A representative from one of the moving companies just left our house. He walked through each of our rooms and we told him what we were planning to ship, what we were leaving behind, and what we were not sure about. We created a tentative bringing, maybe and staying list. We spoke about items we plan to buy prior to the shipment and include on the lift as well.
After we went room by room, and hesitantly gave our list of essentials, we sat down to discuss our lift options. We were told lifts take around 5-7 weeks to ship door to door. Our list of 'definitely taking' will tightly squeeze into a 20 foot container. If we want to take our 'maybe list' as well as anything else at all, we should spring for the 40 foot container.
In a nutshell here is my analysis of the 40 foot vs. 20 foot decision:
If we choose the 20 foot: Obviously, the lift will be cheaper to ship. We will be so tight on space that we will not be able to bring anything extra. We will have to leave behind all of our 'maybe list'. But, if we save the extra $3,000 on shipping costs, we can use that to buy more new products in Israel.
If we choose the 40 foot container: We will have tons of space! We will have ample room for shopping trips and we can bring more American products. For example, we can buy American beds and then send them in the lift. Bringing more from America usually means getting better quality for a cheaper price. For example, We were told IKEA, which seems to be a popular place to buy furniture in Israel, is about half the price in America than in Israel. So, we can bring more and pay less for each item. The question is, is it worth $3,000?
Next issue about lifts is the timing. Shipments arrive in Israel on Tuesdays (at least from this company). With G-d's help, our charter flight arrives in Israel on Wednesday, August 15th. Based on our discussions with the lift representative we can do one of two things. We can have a crew come to our house, pack up our stuff on July 16-18th. We can aim for it to arrive on August 14th and then rush to the office to get the paperwork signed and started once we arrive the next day. Even with the rush, we will still need to wait a few days for the customs to be approved. After that we can schedule a date for delivery. The whole process will bring us to our shipment arriving to our new home around August 20-22. Or we can wait an additional week. If we decide to pack up and send our shipment on July 23-25th it will arrive in Israel on August 21st after we have already landed. In this case, we would be able to start the paperwork process before the shipment arrives at the port and expedite the process a bit. Our belongings could be delivered August 24-27th. Either way, we will be in Israel for some time before our shipment reaches our home. Either way, we will need a place to stay before our beds arrive.
Without knowing where we will be living, it is difficult to make all of these choices. How much will we really want to bring with us? Which items are on our bringing list and which do we leave behind? Is it worth it to buy new items to send on the lift? How much space will we have in our new home for all these belongings? Which dates will best work for our move?
He left and I felt stressed. There are so many decisions to make. So many hard choices without knowing all the facts. Interestingly enough, I was not emotional about leaving behind many of our belongings. I did not feel the same emotional baggage I felt when we first started preparing our house for potential buyers. Now, we are more confident with our decision to leave our house and a lot of our belongings behind to build a new home with our priorities in check. Now, my questions are more about what we will need for our new home, not longing for the things we are leaving behind.
A few months ago, when I looked out at our yard and swingset I was saddened that we will not be able to transport it with us. Now, when the representative asked about outdoor furniture, I matter-of-factly said, we are leaving it here. I am noticing a transformation in my attitude toward this move. The more confident I am about our choice to make aliyah, the easier it is becoming to leave some of this life behind. I have to admit, it is still not easy, but there is a small part of me that is getting more used to the idea. In addition to our aliyah date countdown (which is down to 158, by the way), we are working on setting a shipping date to look forward to as well.