We got a surprise this week that was initially pretty unpleasant but was probably for the best. To wit: we are going to be living in the kollel residence. Most of the families stay at this kollel for one year, and a few stay for two, before going back to America. When they leave, families sell the contents of their households--from dishes and armoires to extension cords and garbage cans--as a "package" to incoming families. The "package list" gets sent out sometime after Pesach, and it's a list of the family, contact information, and every single thing in their package: parve garlic press, toilet brush, sheets, power strips, 7 dairy spoons and 5 dairy forks, you get the idea. Usually they sell in the $500-700 ballpark, and this way families (usually newlyweds or maybe with one baby) get everything they need without having to pack it all or buy it.
Lately, more families have been making aliya. While this is of course a good thing, it's thrown a wrench in our packing plans--because only six families are selling packages and there are at least twice as many coming. The package list went up at 9 am and was gone by 9:30; I thought I had one (the wife said yes) and lost it (her husband had already sold it and she didn't know yet). Meaning that all the random household items we thought we would just get there cheaply, we can't.
So. What are the real issues here? Things like electrical items--an oven (the apartments do not come with one), power strips, etc., we will have to buy. Dishes we can bring with us, although it will cut into our luggage pretty steeply--they're heavy. It's the storage furniture. The drawers, armoires (aronim), bookshelves etc--the ones sold in packages are cheap but they work, and they're necessary because the apartments are only partially furnished and there aren't any. And storage space is absolutely key to organization, esp. with little kids.
I priced stuff online a bit and Ikea furniture is exactly twice the price, for most things, that it is here. We could buy it flat packed (and K has even offered to deliver it, thereby earning sainthood in one fell swoop in my opinion) and bring it. But then we'd have to ship stuff.
I have from the beginning been firm that we were not shipping anything. It didn't make sense. We're renting out our apartment furnished, and leaving the seforim here because we won't have room for them there. Once we're leaving our furniture and the books, and storing things in the storage space, that means that we are sending a lift at some later date when we a) have a more permanent place to live and b) either sell our apartment or rent it unfurnished to someone else. Lifts are expensive to send, and we have a pretty huge luggage allowance (at least 16 50 lb bags) so it didn't seem necessary.
This might be making it necessary. It's about $9/cubic feet, so around $1800 for 200 cubic feet, which is about what we'd do. Minimum size is 100 cubic feet, but once we are shipping dishes and flat-packed furniture, it starts seeming to make more sense to send a few more things--the high chair, the plastic drawers in the kids' room, the blocks (too heavy to check as luggage), my glider rocker--large and awkwardly shaped but how do you have a baby without a rocking chair?
Thoughts? Anyone have a shipper to recommend?
Ten weeks. And counting.