Sunday, November 10, 2013

Store or ship?

As part of our relocation package we are entitled to excess baggage we carry on the plane, an air shipment of up to 450 lbs, as well as a sea shipment and/or storage of our personal effects of up to 18,000 lbs.  We will have a furnished apartment, so think we can move with just suitcases and a small air shipment, and then we'll leave the rest in storage in Los Angeles.  Also, sea shipments can take literally months to arrive, which seems sillly as we're planning to go for a year. But it's not yet clear what we should do.

What are we taking with us?

Kazakhs dress more formally than Angelenos, so we need 4 seasons of business and casual attire, as well as formal wear for the occasional event.  Winter sportswear and gear. Workout clothes. and bathing suits for the saunas and Astana's indoor beach. (Kevin: Ice skates seem like a smart item to pack too.)

Personal electronics - we'll go with ebooks and cloud-based music for the time being.  Adapters for our dual voltage equipment.

Our favorite cooking items - spices, knives, and utensils that are not standard in furnished apartments. Maybe essential pots. and we can't leave home without at least one good cookbook.

Not clear if we'll want to take bedding. and towels. and serving dishes.

We are advised that we can find everything we might want or need in Kazakhstan - big malls, big grocery stores. But, it's quite a bit more expensive than at home.


  1. (Putting on my oh-so-wise "I've lived in 4 countries" hat and voice) So my shipment really took 6 weeks on the ship, but that was China to Middle East. Not quite as far as LA to Kazakhstan, plus it was port to port. SInce you're only going for a year, don't ship. It's not worth it. You'll just have to do it all again in less than a year. With your suitcases and the 450 pound allowance, you can bring a lot of stuff with you. Especially since you are going with a furnished apartment. This is the first time I've done the shipment, and I only did it because I have lots and lots and lots of teaching resources and large furniture items that I love. Plus, I'm overseas for the foreseeable future.

    My recommendation: bring what you know you can't live without. Also, bring a few personal decorations for the walls. And, is the internet so reliable? If not, you may regret just going with the cloud. You may want to bring stationery items - blank cards, thank you cards, birthday cards, etc.
    Excited for your adventure!

  2. Oo, plus I can bring you stuff when I come visit. I'm thinking spring...