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Sanjith

Do i buy new furnitute in Canada or do i take my furniture across from

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Sanjith

Hello Everyone

I am new to the forum.

I have a question: we are planning to move across to Canada and are making some final decisions. Regarding furniture: will it be easier/cheaper to buy new furniture in Canada or do we bring our stuff across from South Africa?? Please help??

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Nelline

Buy new here (when you can), only bring what is of sentimental value. It also helps to have some familiar things around you BUT the cost of shipping does not warrant taking a whole household of goods across. Just my opinion.

Consider buying a small share in a container / u-bagging space for some personal things and heirlooms (Ouma's geelhout eetkamer tafel for example) etc, but sell the gomma-gomma sofa and the cheap dining room table in SA.

Edited by Nelline
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Sanjith

HI Nelline,

Thanks for the quick reply - that's what we are thinking too but because we don't have a feel for the cost of stuff, its difficult to make a decision.

At a guess: what would say it would cost to furnish a 3 bedroom house:

lounge set

dinning set (like a 6 seater)

main bedroom set

3 x double beds

side by side fridge

washer/dryer

dish washer

We just had a quote to move our current stuff across and I fell on my back!! CAD 20 000 $

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Cathy K

Have a look at these websites. They will give you an idea of what furniture cost in Canada.

https://www.thebrick.com/

http://www.sears.ca/catalog/furniture/12252

http://www.leons.ca/

http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/

A few things to remember:

A lot of furniture in Canada come in kit form. You'll probably have to assemble your tables, beds, computer stands, chairs, etc yourself.

For some or other reason that I still can't understand, the price of the sofa is always listed separately.

You can get unbelievable bargains at thrift stores and garage sales. Quite a few of our heirlooms originated there.

Welcome to the Forum. Fire away with all those questions.

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MaryJane

Welcome to the forum.

Just to share, the fridge, stove, washer and dryer are most of the time already included in the house when you rent or buy.

Dishwasher sometimes does as well.

I echo Nelline's advice. If it's furniture, I'd say it's probably better to just buy here. Bring only the items of sentimental value.

Edited by MaryJane
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Nettie

Hi Sanjith

If you like solid wood furniture, I would advise to buy it in South Africa. That kind of furniture is very expensive and rare in Canada (Ottawa region). Before we moved, we looked at getting new furniture in SA (it was time) and decided not to bring it over. It took years for us to finally get a bedroom set (as an example). Once you get here you go into savings mode and you will be very aware of the exchange rate. You may also feel overwhelmed with the different options available. New country, new stores, different styles...and the list goes on. Some people come over with nothing and are okay with using a box as a TV stand and get furniture from garage sales. I'm in Ottawa and there aren't any garage sales in the winter, so I think it would be wise to take the season that you're coming, also into account.

A good bed goes for at least $1000. You will have to do some math and include the container cost to compare.

If I were you, I would bring everything. I had a garage sale before I left SA and was very sorry about quite a few things that I got rid of. You don't realize how many things you accumulate over the years. We were like newly weds, having to buy everything new. Our savings dwindled quickly.

Good luck with all the hard decisions.

N

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Nettie

Can't edit... I just noticed that a container is 20 000 CAD. That is a lot! But I would still stick to my story about the solid wood furniture. It's hard to come by and expensive.

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Nelline

I agree Nettie, really good furniture is very expensive and I especially agree reference the solid wood items. However, I work from the (personal) assumption that most of us have to basically "start over" when emigrating - we weren't able to maintain the same level of lifestyle initially simply due to economics. We had to make do with (initially) cheap new furniture (IKEA etc) and 2nd hand stuff. I can only dream of solid wood furniture at the moment.

There are always people who can easily afford 1) bringing a whole household of stuff over (and sometimes that's included in a relocation package for some lucky people) or 2) buying really good new stuff here from the word go.

I do not fall into either of the above, unfortunately :-)

I still think longingly of some of the things we had to get rid of before we came over but hindsight's a marvellous thing.

Can't edit... I just noticed that a container is 20 000 CAD. That is a lot! But I would still stick to my story about the solid wood furniture. It's hard to come by and expensive.

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Laurenwallace

Another note - all the beds, mattresses and bedding are different sizes to those in SA.

We furnished our entire house from IKEA. And we bought our dining room table second hand off of Kijiji. Not everything needs to be brand new ?

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Cathy K

We furnished our entire house from IKEA.

And I believe everyone in the family - old and young - are now very handy with a screwdriver. Boy! Assembling some of that stuff is quite challenging. Of course we not only had to built this bed, but also break it up again after Ruby became a teenager and no longer had any use for it

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Nettie

I was thinking about that today, Neline. When we first came over we paid our own way. There was a huge demand at the time in Ottawa, in my spouse's field of expertise. So everyone from his (SA) employer, who followed us, first came over to find jobs and the companies paid for their moves.

Having the mindset that you are starting "over" (read "the bottom"), will help tremendously in your adjustment. We had to accept lower salaries than the Canadians with the same amount of experience. However, we were fortunate enough not to take a huge dive in lifestyle. Not that we were ever living extravagant lives. We were happy with what we had.

