There was a recent discussion on the WeLoveCostaRica forum, initiated by someone who posted a question about getting a “medium big green egg” to Costa Rica.

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His inquiry understandably caused some puzzlement amongst many of us about just what in the heck a big green egg was, anyway, and how could you have a medium one.

Turns out that a Big Green Egg is a particular brand of outdoor charcoal cooker that has very devoted fans and part of its charm (or, at least, its effectiveness) is in its very heavy ceramic body.

While that particular person solved his problem by dropping down a size to a small Big Green Egg — which he could then bring on the plane with him — the entire discussion did remind me of some of the vast misperceptions out there about shipping, most notably that weight matters. It doesn’t.

At least not when we’re talking about shipping containers. Airplane luggage, yes. Your own weight, maybe. Shipping containers, no.

When we were first planning our move to Costa Rica, we briefly fantasized about leaving everything behind and starting out “fresh” and unencumbered by all the “stuff” we had accumulated over the years.

But that fantasy was very brief since, among other things, we’d already made my parents get rid of half of their possessions of a lifetime when we’d moved them from Louisiana to Maine to live with us.

Now that we were moving them again, less than two years later, telling them they would have to leave the other half behind just didn’t seem fair. But even though we pretty quickly made the decision to send a shipping container to Costa Rica, we still spent months agonizing over just exactly what to put into that container.

And the common misperception that weight was an issue was at the root of much of our agonizing. We would walk through the house or workshop and ponder individual items, reluctantly accepting the seemingly inevitable need to leave it behind because it was so danged heavy.

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We sadly made plans not to bring many of our tools, books, cast iron outdoor furniture, and grand piano based at least in part on their weight. The big moving companies we called in to give us shipping estimates reinforced this by quoting our move based on volume and weight so we operated under this illusion for many months. Too heavy = leave behind. It’s just not true.

Not in any practical way, at least. Yes, there is a weight limit on containers, and there are complicated and arcane regulations and formulas that surround the issue. Luckily, however, you needn’t worry a bit about them.

If you consider that a 40′ container can hold a payload of well over 50,000 pounds, it is essentially impossible to exceed that with household goods. Your 4-bedroom house, plus garage, workshop, and all your appliances will still be so far under the limit that it’s absurd to even think about the weight.

And the price won’t vary by the weight either, notwithstanding what those “big guys” will tell you. So if you love that Big Green Egg grill, bring it along.

And if you want to bring a couple of stone elephants for your driveway entrance, go for it.

In a weight-conscious world, the weight in your container is one thing you don’t have to worry about.

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Written by VIP Member Arden Brink.

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