

In shipping items, there are issues to contend with regarding customs, different voltage, different TV systems (PAL vs NTSC), etc... Just seemed like too much of a hassle....easier to re-outfit with the essentials.

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OutOfHereUSA
6/17/2017 19:11 EST

IF moving to a new and exciting place I can NEVER understand why anyone would want to bring their OLD history with them ?
It's all about NEW plus I find it exciting to look for new things designed in the new place, lot of time it's much better than the old BORING stuff you had back home.
Look at the sexy furniture and clothes you can buy in Rio de Janeiro ! Makes your stuff back in the US UGLY AND BORING.
NOT TO MENTION shipping large things overseas costs more than the items are worth !
You are starting a new identity.

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LongRedFlorence
6/30/2017 21:26 EST

Hello Out Of Here USA,

But that is the point - depending on your relationship, history etc with your household stuff, that is how and when you decide what you ship over. For example, We have bought 6 bed frames and mattresses for Portugal, I have tried them all on extended visits and every time I just want my bed at home (which cost me a mighty bundle!) Nothing wrong with the beds - I am just not used to them. As we all know, when you buy beds and mattresses, however much they may cost, you have to get used to sleeping on them (their one and only purpose, right?) Then if you cannot settle. you are mean to send the bed, mattress or both back to the shop pronto. Just my views. Thanks for listening, Rachel.

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