Beds and Bedding
Israeli beds come in European sizes which are narrower than the twin beds we are used to in America. Israeli beds usually come in 80 cm, 90 cm and 100 cm widths. They also are made differently. When we were on our pilot trip we went into mattress stores and tried out the beds. The truth is, they were not bad and we could buy wider beds to be closer to what we are used to in America. But, they were around double the price for something comparable to what we have in America and we already own most of the beds we need.
We already have twin beds for our kids as well as a guest high riser. We plan to buy another set of twin beds for ourselves. Since we are shipping our beds we plan to stock up on sheets and bedding that will fit our American beds. Finding proper sized sheets in Israel will be a challenge. People say that rooms are smaller in Israel so our American furniture will be too bulky for the smaller sized rooms. I am of the opinion that it is important for us to be comfortable and sleep well. If we have less space in our bedrooms, we will manage.
It has become apparent that dressers are not a good use of space in Israel. People get aronot, which are built in closets that have storage all the way to the ceiling to maximize storage in small bedrooms. We are not attached to our dressers at all, so we are planning to sell the ones in good condition and leave the rest. We also heard that some rentals come with aronot since they might be built for the specific spaces and difficult to move from house to house. We may not even need to buy closets when we get there so it is definitely not worth the lift space to bring dressers.
Any nice bookcases are worth taking, but IKEA-type shelving takes up a lot of volume on the lift container and is not a good use of lift space. We also heard from multiple sources that IKEA in Israel is double the price of IKEA in America. It appears that a good idea for bookcases would be to purchase the bookcases new from an IKEA in America and do not assemble them. The unopened bookcase will take up a much smaller space on the lift and be a more efficient packing strategy.
Dining Room Tables and Chairs
pparently Israel has great dining room sets to fit small spaces and expand for large shabbat meals. We have a sturdy table and chairs that have family history. We are bringing our set, but that is a personal preference.
The floors in Israel are hard and chilly because they are made of stone. I am planning to bring our area rugs that we already have to make some of our living spaces a little more cozy. If we end up with a large enough lift, I might purchase an extra rug to bring with us.
We happen to love our couches. They are not expensive, but are easy to clean and recline. We do not have a large living room now, and even if it is a little smaller in Israel, we decided it is still worth it to bring our comfort from home. The couches we saw in Israel were very expensive and not as comfortable as the ones we already have.
It is interesting to note that some furniture may get stained on the bottom from the Israeli "spongea" style mopping. We have been told to bring things that you really have an attachment to. Anything that can be easily replaced is not worth bringing.
'Buy them in Israel' seems to be the consensus. It used to be that you could not find nice appliances in Israel so people would go to a special store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and buy American appliances transformed into 220V. From what we saw on our pilot trip and gained from our research, today there are plenty of good appliance options in Israel. When people bring their appliances from America, they have American parts. We have heard stories of people needing repairs and having to wait weeks for parts to be shipped and make it through customs before they could get their appliance repaired. Also, any warranty on the appliance may not be upheld if the product has left the country. Again, size comes into the equation. American appliances are built for American houses with large spaces for ovens and washers and dryers. They do not always fit into the Israeli homes.
When researching appliances (and other items) check zap.co.il. It is a website that has good information about the products that can be purchased in Israel. Stay tuned for my research on specific appliances.
Small appliances like microwaves, hot plates, and toasters are all readily available in Israel. Someone even said that stores sometimes give small appliances for free when you buy a large appliance. The big question is about my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I use it all the time and it is quite expensive to replace. Here is what I have heard: I would need a large transformer to run the Kitchen Aid. The transformer is bulky and inconvenient. When using a transformer the motor does not run as efficiently and the life of the appliance shortens. With all that said, I think I am going to go for it. I am planning to bring my Kitchen Aid and let it work for as long as possible. After that, we will decide if it is worth purchasing a new one in Israel.
I have been told that towels in Israel are less absorbent than the ones in America. I may buy some extra towels to stock up.
Pots and Pans
We are bringing what we have in our kitchen because it does not pay to replace everything and it does not take up tons of space on a lift.
As with most products, board games and toys are more expensive in Israel. We are planning to bring all the board games and puzzles that have all their pieces and are in good shape. We are planning to leave behind all large toys like our kitchen set and large doll houses. We are planning to bring our outdoor toys like balls and jump ropes and even our bikes.
We have heard that it's a good idea to bring tools. Even when renting, there may be small repairs that we can do on our own if we have our tools. Since we have accumulated a nice set of tools, we are planning to bring them with the exception of the bulky saws and lawn care equipment.
We are bringing a small sukkah that we think will probably fit in a small outdoor space. We will probably need to buy a new one soon to better fit our family, but we do not want to bring something too large without knowing the size of our sukkah space.