Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cleaning out the house.....

So you want to get on the road and enjoy the free life style yea?  What about all that "stuff" you have?  Well we had over twenty years together of accumulated stuff plus what ever was left over from our previous lives (both married previously).  Now I want to tell you that when we first got married we had a lot more room than the house we live in now.  In our previous  three moves we had pretty much down sized each time but you won't believe how much we've been able to acquire.

So how do you go about getting everything in the RV?  That is: how can Houdini make what's in a 2100 sq. ft. house fit into a 375 sq. ft. 5th wheel?  Poof - it's done.  Not quite.  Let me introduce you to Yard Sales, craigslist, ebay and Re-Uz-It Centers.  If you still have items left over then your local donation center like Good Will or Red Cross will take it and redistribute it to those who need it.

We've had three yard sales so far to down size but we still have several to go.  And along with this our house is on the market so the wife doesn't want to empty out the furniture that needs to go.  I'm still not convinced that not having a full house of furniture is a bad thing when it comes to showing your house.  But we do still need to live there for a few more weeks. 

At some point you too might be left with this question. When do you decide should cleaning out the house be the priority or leaving the furniture in it as buyers want to see how your "home" looks?  I hope you don't have to make this decision. 

Managing the down sizing of your household items and selling your home can be a full time job besides all the other jobs you must handle.  If you are doing this like we are then you too have your hands full.  Don't forget to take some time off for yourself.  Burn out isn't a pretty sight.  We are taking time off to go sight seeing.

Anecdotally I find it funny that items I have sold at our yard sale, that people haggled over the price, show up at the local auction house for sale.  A case in point is a Ryobi battery operated drill that I sold for $10.  The guy wanted to give me 7 but I told him no way.  This week at the auction I saw the same drill for auction.  What did it go for?  I didn't stick around to find out but I'm sure his reserve on it was more than the $10 he paid me.  But I'm not griping, I got what I wanted for it.

And what is it with these early birds?  We advertise the sale starts at 7 A.M. and we start to put things out at 6:30.  We no more than open our garage door and people are walking in to look at evreything before we've got it out.  Can't they wait to purchase it?  No not really, I think they're afraid they might miss something EVERYBODY else wants and will get their hands on it first.  But alas, the item isn't there.

And be ready to talk at length with one of your patrons.  Inevitably someone will want to talk your leg off either because they think you are their long lost friend or in reality they have very few other people to talk with.  At each of our yard sales I've had just such an opportunity.  One of them was a neighbor who lives over a block.  He's not married, drives a truck making deliveries and I guess doesn't have many friends.   But I heard all about his week.  But he is a nice guy and what the heck, I'm only sitting here hoping someone will buy some stuff.  Oh, he did and said he really needed it! 

Enough for this time but just wanted to warn you about getting rid of your stuff - start way before you think you will need to start, price it to go (not necessarily what you think it's worth) and do it often and you will see results as your house empties out.

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