Since it’s our first ex-pat assignment, we will get an unlimited shipment of our belongings from the US to Aberdeen. However, since this can take up to 10 weeks to arrive, we also get a smaller air shipment which should arrive within the first week. The air shipment will be about the size of two plastic storage tubs and should contain those things most pertinent to daily living.
I’ve started making a list and organizing the things I want in this delivery. Just a few things off the top of my head are cooking supplies, any sweaters or boots that don’t fit into the suitcases, an American DVD player and the first few seasons of Gilmore Girls, Friends, and Felicity (UK DVD players won’t play American DVDs), an up/down voltage converter, my teakettle, a small bag of dog food and dog bones, warm bedding and comfy pillows. Can you think of anything I might be missing?
Right now our guest room is serving as the holding room for all air shipment items.
This is one of three converters that we bought to take with us. They are deceptively heavy, bulky and borderline expensive. A lot of times, it’s easier and cheaper just to buy a new appliance when you get to the UK, but for beloved and costly items such as our elliptical machine, bedroom TV, and KitchenAid mixer, it’s worth the investment for a converter. If you’re moving to the UK from Houston, I’d recommend stopping by East West International if you plan on bringing any large appliances with you.
American TVs can’t utilize cable service in the UK, but since our bedroom TV is solely used for watching DVDs (and I can’t sleep without re-runs on) we’re bringing that one with us. The house also comes with a good sized TV in the kitchen living area, so we will only need to buy one for the living room and possible a small TV for the guest bedroom.
Since we won’t have our furniture intially, we will rent a furniture package for the interim weeks which will supply us with a full size bed, kitchen table and chairs, a couch, TV, and place settings. It won’t be anything fancy (which is why we’re bringing an extra set of bedding in the air shipment) but should be adequate to get us through those first two months.
I think that one of the things I’m most stressed out about is not having my stuff in those initial weeks. But Jonathan brought up a good point that it will be kind of nice to not have to worry about unpacking immediately. We’ll be able to move right in and focus solely on setting up our house services, starting a UK bank account, buying a car, registering for health care, stocking the fridge, etc.
We will have plenty on our plates without worrying about unpacking a thousand boxes. And when our stuff finally does arrive, we’ll know exactly where to put everything because we will have been living in an almost empty house for 6 weeks. Silver lining, right?