Originally Posted by shatteredzman
I was doing some thinking about moving to canada and the idea of buying all my appliances and such popped in my head. I live in Oklahoma and things are pretty cheap here so I want to buy everything I'll need (this includes some food), rent a u-haul truck and take it to alaska. I currently share a home with someone and dont own a lot of home furnishings.
Would customs have any problems with me bringing stuff through canada such as new boxed kitchen appliances, a bed, and other things you need to furnish a house?
Take it from someone whose been there/done that... happily so.
Depending on where you are going in AK... save your dollars and buy it when you get there.
I moved to AK several years ago and did quite a bit of homework before I went. Yes - things were a bit pricier, but depending on your line of work and where you'll be going, you'll be better off waiting unless it's bare necessities you "can't live without" (e.g., ha - whatever you can think of that you can't live without ... which will probably change once you get here!)
After doing quite a bit of homework, I decided to ship up 20 *small* shipping boxes (12x12) - mostly business inventory from a home business I had, a few toiletries which I couldn't find on a weekender trip I'd made to scout a few areas, and... and a few lightweight, bulkier items I didn't want to pack. I saved my suitcases for heavier items, knowing I could take two (then), and I carried my guitar on-board.
I didn't even drive. I left my Toyota in the L48 so I'd have a vehicle to drive for visiting (a tip I got from someone else) and bought a second-hand car (4WD) for just $1,000 a couple of months after my arrival. Before that I either walked, thumbed it, or took a bus. (Don't knock it - I'm a professional female and had no problem hitch-hiking in AK or picking up others (selectively) once I had wheels.)
I have never regretted, nor do I believe you will ever regret... not shipping up or traveling up with a bunch of household items that you will either not need once you arrive or be able to purchase once you get here.
Here are a few practical tips for you:
1. The extra you'll pay towing all that ... in gas will not make up for the monies you'll "save" buying it there and driving it up.
2. The extra hassle through customs and otherwise (if you have a flat or whatever) will not be worth carting up a new stove in a box.
3. Alaska has stoves.
Bc of the military and a lot of other folks who meander to AK (and leave), a LOT of stuff gets either left behind to goodwill-type stores, or community garage sales. And if you bring a new one up... someone might think you ripped it off anyway since most Alaskans use what they've got and recycle parts of what they can no longer use until they've used it up and out.
4. The paperwork (see # 2) will only be *one* hassle... while you could be having fun with friends and family before you go, you'll instead be filling out mounds of paperwork... all for what? A couple hundred bucks? Even a thousand bucks wouldn't be worth the hassle, IMHO. Remember... second-hand!
5. Besides that... if you are driving all the way up from OK (I have family in the South and am looking to move back and will probably be driving from TX at that point)... I'd recommend *enjoying* the drive!
If you're carting a bunch of household goods, you'll be spending more time checking for loose fittings, locks, filling up the tank (again), etc. than you will be enjoying the Moose along the way, the colors of the tundra, the endearing road signs (when you see them at all), and just *thinking*...
Why drive up with a lot of worries?! It's ALASKA! Most ppl coming here are leaving all that behind...
6. If you get it all the way up here, and decide to return home... ugh. You'll feel like you have to cart it all the way back for what you paid & in hassles to get it up... ! Whatever you *truly* need... Alaska already has.
7. If you *aren't* sure where you're going, and you end up in the bush... what would you do with a stove? That'd be *one expensive haul*! Lol!
8. Leave the food behind.
Except for some food to carry along the way in case you get lost or break down... and keep it light... not a lot of canned goods!
Energy-type foods. You'll be glad you did. (And w a t e r...)
9. Why carry up a bunch of stuff Oklahomans would use? (Even if it *is* a stove?) Juneau and Anchorage both have either Sam's or Costco stores, and other places (F.B. & others) have Wmarts and again... second-hand stores. You might end up in a place with gas fittings with an electric stove! Or vice versa...
10. Who needs a house anyway? Lol. Just find yourself an old bus to live in, a empty wilderness cabin, or a moose-stand...
and you won't *need* furniture or appliances!
(Alaskans eat their salmon and halibut straight from the ocean anyway... you've heard of McD's "filet-o-fish", right? Well, now you know where the phrase got started!) And as for freezers... well, this *is* Alaska! We just keep our stuff tied up on the back porch. Keeps it fresh all winter 'til the bears wake from hibernating, then they eat from your line what you've left to rot. No waste!
... Nah - just wait until you get here. Life's more exciting that way anyway!
And if you decide to *stay*... on your *first* return to Oklahoma... you can buy all you want to ship or drive "HOME!"
Then you'll know more of what you want, the prices v. where you are, and the hassle (or not) that it will really be worth.
Okay... hope all this helps!
(I think it will.)
When are you looking to move? Best of everything to you!