There are always people who can easily afford 1) bringing a whole household of stuff over (and sometimes that's included in a relocation package for some lucky people) or 2) buying really good new stuff here from the word go.

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Jules

In the first year our desk for the computer was a strong cardboard box.

Our dining room chairs were picked up on the side of the road - as were a few other household items we found. Several items purchased second hand...

Not a big deal and we survived. Today 10 years later it's a distant memory.

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Anjonet

From the experience of those who have already made the move: how viable an option do you think it is to at first keep the pieces of furniture you just can't let go of in storage, make the move to Canada, and once both you and your finances have settled, have it shipped over? I have several furniture pieces made from Cape Teak which I inherited and would like to bring with me even though I will have to get creative to manage it financially.

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Jules

From the experience of those who have already made the move: how viable an option do you think it is to at first keep the pieces of furniture you just can't let go of in storage, make the move to Canada, and once both you and your finances have settled, have it shipped over? I have several furniture pieces made from Cape Teak which I inherited and would like to bring with me even though I will have to get creative to manage it financially.

If you have furniture that is of sentimental value then I vote for shipping it over - you can't put a price on sentiment, positive energy and good memories.

Also if you have very expensive furniture then consider shipping it - furniture here tends to be of a lower quality. The really good stuff can cost thousands of dollars.

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Nettie

Anjonet, if you are able to store it safely, where it would be protected from the environment and potential wood-bugs, I think that is an excellent idea. I would oil it well before putting it into storage and it needs to be oiled again before being put into a shipping container.

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Tracey22

truthfully, I regret bringing over an entire container of household goods. If I had to move again, i would bring over the photos, artwork, clothes. That's all.

At the time we spent about R80,000 for the container. At IKEA, we could probably have refurnished our house. Also, the furniture bought here fits into the homes. Our SA furniture is slowly getting replaced by furniture that really fits and is suitable. BTW, we could not put any SA furniture in our basement - the steps are too narrow. In the end, we had to decide between selling the stuff or creating a hole in the wall to get the furniture in. We chose option1.

IKEA now has a furniture line where you can charge all mobile devices wirelessly.

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Helanie

Great Information - Thanks everyone for sharing - I must say - it will take some time getting use to assemble your own furniture... But I guess that's part of starting over and settling in and getting use to new things, ideas and experiences.

Edited by Helanie

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Jules

The quality of the your furniture in SA must also be considered. IKEA is not cheap in price but the quality is in my opinion not that great - it's modular items you assemble yourself. A lot of it is veneer chipboard or veneer plywood.

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Hennie vdB

Sanjith,

Apart from fridge, freezer, washer, dryers, all usually coming with the houses here, REMEMBER Canada is all 110 Volt! To use any SA electrical items, you need a transformer, which is a bulky black box to add to each item (and another $40.00 each.) nd the plugs are wrong, and not so simple to replace as it was in SA.

Most modern laptops and cell phone chargers can handle both voltages, but check first. TVs may also not work, as the systems here could be different. Be careful with electronic items. I agree with the advice NOT to ship your stuff, except for high-quality / sentimental items.

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Anita007

I agree that only sentimental items should be shipped over. We arrived with our suitcases and we shipped a few boxes of sentimental items including a box of photos.

Craigslist was a wonderful source of free items such as Tv's, coffee tables etc. We used these and gradually upgraded these items as cash became available. We actually still have a microwave oven that we got for free. It was brand new when it was given to us.

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Anita007

I agree that only sentimental items should be shipped over. We arrived with our suitcases and we shipped a few boxes of sentimental items including a box of photos.

Craigslist was a wonderful source of free items such as Tv's, coffee tables etc. We used these and gradually upgraded these items as cash became available. We actually still have a microwave oven that we got for free. It was brand new when it was given to us.

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Hennie vdB

Anita, yes, that is another point worth noting. Canadians get rid of items that are still in VERY good condition, and then give it away for free, or at very low prices. Someone on a tight budget and time to spare, can save a fortune by buying this way. Same with clothes at Value Village in Calgary (not sure if they operate under different names in other cities.) As-good-as-new clothes, and even cheaper than Walmart.

Even sporting equipment - we bought all our skis and snowboards as 'clearance' items at Sportcheck - previous year's models, sold at huge discounts. How much different can next year's skis be? Three winters later, we are still doing fine, and only had to repair one boot binding.

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M-N

We're also expecting our shipment to arrive soon. Nothing huge. Just collectables and hobby stuff that can't be replaced. We bought our sofa and dining room set from IKEA. We never had expensive furniture in SA. All our stuff was pretty much from Mr. Price home and they all came flatpack. So we have the practice of self-assembly already. Lol, we refer to it as "couples-teambuilding". IKEA is good enough, better quality than Mr. Price imo and they actually have pretty cool stuff. ☺️

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Liesel

Hi,  We have been in Canada for 4 years and now it's time to sell/bring our stuff over from SA.  We want to bring some oak antiques that are hard to find here + 5 boxes of personal stuff.  Can anyone recommend a moving company?  Or one of those container-share options because we don't have enough stuff for a whole container.  Thanks! Liesel 

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