Selling Everything We Own

July 9th, 2012 in About Me, Our Travels Worldwide

This huge moving sale has been the most stressful thing I had to check off my to do list before heading out to Costa Rica. Even more than having the baby, even more than the girl’s possibly having surgery, even more than getting the house all ready for renters, even more than the thought of being hugely pregnant during the summer, more than anything.

It took me months of work and put my body into such stress for a few days after completing it, I was worried baby girl #4 was going to end up coming way too early.

Did we really sell *EVERYTHING* we own? Well if you had been at the moving sale (and a few of you did–thank YOU and sorry I didn’t get to say hello to everyone) you would have said yes. Truth is, yes and no.

No in….I still have not sold all of our big furniture, saving that for the last month we are here. And I did save somethings–about half a room full downstairs. I saved: keepsakes, a nice crib, one set of office furniture, my plateware/china sets that I adore, food storage, 4 boxes of winter clothes, and the girl’s books. Also, I am keeping all of our very nice frames, art, etc. for whenever we settle down. Even if it in 10 years, but like I said it fills up almost HALF a room downstairs which is not too much at all.

Yes in…I had enough things to hold four large moving sales. No exaggeration, it was an extreme amount of stuff.

Did it feel good? Sad? The only thing I felt a couple of times was disgust. I don’t want to live a life where I have so much STUFF, that my life, husband’s work, my work, all our success has resulted in a bunch of stuff. Stuff that we really had no connection to after seeing it all go. It made us both feel a bit sick.

How did the moving sale go? I sold about half of our things and we made almost 2 grand. The other half got donated to a local charity. Tyler and I woke up at 3am to start putting things out and didn’t stop working until 4pm. 13 HOURS. We were so beat up.

Any tips? I will say because of the extreme amount of items I had it made it so it was not as organized, easy to go through, and as visual appealing as I was planning on it being. Although I think I did do a few things right, so I’ll pass along these tips:

  • Market It: If you understand just a bit of marketing you know that out of the people who actually see/hear about your “product” only a bit under 1% will actually buy it. So I knew I had to get my “product” out in front of an extreme amount of people just to get an “ok” turn out. I listed it on free yard sale websites (just google it), KSL, Freecycle (I was able to do this because I had a whole section entirely for free), craigslist, Facebook Groups (search FB for yard sale groups in your area), Yahoo Groups, our personal facebooks, twitter, my blog, fliers on large neighborhood mailboxes, fliers at busy splashpads/parks, and honestly I *WANTED* to ask friends/family/neighbors to help me spread the word but really didn’t. Then I did signs from two main roads back to my house leading the way to the sale.
  • Have Help: If you are doing a huge yard sale, suck it up and ask or even pay for help. I hired a neighborhood kid to do about 9 hours of work in prep for it, my husband spent about 15 hours, my mom helped tons, sisters, cousin, etc. If you are the type of person that really helps others throughout their lives–you deserve and have to learn to ask for help too. I am learning this, it is hard for me, but I am learning.
  • Organizing Your Time: Things are going to take much more work than you realize. Come up with a plan where you organize your time. For example I gave myself: 1 month to go through everything, 1 week to label, 1 week to market, 3 days to move everything to the front of the house, etc.
  • Pricing: I put all the pricing of all the clothes (which was about 1/2 of the sale) on a big sign and staked it in the middle of the yard, clear on display. Then I also put signs that categorized everything with prices in the corners of the signs too.
  • Things I Wish I Could Have Done Better: Displayed things better, a bit more organized, more clothing that was hanging, I needed about 2 more hours to set up to have things ready for people, that the labels wouldn’t have fallen off + probably a billion more things.
I could say a lot more and give many more tips, but honestly, I am sick of writing about it now. I survived. I really think it almost did me in. Guess what? Deciding to pick up and move out of the country and leave everything behind. It isn’t that simple. It is A LOT OF WORK.

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