Let’s see if this countdown calendar works. There we go.
Welcome, folks. Oy. It’s been a journey the past few days. I haven’t done my daily updates because I’ve been knee-deep in stuff.
Specifically, my stuff.
I’m working on selling all of my possessions. It’s been an interesting facet of this journey. I’d sort of been plodding along: signing a lease termination here, telling a friend there. But then, I had a breakdown over hiking boots that made me realize I needed to start taking action. So, that night, I touched everything in my apartment and had it sorted into “sell” “store” or “take.”
Take: The optimistic pile with the tag line, “surely all this will fit into my car!” (There will be a separate post on ‘gear.’)
Store: Right now, it’s things like boots*, fancy clothes, office clothes, deep winter clothes, and some tchotchkes that mean too much to sell. I’m kind of proud of my self that it’s not that big of a pile – I think it would fit into a second car, so maybe I won’t have to tackle finding and paying for a storage unit (and could, in theory, store it in my parents’ basement instead …) [*When I was touching each item in my apartment to decide which category it goes in, Kondo-style, I said out loud to my empty apartment, “Boots are non-negotiable. NOPE.” and put them in the store pile. Anyone who knows me will know this is my truth.]
Stuff for mom’s house: Oh, hey, how’d you get in here, extra category not mentioned above? This one is tricky. In theory, these are the items that I will store at my mom’s house in two boxes so she can ship to me when/if I need them (Wild style!) : 1. Winter clothes for my eventual settling point. 2. Work clothes in case I need them. It also has expanded to include some sensitive things like a few dear books & my violin that I don’t want kept in some strange dark box somewhere. I’m not sure it will all fit into my car for the journey home – but my hope is that I can use these items then as a kind of placeholder for some of the supplies I will gear up one when I get home. We’ll see.
I should probably talk to my folks about this … 😉
(I have, I have.)
Sell: OK, let’s hit it.
First of all, let’s just dispel a myth: those hippies who are like, “Yeah, I just sold everything …”
What an understatement. In reality, it’s a lot of work and organization and logistics, coordination and enterprising entrepreneurialship to do that. And in today’s world, tech-savviness.
(for the umpteenth time: I literally cannot imagine doing this trip in the 60s/pre-cell phones. Wow. I definitely would feel scared & isolated!)
So yes, I’m patting myself on the back, because this was a huge investment of time & energy that I didn’t really anticipate. I also didn’t think I’d be as willing to sell as much of this stuff, but when you start to break down what you need, what you use, and what the alternative is (cash for the trip or paying for storage) … it becomes pretty easy. And also, some of this is up to the gods of Craigslist to see what stays or ends up going.
One whole corner of my apartment is dedicated to the sell pile. So far, I’ve gotten a decent chunk of change for my trip, and it’s only been about 4 days of selling (1/12th of the time I have left. Breathe …) Specifically, so far I have enough to cover the anticipated cost Comcast is going to ding me to get out of my contract early. (Unless I can argue out of that. That’s a fight for another week (specifically, next week, I think.))
Books: I’ve put about 150 books on Amazon since I started using their selling service, about a year ago. I still had about 50 left, which I’ve added to there in the past week. I made $50 overnight the first night, so that was encouraging. (It’s amazing to me that someone is like, “Ah! [Random title]! I’ve been waiting!”) I find their service the easiest/most mindless – it searches by title & auto-fills most of the information for you.
Then on the complete opposite end, there’s the DIY of Craigslist. That’s where I put most of my household goods (for this trip. I’ve also bought all of my furniture and gotten most of my apartments and roommates in the past 10 years off of Craigslist.) Right now, it seems to be best for furniture. I’ve sold two book cases, a chair and some accent pillows (these have freed up a lot of space in my LR, too, which is good.) I feel confident I will sell my couch & dining table & bed once I post those (another 3 weeks, or about 1 month before I leave. It’s a fine line between my anxiety to sell & my desire to savor the final moments of creature comforts I have remaining ;))
LetGo is new to me as of today. I’ve gotten some hits, but it remains to be seen what comes of it. I might switch my location from Alexandria to DC and see how that works out.
The clothing goes on eBay and now Poshmark, which a friend introduced me to. I haven’t sold any on eBay, but those just went up yesterday.
Poshmark, like LetGo, is an app-only photo upload, which is annoying as *(& because I took the photos on my fancy camera originally. It’d be way easier to also have a website that I could upload a bunch of things at once.
Finally, the big variable are the paintings I’ve done. I’m working on an Etsy page, but I don’t have that much ready to sell. As I get over this massive hurdle, I might work on finishing some more pieces & then posting them on Etsy. It’s a harder quandry than the rest of this. Anyway.
Are you exhausted reading this? Cuz I’m exhausted from doing it. Oh well, at least you know where I was, now. There, and Richmond, and brunch, and meeting up with my ex for more talking (that worked out and was nice, though. As were the rest of these things this weekend.)
My timeline right now is to finish posting everything and see who bites, then start bringing the prices down weekly until a week or two out. That’s when the panic sets in, and I will need to figure out what to do with
There are a few untapped resources I will start spreading the word to as I get closer to M-Day: friends, local list servs, my apartment complex’s list serv, etc.
I suppose I’ll have a large, general … apartment/balcony sale (in Michigan we call them yard or garage sales, and I have neither. Perhaps a friend will be willing to lend a stoop.) I DO wish I could do it this weekend – I kind of just want this stuff OUT of here. But, hopefully I’ll get more money this way.
Worst case, I’ll do a “free” posting on Craigslist – that should take care of anything I truly don’t want to store/pack up/take with me.
Overall time: 8+ hours right now (including organizing, taking the photos, posting it, coordinating pick-up, etc. Again: this is like, ALL of my possessions, so it’s a huge lift. Each photo-to-publish probably takes 5 minutes, which is NBD.)
Overall $ earned: I think I’m at about $25/hour so far. And in theory that $ will only go up, as most of my things are now posted.
Overall, I feel MUCH better. I’ve channeled my energy, I have something to occupy my days and it gives me an outlet to think and do things about the trip before I am on the road. Preparation leads to confidence, or “act as if until,” or something like that 🙂 I figure I’ll keep it focused on the present – shutting down my apartment and saying goodbye to friends (and doing my job, my side hustle, gym & GED tutoring … ) – before I start worrying about hiking boots. As basically everyone I’ve told that story to has said: I can buy hiking boots on the road.
And I’ll have much more money if I invest this time now on selling my stuff! 🙂
Next, we turn to packing … dun dun dun. But that’s a task – and post – for another day.
Update, 3/31: Just did a little Google. This was both overwhelming, & encouraging.