Calling all Yanks, wish you put THAT in the moving container?

Now that the move is imminent, I’m making my list for the container and was wondering what the Americans have to say about their move and what they wish they’d brought over. There was another thread like this, but here’s my quandary: Most of the responses were from Brits, and we have different taste and products that we’d miss.

A few details: We will be staying in my parent-in-law’s rental for awhile, so we won’t be bringing paint for example. But I will be bringing some of my favorite plant pots, I’m a plant person.

My list also includes, (in part): About 20 jars of my favorite peanut butter from Trader Joe’s, (I think I will miss that store), SOS pads, and a few other things What about cleaning products? I found Comet bathroom cleaner, and it’s magic on hard water deposits, better than any other thing I’ve used, I’ve tried a lot. but that stuff’s amazing! And I love the fragrance. Has anyone found a product like that in France?

I’m great at adapting and want to find replacements for the things I’ve become accustomed to, but I think the above are just a few of the non-replaceable. Would love your feedback.

We will be near Montélimar and I’ve seen all kinds of great things available there. For those who don’t know what will be available in our radius, we’ll only be 45 min from Valence, IKEA, 1 hour from Avignon, Nîmes, and 1.5 hrs, from Lyon, Aix en Provence, Marseille.


Exciting times Kirsten. I can’t advise on American products that you might wish you’d brought but think about clothes and shoes. Generally American quality is excellent, better than French in my opinion, so perhaps stock up on brassieres (expensive here!) and underwear. And shoes … I’m a UK size 8/Continental 42 and have great difficulty in finding shoes here … French women’s shoes stop at a size 41! And the French women are a different shape … I’m a UK size 14 and if I find clothes that fit the arms are too short and tight. Consequently, every visit back to UK finds me in the clothes and shoe shops. So I’d consider things like that although, of course, you can buy everything online these days.
Hope this helps. Good luck!!!

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Good to know, thanks Sandy :smiley:

I believe folks on SF have commented that they would love to have a supply of Gorilla Glue.

I’m getting ready to do the container thing, too, from the US. It would be so great to get more advice and thoughts on this topic. Fingers crossed that we’ll see more responses!!

Kirsten, would you please mention which company you are using for shipping the container?

I think you are shipping from the east coast, e.g. NYC?

I’m a plant person too. Thanks for mentioning bringing planters, as I’d somehow not added those to my list yet. I don’t know what the rule is about live plants, seeds, and bulbs.

Liquid plant fertilizer: I was thinking that some liquid fertilizer for indoor plants might be good to bring.
It’s an example of a product that would have its ingredients listed in English if purchased in the US. That, and anything with complex directions in English. Comprehension will be a handicap for the first month or so.

Coconut oil
I can’t live without organic coconut oil so will bring as much of that as possible. But you’re asking for advice about harder-to-find favorite products; sorry, I don’t know if it is or not, but don’t want to risk.

First Aid kit
Definitely bringing a big First Aid kit for the same reason as above: just to have it immediately on hand.

Battery charger
I’m thinking I will bring this, since I want to continue to use a flashlight or two from the US, and will bring lots of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, but need to make sure these aren’t on any ‘do not bring’ customs list. I’ll have to use an adapter to plug into the outlet.

Electrical adaptors for plug-ins
Speaking of electric adapters for plug-in devices… I think I read somewhere on SF that these adaptors are hard to find in stores in France. I will buy or order more of these, to have on hand.

Museum Gel
There’s a cool product called Museum Gel that I will bring. It was hard enough to find in the US! This gel helps keep things in place that are on display or on pedestals. I have a number of art pieces on pedestals that a dab or two of this on bottom will help stabilize. Some of the floor tiles are a bit bumpy so maybe having shims on hand would be good to bring and not need to run out to buy… If that makes sense.

I’m bringing tools: hammer, screwdrivers, pliers… Scrapers, a single-edge razor blade for scraping…

Every pair of cheap sunglasses or not-so-cheap ones, that I own.

Masa harina flour
For making tortillas.

I’d love to hear from more folks who’ve got real experience with this.

The thing I rather dread is having to purchase new appliances that work on the different electrical output from the outlets. For example, the KitchenAid mixer, the pressure cooker…

I wonder if you are bringing anything of this sort from the US… Will have to solve the difference in electrical outlets. Not sure if I dare using adaptors for kitchen appliances.

My favorite no-DEET bug repellant: Buzz Away Extreme. Maybe a dozen bottles…

Kiss My Face product called SunSwat. It’s in a spray bottle and contains SPF sunscreen plus insect repellant

No I’m shipping from L.A.

