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Looking for Shipping advice/help to move personal belongings to the US

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I am sure this has been posted many times before but I am unable to find something that fits my situation so please forgive me for posting this again (hopefully in the right spot).

I am moving to California from Vancouver, BC Canada next month and I am looking for a way to ship my personal belongings. I have managed to condense everything that needs to be shipped into 5 boxes, but I am having issues finding a way to ship them that seems to be at a reasonable cost.

The entire contents is basically mementos and memories, some books, a couple of glass tea sets/espresso sets, decorative knick knacks etc. There is really nothing of any actual value, just sentimental stuff. Basically everything is worthless yet priceless.There is no point in using a major moving company for 5 boxes, but I am having trouble going through UPS as they want everything to have an assigned value or date of purchase. A lot of stuff I did not even purchase myself as they were gifts collected over the years.

For the duty free forms I know we have to have an itemized list, how specific does it have to be? And again, how do you assign a value to things that are really just memories or personal collections that have no monetary value?

Any suggestions or tips on how to ship these items would be greatly appreciated, I am finding this much more stressful than I anticipated!

As a side note, would it just be worth it to send down piece by piece over the next month and not claim them as personal belongings? Is there any risk or is it against any rules?

Thanks in advance :)

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Shipsmart is for small moves that don't include funiture. That's what I used from Vancouver to California. And you just have to be as specific as you were in your post: box 1: knick knacks, box 2: personal items, etc, and then just give a value to the whole box.

Edited by ricnally

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Hi, I went from Toronto to California using UPack to ship about 30 boxes and my relocube was half empty! I would strongly recommend this company . I was worried about my stuff ( getting here in 1 piece, getting here period, US customs seeing that I have so many boxes of 'clothes' ;--) )but my worries were for naught. All personnel were personable and very helpful from start to finish. Granted , Upack would be too much for your 5 boxes .

I just listed 10 boxes ( shirts/pants/ purses/etc); 2 boxes personal items( albums; stuffed animals; framed art, etc) . Yes I agree you can't put a value on memories or such but I just gave a number like 50$ or such.

Good luck

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Extra luggage might work - it is not cheap, but it might be cheaper than other options - also look into cargo services for your airline / from your airport. https://www.cargoportalservices.com/

Also, https://shipgooder.com/to compare shipping cost - Fedex and UPS ground services can be surprisingly cheap (one large box might be cheaper than 5 smaller ones though).

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I don't have any advice on this but i just want to share that every time I see this thread's title I think it says SHOPPING advice...

2012-10-30: FedEx delivered I-130 to Chicago Lockbox Mail Room
2012-11-01: NOA1 by email - MSC
2012-11-02: $420 (x3) debited from our account
2012-11-05: NOA1 hard copies received, Priority Date 2012-10-30
2012-12-11: NOA2

2013-01-02: Rec'd case#, IIN, BIN & OPTIN emails for EP sent
2013-01-03: Submitted DS-261 (x3)
2013-01-07: AOS bills invoiced and paid & OPTIN for EP accepted for each of us
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2013-01-09: IV bill appears as paid (kids' only)
2013-01-09: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (kids only)
2013-01-11: AOS received -notified by email
2013-01-11: IV bill invoiced & paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV bill appears as paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV Supporting Docs received for kids - notified by email
2013-01-14: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (me only)
2013-01-18: IV Supporting Docs received for me - notified by email
2013-01-18: Son#1 CASE COMPLETE - Son#2 checklist - saying $ on I-864 don't match tax return (but they do)-resubmitted
2013-01-23: AOS 2nd submission for Son #2 received - notified by email
2013-01-25: My CASE COMPLETE
2013-02-06: Packet 4 Received by email

2013-02-13: Medicals 2014-12-17: Delivered to California Lockbox 2015-12-15: Delivered to Phoenix Lockbox
2013-03-06: Interview 2014-12-19: 1 I-751 + 3 Biometrics Fees debited from our account 2015-12-16: Fees charged to Credit Card
2013-03-08: Visas in-hand 2014-12-22: Received NOA1 by mail. Receipt Date: 2014-12-17 2015-12-17: NOA
2013-03-12: Paid USCIS Immigrant Fee 2014-12-24: Received Biometrics Appointment Letter 2016-01-02: Biometrics Letter 2016-01-11: Biometrics
2013-03-14: POE 2015-01-06: Biometrics 2016-02-15: In Line for Interview 2016-02-19: Letter
2013-03-25: SSNs arrived 2015-05-27: Approved 2016-03-22: Interview
2013-04-01: Green Cards arrived 2015-06-03: New Green Cards arrived 2016-04-15: Oath Ceremony

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