I was asked a number of times, why didn’t we take a lift when making the move here? Making a lift enables people to bring their furniture, appliances, belongings, and more to Israel, all of which can be purchased at cheaper prices in the US. Combine the money savings with the comfort of having your familiar belongings with you at a time when everything else is changing, and bringing a lift seems very compelling. So why didn’t we do that?
I had two main reasons. The first was financial. Bringing a lift is costly, and I didn’t have enough good quality furniture or other items that I felt justified the cost. I knew that the replacement cost for all of our furniture would be much higher than what it would have cost to send it, but I also knew that if we were sending our furniture overseas, we’d be better off buying something in newer and better condition to send. Our furniture was fine, but after life with nine kids, most of it had seen better days!
The second issue was that I didn’t know what the room dimensions of our apartment would be, nor how it was set up. I wanted to maximize the usage of space in our new home, and felt it would be done best: a) after seeing it; and b) by buying Israeli furniture, which is more appropriately sized to the smaller Israeli homes. This means that even if I had furniture that qualitatively was worth bringing (and I did have some), I felt that it would be questionable if it would be equally valuable once arrived, when taking into account the space constraints I’d be dealing with. Often Americans bring their furniture and find that it doesn’t fit well into the available spaces, and I didn’t want to have furniture I had paid so much to bring to Israel feel like a liability.
I’m very pleased with our decision to buy furniture here. The main inconvenience was not having any furniture at all until we were able to buy something, but if someone sends a lift, they often have a period of time between their arrival and the arrival of their belongings in which they have to make do. So this wouldn’t make much of a difference.
We haven’t yet purchased all of the furniture we need – I’m still looking for beds for dh and I, as well as a clothing closet for us – but we have everything else and can say with confidence that as much as we spent (and it was a lot more than I would have budgeted were I in the US), it was still significantly less expensive than sending even a small (20 ft) lift, which in any case would have been too small to have held all of the furniture we needed.
In my next post, I’ll share details of what I bought and how much we spent.