Design Dreams America?

I realize I've been a little MIA lately. It's just that we have a lot of exciting things going on around here. After 5 years in Japan, we're heading to the U.S. While it's been 5 years for me, my kids have been here their whole life. And for my husband, all but 2 years of his life as been spent in Japan.

So most days have been all about scheduling, packing, trying to see friends for the last time. There are so many dates and times to remember that I finally gave up on my desktop day planner and threw up a huge makeshift calendar on the fridge. 

If anyone out there has ever tried to sell off furniture and appliances in Japan before an international move, you know it's not as simple as posting on Craigslist and raking in the dough. Of course, there is a Tokyo Craigslist and a few other sites where you can post "for sale" items, but the fact is, Japanese aren't so interested in buying secondhand items. 

This weekend my husband and I spent hours spiffing up furniture and appliances to show to a rep from a resale shop. It turns out that not only is our stuff worth way less than we thought, they actually want us to pay them to haul off some of our stuff. I think we'd be lucky if we even broke even with them. So it looks like our only hope is to sell to English speaking foreigners on sites like Gaijinpot. 

Even if the furniture/appliance sales don't go so well, I'm so excited about our big move! Of course, leaving Japan will be sad, too, but we'll be back often and I will still be blogging away. More so when we get settled at the end of March. And I will be in serious DIY mode when we arrive at our temporary rental place with zero furniture! There will be one really pretty antique tansu chest arriving by ship, though. That was something I've always wanted, but waited until last weekend to buy at Oriental Bazaar in Omotesando. Normally, the shipping fee would have knocked us out, but since we already had a deal with our movers, we scored there. 

So anyway, I hope you'll stay tuned to see how the move goes and how we can incorporate some Japanese style into our American home! 


S said…
Hi there,
Just started reading your blog (I saw your page in Readymade). I think we are definitely of one mind. I too used to live in Japan and love DIY. We were very lucky to get rid of our stuff before moving; we actually made enough $ to buy most of what we needed for our new place.
I'm sure you know about the JET program. Most regions of Japan have a JET web group, which you can join even if you aren't a JET (check out yahoo groups for your area). We found it the best resource to buy and sell large items.
Vanessa said…
I'm glad you found my blog! That's good advice to make contact with the JET people. We've had good luck with craigslist and So now we're sitting in a pretty empty apartment until the move later this month. What did you do in Japan? Did you teach?

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