Friday, October 30, 2009

Operation PURGE

It’s not for the faint of heart! And it sure is a lot of work!! Unfortunately, one of the must do’s of making the transition from house to RV is getting rid of stuff…lots and lots of stuff. We have begun this process in earnest. We are having a our first major garage sale this weekend. It may seem like a strange time to have a garage sale in Colorado…that’s what I thought initially too. Especially after shoveling 2 feet of snow over the last 2 days! But we thought this would be the perfect time to dispose of winter clothing and Christmas decorations. Although some of the winter items we're rethinking, such as my heavy duty snow boots!

We’ve been prepping for this sale for weeks. First, there is the task of going through the closets, garage, and basement to identify items we’re willing to part with and sorting out the sellable versus the trash. That alone is tough. We’ve kept this stuff this long because we thought there would be a need for it “someday”. Isn’t that how we all find ourselves buried under so much stuff? What if that “someday” shows up tomorrow? Then there are the emotions to deal with too. “Things” evoke memories and sometimes it’s hard to remember that the memories will still exist long after the things are gone. And then there are the things that were gifts. Some may even be homemade. And you feel guilty about parting with them, even though they may have been shoved in the back of the closet for years. Even once you get past all of this, you're still not ready to open the doors.

Once all the stuff is sorted, it's time to have to figure out how much to ask for it. This is hard because you perceive value in each of these things. After all, you spent your hard earned money on accumulating these things and you don’t want to just give them away. But it's important to remain focused on the primary goal of the sale – to reduce, to eliminate, to purge! So things need to be priced to sell and often that can be far below what they're really worth.

Although I’d rather be doing something more fun with my free time, I’m willing to put in the time and effort. Especially since I know what reward is awaiting me. And surprisingly, it hasn’t been all that emotional…yet! I’m sure that part will get harder when we really start getting down to the nitty gritty. So far, this is still all ‘excess’ stuff we really haven’t used much in years. The harder part for me has been trying to figure out how to price the stuff. A lot of this is good quality, name brand stuff. And maybe because I know that we are moving into a life of significantly reduced income, I want to make every dollar I can. Finding the right balance is difficult. I guess we just have to hope that the law of averages plays out – some things will be a steal while others will bring in more than expected. And I have to continually remind myself that if we don’t sell it now, we’ll probably just end up giving it to Goodwill, so every dollar we make now is a bonus!

1 comment:

  1. Pricing stuff is very difficult for both Robin and me. We're softies and terrible negotiators, so we hired an estate saleswoman to take care of it. We rationalize that we're such terrible negotiators that we'd make less than paying a percentage to have someone else handle. Then the only variable is the time and hassle we save = less gray hairs. :)