Will this be the year?

Prepping for the move

Twenty-foot equivalent unit - Wikipedia

I’ve moved house many times. The one thing that I know is that the less that I plan to carry with me, the easier that will be. I travel light.

Realistically though I expect we’ll load up a shipping container and haul most of our possessions with us. Including I suspect a piano.

There are some considerations though. The obvious are things like the power needs of appliances - France runs on 230v and 50 hz instead of Canada’s paltry 120 volts and 60 hz. In practice a lot of things like laptops can adjust automatically and handle the new power, but things like toasters and fridges are less flexible.

Equally careful planning is involved for consumables - toner cartridges, filters, replacement parts. In a global marketplace some of those are easily available just about everywhere, but there are exceptions. There’s no point in hauling along our new laser printer if toner can only be purchased from Amazon in North America and shipped to France.

We also need to look at how big our rooms are. If they’re smaller than our current house will we need smaller sofas and chairs? Aside from Ikea where does one shop for furniture in Normandy? And even if stuff will squeeze into the new home, will it look good, or will it clash with our (presumably) 200 year old farm house?

On a more mundane level, will we need new bedding? Are mattresses in France the same size as in Canada? (The answer is No) What about light bulbs? (A qualified yes, after changing the wall plug, and if you don’t need a dimmer. Maybe.) And less obvious things like copier paper. As far as I know Europe doesn’t do 8 1/2 x 11, it likes the A-4 and other “A” sizes instead. Admittedly it’s now pretty rare to actually print stuff for public consumption, but it still matters, and probably lots of things on our computers will need to be adjusted.

And then we’re looking at the truly pedestrian things like toiletries, toothbrushes, and shampoo. Trash bags. Mops and brooms. Dishes and silverware. The stuff under the stairs that’s been there for decades. Books, old kid’s report cards, the flotsam and jetsam of life. Board games, cookbooks - will we be able to get the same ingredients?

One thing that I have learned over the years is that a household move is always much more expensive than you expect, and that replacing things at your destination is almost always more expensive than bringing it with you. And by bringing your own stuff you at least have some semblance of a familiar home when you arrive.

Or when the shipping container arrives…

And ultimately that may be our biggest question as we start this adventure: do we want to replicate our Canadian life in France, or jump in with with both feet and start over in a French lifestyle?