What's worth shipping from the US and what's not

Hi folks.

I’m Eve, and my husband Tom and I are planning a move to Vendée this summer. We’re considering shipping a pallet of things from Los Angeles, and I’m working on what will fit into 64 cubic feet (and if we need even that much space). About half the pallet would be filled with books, art, a couple carpets, and personal items. We’re not planning to take any furniture.

Is it true that anything electric is not worth bringing? What about using a transformer on a KitchenAid mixer? Is it likely that we’ll burn out the mixer like we did our electric toothbrush when we just used a adapter for the plug? What about the printer? Or the espresso machine?

What have others found indispensable and hard to replace?

Your input would be greatly appreciated!

Did you read these threads Eve ??

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Dear Americans moving to France,
Here’s My Shipping list:
No electrical appliances. We have not had good luck using transformers ! Everything here is 220
Computers are adaptable.
We brought the following:

American bath towels
American sized pillows
Chili powder
non prescription meds: Zyrtec, Pepto Bismal, Alleve / Ibuprofen in large quantities
American measuring cups and spoons for cooking.
Pyrex measuring glass dish with metrics on one side and American measurements on the other side
I brought a muffin tin and pie pan (but I have seen muffin tins here)
We also brought our dishes and crystal
Clothes, shoes, etc.
Don’t ship alcohol/liquor!!! (problem with Customs)
Don’t ship anything that will melt (chocolate)
Mementos, photos, pictures to make it feel like home
blankets, bedspreads but not bedsheets (the sizes are different)

I would advise you to not buy a house until you have lived in the village, town, or city for several months to get the feel of the place. We rented an AirBnB apartment for one year.

Bon courage!


Hello Sally

It’s interesting that you brought spices and medicines with you. Was that because of price or availabilty?

You’re right of course that you won’t find anything in France that uses American measurements. You may want to add weighing scales to the list if you want to weigh in ounces. However, there are some excellent converters on the internet so that you can convert your American weights and measures to metric kilos/grams and litres/millilitres.

You should also bring an open mind and a sense of humour. You will need both!!!:wink:

As an aside, it’s interesting that this website tells me that my UK spelling of words is incorrect but happily accepts the American version :grin:

Thanks, Sally and Mandy.

Our plan is to rent a place in the small city near close friends for a year.

Your list is pretty close to what we are planning to bring. At this point we think we’ll ship one trunk containing the duvets, desktop computer, books and music, artwork and one or two carpets. We’ll switch to French measurements, but we’ll send some pots and pans, whisks and other utensils. Clothes will go in extra suitcases we take on the plane. We’ll send one box by priority mail containing enough things to make our new place feel like home: family photographs, some wall art, a few plates and mugs, table linens.

I’m already saving up lots of extra open-mindedness and humor. We are moving to a smaller, more traditional place than any place we’ve ever lived… We’ll see how it works out!


Yes, thank you.


Just wondered what the cost for the 64 cubic foot pallette, was, for you? Did you decide to use that size or was there a smaller one that suited better after all?

Hi Mary,

We haven’t made up our minds yet. We’re still in the sorting and packing stage. I got an estimate from one company for $500 from Long Beach to Marseille. Now we’re looking at door-to-door pricing.

Our rate for Marseille( CFA Terminal ) for 64 cubic feet is:
Ocean Freight : $448.00

And planning on taking less and less, so we may well end up with the equivalent of a steamer trunk.


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