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Should You Bring Furniture or Buy New?


As you gear up to leave everything behind and take that big step of moving to Morocco, a bit of a tricky situation crops up:

Should you bring your furniture along or start fresh

A bit of a pickle, innit?

Now, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and your situation might be different from others’.

What might seem like a smart move for one family by taking their furniture could turn out to be a headache for you.

From what I’ve seen, a lot of folks we know tend to sell off most of their furniture and then grab new ones once they land in Morocco.

But here’s the thing…

To make sure you’re not left with any regrets, it’s well worth taking a step back.

Assess the good and the not-so-good, and give each option a proper think to figure out what’s gonna work best for you.

In this post, we’ll be delving into some important factors to consider when deciding whether to take your furniture with you or leave it behind.

I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with a few sisters about their own experiences, and I’ll be sharing their wonderful insights towards the end.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you purchase through those links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Enjoy reading!

Things to Consider Whether To Sell or Bring Your Furniture

#1 Sentimental value

If you’ve lived in one place for a long time, some furniture might have special memories attached to it.

I get it, it’s hard to say goodbye to things that mean a lot to you.

But, here’s the thing: is it worth the trouble? Moving furniture can be stressful and burn hole in your pocket. Dealing with others to move it can add even more stress.

If it’s not much of hassle to move, sure, go ahead. But if it’s not, ask yourself if it’s really worth the trouble.

Remember, we’re only in this world temporarily, and sometimes it’s better to just let go. It might even feel liberating.

#2 Unique aspects of the furniture

Another thing that you want to consider is the unique aspects of some furniture.

For instance, there might be a convertible high chair with adjustable height that you’d like to bring.

Or perhaps a desk with unique functions that really help you be productive.

Or a specific massage table you use.

And if a piece of furniture is custom-made for medical reasons, that’s a big deal. You wouldn’t want to let it go without exploring local options.

Alhamdulillah, Morocco is not really behind as many people tend to expect lol

In 2016, Morocco opened its first IKEA in the outskirts of Casablanca. You can also find one in Tetouan, for all of you who love the dear ol’ IKEA.

Moreover, you have the option of connecting with skilled Moroccan carpenters who can create custom-made items for you.

#3 The cost

For many, the cost is the determining factor whether they should bring their old furniture or buy new ones once they get to Morocco.

There are several aspects that contribute to the overall cost moving furniture:

  • Distance: Where are you moving your furniture from? If you’re coming from the UK or Europe, it’ll be considerably cheaper than moving your furniture from places like US or Canada.
  • Using a company or an individual transporter: Using a professional moving company will be more expensive than using individual transporters.
  • How much you’re bringing: It goes without saying – more stuff, more money.

If cost is a determining factor, then you might want to take some time to calculate the following:

  • The expense of moving the furniture of choice to your new place
  • The potential earning from selling your current furniture
  • The cost of buying all the necessary furniture again in Moroccco

When my brother’s friend did the calculations, he got to the conclusion that selling their old furniture and replacing in Morocco is cheaper than paying for the moving costs.

Using a company vs an individual transporter

If you’re coming from the UK or Europe, then you’ll most likely have the option between using a professional moving company or an individual transporter.

In the UK, we often rely on independent transporters who regularly move items between the UK and Morocco. These individuals usually have vans and make a living by providing transport services between countries.

Their rates hover around £3 per kg (though this can vary). They usually operate via word-of-mouth recommendations and tend not to have a proper set up (website, social media, etc.)

On the other hand, opting for a professional moving company might come with a higher price tag. This is due to their additional expenses, including marketing, larger trucks, insurance, etc.

Deciding whether to go with a professional moving company or an individual transporter boils down to factors such as trust, cost, and the level of service quality.

Sometimes, finding a reliable and trustworthy individual transporter can be tricky, especially if you’re using one for the first time. I suggest tapping into the expat Muslim community in Morocco and ask for recommendations, insha’Allah.

You can also reach out to me for contacts we’ve managed to collect (UK to Morocco).

Be Smart what Furniture you bring (If you Decide to Bring Some)

If you decide to bring some of your furniture, you wanna be smart what you’re bringing.

Take a closer look at your furniture and think about what’s truly worth bringing with you, and what might be better off sold or given away.

Beds? Sofas? They’re heavy and take up space. Probably best to replace.

What about things like fridge and washing machine?

Here’s a tip from Asimina, a lifestyle blogger and my good friend, who recently made the move from Birmingham to Morocco:

Although certain home appliances purchased from the West might boast impressive quality, she advises that it’s important to note that any insurance coverage they have doesn’t usually apply once these appliances leave their home country.

Sure thing, that’s actually most of the furniture lol

Many of us opt to save on costs and van space for essential items such as books, toys, and hobby items. And oh let’s not forget a handful of kitchen must-haves.

And if we’re particularly fond of specific furniture pieces that aren’t too bulky or heavy, we also include those in the shipment. Especially, if we don’t want to go through the effort of replacing them in Morocco.

Wisdom from other Experienced Muslim Muhajiruns On Buying or Replacing Furniture

Being from the UK, my family and I leaned towards getting new or second-hand furniture in Morocco rather than moving our old stuff. Since we were always on the move, a lot of our furniture was second hand, coming from spots like charity shops or eBay.

