STUFF!! We all have stuff, most of it we don’t even think about or use on a regular basis. As we start going through things we have just been astonished by the amount of stuff we have that we NEVER use!
Now, we already consider ourselves pretty minimalistic. We don’t buy things unless we need them, and the things we do buy/have ARE used… or so we thought! HA!
Since we have decided to sell our house we have started the process of purging the unnecessary, or the things we don’t use on a daily basis. So far it has been liberating and we haven’t felt bad about ONE THING!
We’ve been utilizing resale channels like eBay and Craigslist. Our goal is to maximize the amount of money we bring in from our stuff. So although there are fees involved with eBay, so far we are getting great prices for things and coming out way ahead of what we anticipated- even after eBay and PayPal fees.
Together (with 2 separate eBay accounts) we have added $2,775.00 to our fund! All stuff we never touch or look at. CRAZY!
Our approach is to utilize these channels for as much stuff as we can- what’s left will be presented at a rummage sale and then donated. We plan to store as little as possible.
Now, because we own a horse farm we have quite a few big-ticket items, we will get into that stuff later, this post is relating only to small items that are not being used on a daily basis.
Anyone that is planning a trip of this size can utilize resale sites to bring in the best-used dollar for your items. Craigslist is so-so, we have had a lot of people back out last minute, but it can work for more common things if you offer a good deal.
For our first phase of ‘stuff reduction,’ I think we are doing alright!
Tips to save money or make your life easier with eBay:
- Invest in good packing supplies (waterproof bags and sticky labels)
- Print all labels online- you get DISCOUNTED shipping prices and this adds up!
- List items during promotions- you will get FREE listings this way!
Raising Money with Rummage Sales
In Phase 1 we talked about beginning to liquidate our stuff through online channels like eBay, FaceBook and Craigslist. We have made a pretty good haul selling things that have value or are name brand through these channels.
As we prepare for our house to sell, we have started digging into those boxes that are just sitting in the garage, closets, etc. We loaded up our last shavings trailer (which isn’t sold yet) full of these things and held a rummage sale. Yes, a good old fashioned rummage sale.
To entice buyers, we held a Multi-Family sale with both our families. We advertised through free local channels (FaceBook, Craigslist and newspapers), word of mouth and rented a local town hall for the sale.
To save time I didn’t mark anything. I know this sounds crazy, but we just printed out signs and then placed certain items on certain tables and marked the TABLE with a sign. Much simpler!
The catch was that I had to be there the whole time so I knew what items came from where, but it ended up being worth it. Between David and I, we brought 30 bags of clothes and probably 40 boxes of just stuff, and this didn’t include all the things we have to sell.
Which I think is a sad thing to admit. However, we left there with 6 boxes and $872 to add to the travel fund. Crazy! I’ll be honest and say we sent a few bags of clothes and 2 boxes to Goodwill, but we managed to get rid of a lot of things and make a nice amount of money.
We joked the whole weekend about how we had earned enough money to spend 80 days in India! Now I am not sure that this would be the exact number of days we could spend in India, but pretty darn close!
Prior to our decision to travel, we had decided that we didn’t really have a lot of stuff. That were pretty much already minimalists. At least as much as you can be when you own a house.
But we are constantly surprised at the amount of stuff we have just lying around, tucked away that we didn’t even remember we had. We have been able to turn almost all of this into cash and as a result have been padding our RTW fund.
For those of you that are in the planning stages, take a look around, have you started to turn your assets into liquid cash? If not, start making piles and look at your stuff as a reliable way to generate trip money- not just a heap of junk you have to throw out or give away.
The best part about this post is that we haven’t even sold most of our valuable items! So stay tuned for the next phase.