We brought a bunch of stuff with us but didn't want to have to worry about all the details of setting up a house in Uruguay, so we opted for a furnished rental. I am so happy that we did.
Furnished apartments/houses generally come with everything from furniture to artwork, dishes to brooms. Ours was no different. There were things here that I never would have expected in the house we rented: curtains on every window, a vacuum, new kitchen towels, place mats and tablecloths, a bucket, gardening tools just to name a few. I figured that furnished meant just furnished. I did not think that furnished meant EVERYTHING! Most of the items in our place are new as well, so I can't complain. Our landlord keeps asking us if we need anything else. We purchased a clothes line to string in the back courtyard and then learned that he would have taken care of it.
On the flip side, UNfurnished means that it includes nothing. Usually that also means no appliances. Yep. The previous renters/owners take the appliances when they move out. All of them. Range, refrigerator, washer: all gone. Many houses that we've seen do not have clothes dryers or dishwasher, so I guess that is a few less appliances that you have to worry about replacing.
We looked at unfurnished places but the thought of renting (there are a few furniture/appliance rental resources here) or acquiring all of the necessary items to furnish and equip a house was so daunting, we very quickly decided on furnished and I am so happy that we did (yes, I had to say it again).
As advised by people already living in Uruguay, we brought bedding with us from the USA along with a few towels (have to get a few more) and favorite pieces of cookware/kitchenware. We've been in the house for two weeks and feel that we are nearly completely set up and can focus on other things (like working, setting up daycare, getting health insurance, having long lunches out with new friends. You know, important stuff!!)