Two Suitcases vs. a Shipping Container

When researching everything before moving here, I read the great debates on whether to bring only a couple of suitcases and sell everything else OR pack everything and bring it down.

For the last year and a half, we have pretty much been living out of the stuff crammed in a few suitcases.  But we lived in a fully furnished and fully equipped rental house.  We made several visits to Conway, PriceMart, Arrocha and the like to get other things to replace what we had sold in Florida.  People that brought only a few things have been extremely happy with their decision.  Their places are filled with all the new things purchased since their arrival.

We took the other route and chose to bring a 20′ container.   Not because we had enough “treasures” to fill 20″, but we had many things that we were not willing to part with.   David decided early to bring his big power tools which required crates.  Once we made the decision to bring some stuff, it made it easy to bring other things.   If you’re going to bring 10 feet of stuff, you may as well bring 20 feet of stuff.

doors openYesterday our container arrived.  A few things were broken or damaged from poor packing by the crew in Florida.  Ironically, some of the damaged items were the treasures that we didn’t want to give up.  Such is life.

Now that we are about 80% unpacked, there are some glaring errors in our thought process.  The couch and loveseat that was almost new doesn’t come anywhere close to fitting in our small living room.  They are being stored there which also means we cannot use our tables or lamps because nothing fits.  We will be looking for replacement living room furniture soon.  We can’t find the stand for our large TV so our using the TV we are going to put in our patio.

junk in house

We have an entire box of ski clothes.  It seemed like a good idea to at least keep our outerwear and sell the skis, boots, etc.  Now it just seems ridiculous.  I sold a lot of Christmas items including two very large trees and the decorations for them.  But the container still held 18 boxes of Christmas that I didn’t sell – including four trees.  Did I mention our small living room yet?  And we are going to Florida for Christmas!

However, I was truly excited to see our things from our travels, David has already uncrated and organized his tools, and we are using our new Kenmore 3 door refrigerator.  We have new lighting and linens that are not available in Panama.

So back to the debate:  Suitcases vs Container.  I still would bring my stuff BUT I would probably bring fewer things.  House specific items, like sofas would get left behind.  Just because you have 20′ doesn’t mean you have to cram it full.  The debate continues.


4 thoughts on “Two Suitcases vs. a Shipping Container

  1. This is so helpful! I resisted the urge to pack the Christmas totes in the container. Just threw our stockings in a box. Have been debating our fleeces. Lol. Will probably leave them behind now.

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