How much of y our stuff you should move with you to Mexico really depends on who is paying for the move! Some people coming to Mexico are moving for work, and their companies will often provide them with a moving budget. In that case, it could make better sense to bring your stuff with you. I say “could” because cost isn’t the only thing to consider…more on that in a moment. For people who are footing the bill personally, the costs of moving items could be prohibitive. You need to take account not only of the actual shipping costs, but also the customs duties that will be imposed. A household is allowed certain exemptions but you have to make sure that you completed the paperwork on time and before you move. We have also heard horror stories from people who have waited 6 months or more for their shipments to arrive, and who had items damaged or stolen en route. I am sure that is not the norm, but something to be aware of.
We did not have a moving budget when we relocated from Canada to Mexico, and so for us there was no possibility of bringing our stuff with us. We sold our house in Canada with all of our furniture included, and gave away things like dishes and décor. For people coming to Mexico temporarily, storing furniture and other items might be an option to consider if they are prepared to rent a place already furnished. In our case, we left Canada with whatever could fit in our suitcases and started over once we arrived! The total of our moving costs were the extra baggage fees for the airline.
This was the best solution for us, but you should be aware that the cost of setting up a house in Mexico can also be quite expensive. Most household items, particularly appliances, furniture, and electronics, will cost quite a bit more than they would in Canada. You may find things in Mexico that are comparable in price to things that you can buy in Canada but often the quality is not what Canadians or Americans might be used to.
So it really comes down to a careful consideration of the costs of shipping vs the costs of buying new, which will vary by distance, currency, location in Mexico, and intangible things like sentimental attachments.
(Modern furniture in Mexico City apartment, pictured.)