Before Arrival - What to bring to England - Household Goods

Many people want to know what household goods to bring and not to bring to England. The answer depends on the housing area you choose. Unless you are coming off a remote assignment, more likely than not you will live on the economy for a period of time before being offered a base house. When selecting a house on the econmy keep the following in mind:

- When you live on the economy in England, the U.S. government will not pay for storage.
- Houses on the economy are typically smaller and older than we are used to. So you may want to scale down the amount of furniture you decide to bring. Many people also like to get antiques, so if you like that sort of thing you'll want to save room for that too.

- You will rarely find an open floor plan. Most rooms have a door that your furniture will have to fit through. These doors are sometimes at a sharp angle from the main doorway. Therefore you may want to store oversized furniture, such as sectional sofas or large wall units.

- In some houses there are also narrow stairways to consider. King-size beds, or even queen-size, may be challenging to maneuver. Definitely consider this before deciding on a house. Some people actually end up cutting their box springs to get them up stairs.

- If you find a 3 or 4-bedroom house, one of the bedrooms may not be much bigger than a walk-in closet.

- Many British homes do not have built-in closets and garages tend to be narrow and are usually just big enough for one small car. Storage space can be very limited.

When PSC'ing to the England you should not ship your washer, dryer, microwave, oven or refrigerator -- these items are available in government quarters. If you need them for your off-base home, the Furnishings Management Office will loan them to you for the duration of your tour or as long as they are needed. There is no cost for these loans.

- RAF Feltwell FMO has the following appliances available to issue for the duration of your tour.
· Refrigerator
· Range (electric only)
· Washer and dryer
· Dishwasher
· Microwave
· Wardrobe - 2 per adult, 1 per child (for economy housing only)
· Kitchen cabinet - 1 (for economy housing only)
· Transformer - 3 per accompanied, 2 per unaccompanied account (for housing with no 110 voltage or 110 voltage on the ground floor only)
- If your television is not a multi-system you will not be able to pick up British channels, but you can use it for playing videos or if you are in some base housing you'll pick up AFN, the Armed Force Network channel.

- When you live on the economy you will need a transformer to convert all your 110 voltage appliances to 220. Also, American electric clocks will lose time unless you run them on batteries. All appliances with a clock (i.e. coffee pots, microwaves etc.) will also not hold time.

Unaccompanied Baggage

In your unaccompanied household goods shipment you should include items that you will need to set up your household. Unaccompanied baggage is shipped via airfreight to England. Typically, your unaccompanied baggage will be available to you within 35 to 60 days of shipment. Check with your transportation office for your authorized weight allowance and ensure that your baggage is under that weight. Overweight unaccompanied baggage may not be able to be shipped via air, which would increase shipment time.

Mailing items ahead of time is also an option. If you choose to mail items to yourself, you may be reimbursed for the cost of the postage -- contact your origin Travel Management Office for an authorization letter. Your sponsor will be able to assist you with APO mailing information.

Recommended Items to Pack in Unaccompanied Baggage:
· Cleaning supplies
· Linens, blankets and towels
· Books and toys for children
· Clothes for next season (England seasons can change unexpectedly)
· Military items and professional items (not uniforms or paperwork)
· Tools
· TV and DVD player
· Desk lamps
· Alarm clock (battery operated, as electric will not function properly unless for 220 volts)
· Baby furniture (crib or playpen, walker, etc.)
- To avoid confusion, schedule unaccompanied baggage, household goods and temporary storage pick-ups on separate days.

Don't forget, there are many resources to ease the transition to RAF Lakenheath. Lending closets offer many items to borrow for up to 60 days: cookware, dishes, utensils and some small appliances. A loaner kit consisting of basic essential furniture is also available to all authorized personnel for up to 90 days after arrival, pending receipt of incoming household goods, and for up to 90 days before departure. The following items are authorized in the quantity shown:
· Double bed (complete) - 1 per 2 individuals
· Single bed (complete) - 1 per individual
· Dining chairs -- as needed
· Dining table - 1
· Crib - 1 per infant (under 35 inches)
· High chair - 1 per child
· Chest of drawers - 1 per 2 individuals
· Coffee table - 1
· Easy chair - 2 per accompanied account/1 per unaccompanied account
· End table - 2
· Sofa - 1

The weather changes quickly and few buildings are air-conditioned, so even if it is cool outside, it may be stuffy inside. The majority of the year you might want warm clothes and jackets. We have spurts of sunny weather, and it does not rain as much as you may think, but it is best to have an umbrella handy at all times and some rain gear. Because of the exchange rate, shopping is more expensive in England and you may want to stock up before you get here.

Be prepared to wait 35 to 60 days for your unaccompanied baggage and 60 to 70 days for your household goods from the date of shipment.

It is important that your correct contact information is on file when you arrive in England so the appropriate offices may contact you when your property arrives. If your property was shipped using the Defense Personal Property System, login to your account and update your contact information in your personal profile to reflect the local area.

For more information, check out the Move.mil Website: http://www.move.mil/home.htm