For us, it didn’t make sense to spend to move them, especially when we could buy them brand new and more affordably in Morocco.

But what’s the vibe with other families? I’ve had some wonderful chats with sisters, and they’ve generously shared their experiences, masha’Allah.

Insights From European Sisters

Asimina

Asimina, the sister behind @lifeofagreekmom really outdid herself masha’Allah when she made the move from Birmingham to the outskirts of Marrakech.

1) Now in terms of furniture such as beds and sofas, unless it’s something super valuable I wouldn’t bother getting it shipped. It’s not worth the money and getting something custom made is well in budget!
2) Big electrical goods: I would buy FROM Morocco and my biggest and main reason is the warranty. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t extend the warranty of their appliances once they leave the country of purchase, so you will not be covered if your fridge needs a part replaced. You’re gonna have to buy it out of pocket.
3) Small appliances I would generally use the same rule. Unless they are appliances you can’t get abroad. Such as my @sharkhomeuk and @ninjakitchenuk can’t be purchased in Morocco, so I had mine shipped over. The prices of stuff like that tends to be the same or only has a small difference which you’d end up paying in shipping anyway if not more.

Asimina @lifeofagreekmom

Umm Maryam

A thrifty sister, Umm Maryam @greenmuhajirah, from the Netherlands also chose not to bring her furniture along when she made the hijrah to Morocco’s neighboring country, Tunisia.

Since we knew we weren’t able to bring our furniture to Tunisia we had always used hand me downs, thrifted furniture, etc. That way we didn’t really get attached as much to our stuff and made the move itself easier, we also saved a lot of money by not investing in too much “nice” furniture. I still do miss some of our belongings every so often, though. We were able to bring a lot of things in our suitcases, including appliances.
Even though I still stand behind how we did these things, I am happy that we do have nice furniture now. It kind of made our hijrah more special, if that makes sense.

Umm Maryam @greenmuhajirah

Sarah

Sarah @morokistanimum embarked on her journey by relocating from France to the UK, and later made her way to Turkey. Now, she’s in the exciting phase of exploring her possibilities in Morocco.

I would definitely not bother shipping furniture. Unless, I own a place, we only rent furnished. Our motto for the last few years has been that “whatever doesn’t fit in the suitcase, is left behind”. I’ve realised that I can live without many things!
Your post reminds me the old days, when Moroccans used to fit white goods in the cars to bring them to Morocco in Summer.

@morokistanimum

Insight From American Sisters

I also got some valuable insight from some of the American sisters. And they touched on some interesting things I didn’t consider, and summed it up pretty well.

American Mom Abroad

@americanmomabroad is an educator who embarked on her first hijrah to Morocco, then ventured to Egypt, followed by journeys to the UAE and Qatar, before eventually returning to the UAE.

She had some interesting points that I didn’t think about:

We didn’t even consider bringing furniture when we made hijrah to Morocco. Later I saw some friends from France and Belgium had shipped bunkbeds and some other furniture.
I would advise shipping furniture, IF:
1. You will recieve a shipping allowance from your new company or are able could write off the shipping costs on your taxes.
2. You are able to Flat pack some key pieces and drive them over.
3. The price of shipping your furniture would be considerably less than buying new in Morocco.
4. Or you hold some attachment to your furniture (family heirlooms) it’s new or you just love it.
Otherwise I would prefer to buy when I get to Morocco. Gives you opportunity to get handrafted items, like Morrocan Majlis. And if you’re looking for something conventional, you’ll find options like IKEA and a few other European furniture brands available as well.

@americanmomabroad

Umm Rashid, a doula based in Abu Dhabi

Before Umm Rashid and her family flew and settled in the UAE, Egypt was their first hijrah destination.

It’s worth noting, that Egypt and Morocco are very different. However, I thought many of the things she touched on about Egypt in regards to getting new furniture are similar to Morocco.

Umm Rashid also go by @wokebirths. She is a nurse and doula based in the UAE. I’m one of her many happy clients, masha’Allah. 🙂

Umm Rashid Chaiya @wokebirths

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Key takeaway

Leaving your furniture behind is probably the sensible option. However, take a moment to consider your own circumstances and see the positives in it.

If money and the whole moving hassle weren’t a bother, a lot of us would likely drag our entire lives along with us to our hijrah destination!

On a serious note…

A good approach is to carefully consider what to bring and what to replace. Gather your family and have a discussion. You might find that you don’t really have valuable furniture you want to take. Or you might find that some furniture pieces are essential to take.

And then, make the appropriate plans and preparations. Is it worth selling or just giving them away?

If you decide to take some and you can’t take them with you on a car or on a flight, then you need to take the steps to arrange for the pickup and shipment.

Also Read:

And don’t forget to seek guidance through istikhaarah prayer. Remember, you’re doing this hijrah business for the sake of Allah. And whatever loss you made along the way, Allah will replace it with something better, insha’Allah.

May Allah make your journey smooth and easy, ameen!

Feel free to share your own experience and insight in the comments section below 🙂

The next part of this will focus on the belongings and essentials to take with you. Stay tuned!


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