Hello, I am new to this website and saw this post. While we aren’t moving to France, when we visit every year we are there for long enough that we pack certain things that are hard/impossible to find in France. Heavy duty aluminum foil, especially the wide version, and plastic wrap (I know they have it but we like the American version better). David Liebovitz has an extensive list of items (on his blog) he brings back from the US every time he visits, its very helpful, and he lists things I use like Chipotles in Adobo. I know these items are all food oriented!

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Ooo girl, you sound like me. And a thorough writer too. Please friend me
on fb at Kirsten Berg Monteil, or email me at or both,
SFN is so hard to navigate!

Masa harina is a good one!
I hear they put sugar in their tortillas in France!!! Are you Mexican? We
gotta talk! I love Mexican food, I grew up in L.A. I already figured out
how to make my own fresh salsa, (how they make it at my fav Mex restau).
As opposed to the roasted one.

Museum gel:
Never knew about that, have you tried museum putty? I use that. I’ll put
that on my list. Now to source tomatillos, might have to grow them myself,
I love salsa verde too.

Yeah the coconut thing.
They’re slowly getting there, same with Stevia, but back to the coconut.
We also use coconut milk and cream in place of cow’s milk and cream. We
cook a lot. We found it at the store ‘Grand Frais’ but it still has
garbage in it, and I don’t think it was organic, don’t remember. The oil
is easier to find and I think you can find organic. In the health food
store, or Magazin Bio. I don’t know your situation, if you’re French
moving back, have a French partner, family back there, etc. Lemme know.
Wolcott sounds terribly English LOL

Only bringing a few, I’ve been getting used to the metric system for years
now, but my fav hammer, and stuff? Totally!

Sunglasses is a good one too.

We’re going to get all our lamps re-wired and a friend who moved back to
Normandy after living here for 26 years says he would’ve taken the TVs.
We’re bringing my hubby’s fancy shmancy juicer. BTW he’s the Frenchie in
the woodpile, actually he’s more Yank than me in many ways, and I more
French than him in many ways, it’s funny.

TTFN, (Ta Ta For Now)

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Our pressure cooker goes on the stovetop, our crock pot, (or crackpot as my
hubby calls it), is electric, will buy new, also new waffle iron, might
find a good ol’ fashioned one in a second hand store, or maybe we might
just have to take a trip up to Belgium.

Wish I had a kitchen-aid mixer, will buy someday in Fr.

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good one, yes they do have bugs, especially in the south. where are you
moving to, and when? notice l got lazy and am no longer capitalizing? my
capital i is actually an L, (had to capitalize to illustrate) LOL

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Thanks Kim,
I bookmarked his blog to my French file :slight_smile: Where do you go on your French
visits where you stay a long time? Are you planning on living there in the
future? I’m nosey, I know

I imagine there are strict rules about bringing these things into France…or any other country for that matter…

When my company was sending such stuff abroad, we had to obtain a Certificate from the Ministry of Agrigulture (?) … confirming that the plants etc were bacteria free/pest free/ disease free etc etc …

also, some plants are banned… so even bringing in their seeds would be against the law…

Seems reasonable, when you think about it… :hugs:

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You will find that the rules for plants and seeds are strict. I know that, the other way around, trying to unofficially take grass seeds into the USA is seen as being as serious as taking drugs.
I can appreciate that there are home comforts that people will want to bring with them but France is a first world country where most things are avaliable to buy.

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Just a hint, some Canadian friends who relocated got a removal quote based on the size of the boxes, not weight. So they used lots of vacuum-storage bags for their linens and duvets etc. (those bags that you hoover the air out of) and reckon they saved a fortune. Generally most of the stuff you want you can find on Amazon (I have particular tastes for Fevertree Tonic water, difficult to find in France) but overall find pretty much the same quality of stuff over here, sometimes more expensive but the same quality. Oh, except for paint - UK-quality paint is better, in my opinion. I think it’s just familiarity … we think, ooooh need some (insert trade name here). But if you can explain what the product does then a good shop will find the French equivalent. Good luck, exciting times!

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Thanks, and of course that makes perfect sense, about the rules being strict. Please forgive some silly selfish thinking there. I am really looking forward to going to local garden centers/nurseries to buy seeds/plants.

Thanks for mentioning David Liebovitz, I had only vaguely recognized his name. Wow, I just looked at his website for the first time and I’m seeing much great info. I’m studying his FAQ first, and then onward. Haven’t found the list of food items he recommends bringing to France from US yet but in seeking it I’m finding lots of other cool stuff there. Might you perhaps have other suggestions for websites about moving to France from the US?



Mary… american friends who spend every summer in our village… they take confit de canard and my home-made chutney… back to the states :heart_eyes:

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