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What did you ship, store and throw away?

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tonycur
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What did you ship, store and throw away?

Postby tonycur » Mon, 27 Aug 2012 7:39 am

Hi all,

First just let me say that I have been lurking around these forums whilst weighing up an offer to move to Singapore from Australia, and the information that I have found here has been fantastic - so thankyou to anyone that reads this!

So I have accepted the offer, and will be making my way over to Singapore in mid-October with my partner and our (then) 3 month old baby.

My question is not really one of practicality, but more one of philosophy - leaving aside the issue of cost (the relocation arrangements that I have been offered is quite generous) but rather, for those expats who have made the move, what did you ship, what did you store, and or throw away or sell?

Did you take is as an opportunity to "clean out" your life and let go of things that you had been holding onto and make a fresh start? Or did you ship or store things at home things like books, posters, knick-knacks and other things that you had collected over your life in order to resume with them on your return or keep them with you?

I'm finding the thought of letting go a little difficult to get my head around, but at the same time I find the prospective of letting everything go and cleaning out attractive.

Would love to hear any thoughts and experiences that you might have had. Again I'm not really asking about the practicalities of moving, storing at home or finding storage space on arrival, but just as to what your approach was.

Thanks for reading.

Tony

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Postby Segue » Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:14 am

Its a question of how much space you have now and how much space you have to expect in Singapore.

If you accommodation allowance is "quite generous" then there should be no issues to take everything.

However, depending on what your condition is now. most people should expect to downsize significantly in apartment size. My basic advice is to take as little as possible and sell as much as you can.

tonycur
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Postby tonycur » Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:18 am

Hey Segue thanks for the reply.

It's not the accommodation package that is generous but the relocation package - basically I can bring as much stuff as I like (within reason).

But I was more after was people's thoughts as to whether they took the opportunity of moving countries to let go of a whole lot of stuff and start over, rather than the practicalities of where to put it.

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Postby elspike » Mon, 27 Aug 2012 1:55 pm

Hi Tony,

Congratulations on the decision to come up. We moved here in April. If we had our time again we would have bought a lot less stuff with us.

All of this assumes you aren't on an extravagant expat package and will probably be looking for a relatively low price condo.

We ended up in a 1300 square feet 3 bed apartment in the heartland. Its about 12 years old so still is quite spacious. Newer buildings are tending towards smaller spaces.

Things we wouldn't have bought:
Dining room table (ours is an 8 seat wooden one). Too big for most apartments. Its currently taking up the majority of the space in the "maids" room, along with our luggage etc.
Couches. We had 2 x 3 seat leather couches. While we found a place that could take them, it did cause us some angst.
Anything from our study. We had to get rid of a study desk and chair and a stack of bookshelves. The places here usually only have a study "nook", rather than a spare room/study. We did cull down our books / dvds etc but probably could have got rid of more.

Basically, cull down as much as possible. Furniture is cheap here (ikea is your friend) so anything you do get rid of that you may need is easily bought up here. Apartments are smaller than the majority of Australian ones. If you are coming from a suburban house you should really think through what is really important.

In hindsight we should have left a stack of stuff behind and just footed the bill if we wanted some of it shipped up once we found a place to live.

Hope that helps.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Mon, 27 Aug 2012 2:12 pm

I moved back here three times. All three times with a suitcase each and a tea chest of personal effects (pictures, documentation and critical items). You really should try to take the chance to shed some baggage - it does your head a lot of good. Too many people expend far too much of their life maintaining physical items instead of living IMHO.

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Postby tonycur » Tue, 28 Aug 2012 8:10 am

Thanks Elspike - some very valuable tips there.

And offshoreoildude that's just the sort of encouragement I need!

nzmarkj
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Cleaning out

Postby nzmarkj » Tue, 28 Aug 2012 12:39 pm

Hi Tony,

We moved here three months ago from New Zealand, and did take the opportunity to do a big clean out. We feel very much the better for it, but it was a lot of work. We moved from a five bedroom house with plenty of extra storage to a 1600 sq ft apartment, so there was no way it was going to fit, anyway. We were struck when we came here to find apartments how many of them were stuffed full of all sorts of things, none of which were particularly nice. People certainly seemed hostage to their possessions.

But getting rid of everything, that's another matter. The only things we thought we wanted were two large sofas, a dining table and chairs because they would go well in the new apartment, plus hifi, computers and a truckload of wine. The apartment came furnished with beds and some other stuff. We ended up having half a 20' container still. We haven't used the wedding china for 20 years, for example, but you can't really part with it. We also shipped crockery, cutlery, glassware and cooking utensils because they were all good quality.

We sold all we could through adverts or trademe: cars, kayaks, beds, bikes, sofas. We had a big garage sale for all sorts of stuff. Then what we couldn't sell there we gave to the salvation army. Which still leaves a lot of stuff that you just can't give away, such as books and rugs and things. So that all went in the skip. Some things we couldn't get an acceptable price for, such as the TV or my racing bike, so that came with us.

I can honestly say there isn't a single thing that we have sold or given away or thrown out that we have missed, and we still have a bit too much stuff.

Be bold, you won't regret it.

tonycur
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Postby tonycur » Fri, 31 Aug 2012 9:00 am

Thanks Mark - that's just the type of encouragement that I require!

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Postby Makingthemove » Sun, 02 Sep 2012 9:46 pm

I'm an advocate of bringing over a few bits and pieces extra so that your home comes too. I can appreciate the chuck-it-all-out concept, especially if you will be moving into something small. But our stuff arrived last week and we've spent the entire weekend fondling spoons and cooing over familiar bits of furniture and old clothes. Never have I been so happy to see my stapler, favourite flip-flops, old kitchen whisk. Sad, but the small things are helping us settle in. I think we would have been daunted to chuck it all out and start over.

Can't see the floor, though...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Sep 2012 10:14 pm

I arrived here with a briefcase, medium sized suitcase and a diving helmet in a custom bag. Oh, and the clothes on my back. Never looked back, Sold my truck & Glastron in absentia, and the stuff I had in storage was all stolen anyway before I'd been here 2 years. only a few things left but all here now, mostly hand carried on various trips over the years. Things that can't be replaced, as they came from my childhood (I just turned 65 yesterday). ;-)

Oh, that was 30 years ago that I came here.

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Postby Makingthemove » Sun, 02 Sep 2012 10:22 pm

Happy birthday for yesterday :)

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Sep 2012 10:25 pm

Thanks. I came here on a 12 month contract in 1982. Been here ever since.

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Postby Makingthemove » Sun, 02 Sep 2012 10:32 pm

They do recommend taking the estimate contract timings with a big pinch of salt, don't they? Perhaps I packed my entire life away with some kind of sixth sense.

Hope celebrations went well.

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Postby tonycur » Mon, 03 Sep 2012 8:03 am

Some really interesting experiences related here.

Thanks all!

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Postby Zeenit » Wed, 05 Sep 2012 10:02 am

I came with all my kitchen pots and pans, food mixer , etc.
Brought beds and glassware , etc.
Brought Hi fi and cds.
Vacuum cleaner as its been a great use to clean tiled floors.

Wish we left behind :
Our books as they turning yellow now.
Hoping to find a part container to return sofa, records ( yes him in doors brought them all.)
Small wine fridge, it cant cope with the heat.

So look at things and try and see how you will benefit from them and how important they will be if you left them behind.

Wished I brought:

More winter clothes and boots and we travel alot and after 5 years in SG everywhere is cold.
Wine glasses as the ones you get here smashing in bits and dangerous when you got bare feet.

Get rid fo things as lots you will never use again.
Zeenit


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