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Getting Rid of Stuff

March 22, 2010

This weekend we focused on getting rid of stuff in preparation for our cross country trip.  We have been thinking our “getting rid of stuff” strategy after our experiences preparing for the bike trip.  To start with, we need to pare down our belongings so that they can fit in a trailer that we’ll haul behind our car.  We’re planning to get a 6×10’ or 6×12’ trailer.  The first thought is to get rid of the big stuff because it’ll take up the most room in the trailer, and you can sell it for the most money.  Now I know that this is a big mistake, though.  Here’s why:

  • We bought most of the “big stuff” used.  That means we can sell it for close to what we bought it for…and then re-buy it on the other end for a comparable amount.  You’re basically guaranteed to lose some money in these transactions because there are always time constraints in wanting to get rid of the stuff, and then needing to get it back fairly quickly on the other end.  But as long as you didn’t buy stuff new, these transactions work out with minimal money lost.
  • The one exception to big stuff you can buy and sell is electronics.  We have had such a hard time selling anything electronic (TVs, DVD players, etc), and the ones for sale always seem icky and/or broken.   So that means we’re going to be packing our TV cross country.
  • Little stuff almost always has to be purchased new.  I’m thinking stuff like measuring cups, gardening gloves, broom, garbage cans, pillow cases, light bulbs, etc, etc.  You can’t find it on craigslist, it is unreliably found at Goodwill, and when you move into a new house you really need it. This stuff REALLY adds up which we found out when setting up after our bike trip.

My conclusion is that even though it seems counterintuitive to get rid of the big items to make room for boxes full of crappy little stuff, I think it saves the most money and time to do exactly that.  It is easier & cheaper to re-buy 2-3 big things that are used from Craigslist than to go on shopping sprees at Target, Home Depot, etc.

So, that being said, here’s what we accomplished this weekend.  This is probably boring for you all to read, but this is my journal and I want to remember all the work we did preparing for this move!

On craigslist:

  • Sold our grill for $40.  Jamie thought I’d have to give it away for free, but I listed it on craigslist for $50 and sold it 2 days later for $40.  Not bad!
  • Sold the baby bassinet that Isaac is too big for – $10.
  • Gave away the double mattress from our guest room.
  • Listed a vintage red formica table that is falling apart a little bit.  I just want to give it away for free.  So far one family came to look at it and said it looked like it needed too much work, so they didn’t take it.  Uh oh, I hope we don’t have to pay to bring it to the dump!  Last summer we used it as a picnic table on our back patio so it is a little beat up and weather worn…

On the curb:

  • Put a wooden chair out on the curb.  Someone took it within a day.  We originally found this chair on the curb last summer, so it seems fitting that we got rid of it in the same way. 
  • Tomato cages.  So far our neighbors just took one cage, there are three left.  I keep joking with Jamie that I am going to gather up the tangle of the remaining three cages, knock on the neighbors’ door, and say “Hi, I noticed that you took one of our tomato cages.  That was an all-or-nothing deal, so here are the rest!!”  hehehe, we think this would be so funny.  We love to joke about doing awkward things with these neighbors.  For example, they have an elevated deck in their backyard that looks right over the fence into our backyard, so we like to joke about having a naked backyard BBQ with all our friends to torture the neighbors.  Or when we had the chickens, we would joke about adding a couple of pigs to the mix and turning the backyard into a mud pit for the farm animals to roll in and the neighbors to observe in horror!
  • Terracotta plant pots.  These were taken within the day, too.  Two youngish neighborhood boys took the pots, and asked if we were giving anything else away.  We told them we were moving on May 1st and would be giving a few more things away.
  • Couch (sort of). One the boys who took a pot wanted to know if we had any furniture we’d be giving away. We showed him the couch that we are not taking with us.  It is really big, kind of dirty, and we don’t think it is very comfortable …so we are not going to take up 1/2 our trailer space with it and instead want to give it away.  Jamie keeps talking about how no one will want it because it is so gross (it is really not that gross, he is just obsessed with hating it for no reason).  So anyway, we showed it to this neighbor kid, he went and talked to his mom, and then came back and gave us their phone number and said to call when we move because they wanted the couch.  Nice!  I hope this works out in the end, it seems sort of odd that the mom didn’t want to come over and see the couch for herself.   We’ll see…
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. lucia permalink
    March 22, 2010 11:59 am

    I think I am both horrified and envious of how nonchalantly you rid yourself of stuff. I think I gasped when I read you had given away the chickens! I guess I am too emotionally attached to useless crap… justifying my hoarding by believing that it gives meaning to my life. Hmm sad. So good for you guys! Cant wait to read about your gypsy travels.

  2. March 25, 2010 1:22 am

    This is so exciting!! Way to go, guys! 😀

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