Electrical Appliances: That Old Chestnut

Facing an overseas move? If you are moving from North America to Europe or from Europe to North America, you will definitely face the question of what to do about your appliances. Because of the difference in voltage, every expat has to go through this process of trying to figure out which appliances to bring with them and which to leave behind. There are several options:

  1. sell everything and buy everything new in Europe,
  2. sell some things, bring other things and buy the rest in Europe,
  3. or bring everything and use everything with transformers and adapters.

We expats often use factors such as length of stay (are we on assignment or staying forever?), storage space, or immediate cash needs when making the decision. Continue reading

Are Home Appliances Boring?

… if so, you must have the wrong brand. Moving from Germany back to North America, it has become painfully evident to me that the German obsession with perfection in engineering doesn’t translate across the Atlantic. In multiple rented spaces, I have made do with a substandard dishwasher, with clothes washers that don’t really get the clothes clean, and with vacuum cleaners that make noise but are low on suction. Each of them was a North American brand, probably manufactured elsewhere.

To be fair, I haven’t always had luxury appliances in Germany either. It was only after our appliances began breaking that I started to take an interest in the market – and as a working mom with two small children, functional household appliances are elevated to a new level of desirability! Continue reading