Home Expat Blogs The Do It Yourself Method of Moving to Mexico

The Do It Yourself Method of Moving to Mexico

Woman unpacking cardboard boxes
Credit: Wavebreakmedia | Thinkstock
Robert Nelson Co-Founder of Expats In Mexico
Robert Nelson

In January, we told you all about moving to Mexico using an international moving company, the pluses and minuses of shipping mostly all of your household goods to your new home in Mexico.

This month, our new article, “Moving to Mexico: Self-Moving May Be Your Best Option,” talks about several methods used by expats in Mexico to move their worldly possessions to their new homes.

In our recent Expats In Mexico Survey 2017, we found that about 54 percent of expats use some combination of self-moving methods compared with 28 percent who used international moving companies for all or some of their possessions. Another 18 percent sold everything and replaced their household items in Mexico.

In the article expat David Moss, who lives in Ajijic, explains how he made his move to the Lake Chapala area. “Self-moving can be done many different ways,” he told us, “from putting stuff on the roof of your car and in your trunk to hiring a local guy to move your things down. We hired a Mexican man with a trailer who took our stuff from California to Ajijic – where we both live – just as if he was transporting stuff he had bought in the U.S. into Mexico. There is a great deal of that going on, so there was nothing unusual when he crossed the border.”

Moss said he was very happy with his moving to Mexico choice. “Everything arrived in good shape and nothing was damaged. After we unpacked, he returned and removed all of the boxes. And, the cost was far less than what international moving companies charge.”

Some expats cut out the middleman altogether, opting to purchase a trailer to haul their possessions and often doing a move over several trips to reduce the amount brought in at one time. But be careful. If you are moving a large amount of goods in one trip – over US$3,000 in value – you will need a Mexican customs broker to formally file the Mexican customs entry on your behalf.

One thing all self-moves have in common, though, is getting rid of most of your things before you make the move. Or in the case of the nearly 20 percent of expats who sold everything, starting with a clean slate and purchasing new items in Mexico, often at a far lower cost. It especially makes sense if you are renting, since over 90 percent of rental homes in Mexico are furnished.


  1. I am amazed and disappointed that you have not yet mentioned the “war” that our government has recently declared against Mexico. Are you aware that Mexican “expats” in the US are now living in more fear than ever of being deported and worry about any minor contact with our government?
    What about the “anti-American” demonstrations in Mexico City? Can you sense a change in how you are being viewed as Americans in light of our governments wanting to wall off our neighbors?
    Some insight and comment be would welcomed. Thank you

    • Hi, Barry and thanks for your comment. We don’t inject politics into any of our feature articles or promotion of our feature articles, respecting the varied political opinions and viewpoints of our readers. We may occasionally offer a point of view when we feel it is warranted in my Mi Vista blog.

  2. We sold 90% of our worldly possessions, stored some stuff, and turned our very own 14’diesel Uhaul truck into a suitcase of sorts. We took clothes and shoes, (too many, actually) the linens for bed and bath, kitchen items like our microwave, mixers, blenders, a set of dishes and silverware, and a few pots and pans. THEN there was the frou frou stuff. Lamps, rugs, artwork, stuff like that that we loved and wanted with us. Leased a furnished place, and were happy with life for 5 years in Cabo.

    • Hi, Patti…you are the true definition of a self-mover! Did you do a Menaje de Casa for the items you took across the border? Did you use a customs broker? It sounds like you moved quite a bit of your possessions.


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