Well, the thread title says it all. Have you done this and if so how did you do it without having to sell your children into indentured servitude?
I've got to get a very large quantity of books back to the UK, as well as the contents of a small apartment. I'm selling my furniture in the US, so it really is mostly books, personal tat and junk I have picked up here (a rug is the most unwieldy item coming back with me), so I don't need a shipping container or anything like that.
Clothes: coming back in suitcases with me. Books: ??? Thinking that dozens of USPS international flat-rate boxes might be the best option. I can't do an airmail M-bag as it takes 4-6 weeks and I will need them pretty much immediately. Everything else: UPS air freight? Have you found a cheaper way to do air freight?
I know the feeling, we are going to be using U pack, we will need two of the U-crates, they are bigger and you pack them at the yard. So Dh and I will be schlepping all his work tools and tool boxes and my nice pans and a few other bits (think 20 years of kid memory stuff, year books, etc etc) all the way to Sacramento to ship it all home to UK.
I think I'm going to abandon my kitchen stuff apart from a few bits and pieces. It's not nice enough to go to the bother of shipping it back, and I have a duplicate set in my parents' garage in the UK anyway. Furniture will be sold or given to Goodwill and all personal tat will be closely scrutinised to see if I love it enough to pay for it to go across the Atlantic.
Clothes can go as baggage and excess baggage on the plane - the suitcases will be light enough for me and companion to deal with by ourselves. My preference is to air freight the rest as I see that U box thing goes by sea. I think if I can send the books in the USPS boxes, that will be about $700-800, and then any remaining stuff will hopefully be light enough for it not to be too expensive to use UPS air freight in, say, maybe 4-5 large boxes plus a rug. It's utterly ridiculous to be shipping a very ordinary flatweave rug, isn't it, but I do really love it ...
The thing I am most worried about selling is the car, as it's the one thing I can't really abandon if I have to.
Sounds very much like what we will be doing, pretty much giving away all our worldly possessions. We don't have a lot, but I do love my pans, it's a nice set I finally got a complete set all matching stainless steel for Christmas about 10 years back. But I really wanted them for the ten years before that and the newer ones don't seem as heavy. I have a computer monitor and key board at Mums house, and two decorative ceramic dogs, you know those awful painted white spaniel type things matching one for each side of the fireplace LOL So nothing of any worth.
There's a company called Eagle Relocations Ltd based in Watford Hertfordshire who ship/ air freight things that I know of. It's eaglerelocations.com and tel no 01923 883477 . They seem to operate UK - USA and vice versa and overseas as well