Downsizing – Garage Sale Preparation

Just finished up a couple 60 hours weeks at work. Karen has been busy working on garage sale preparation back at home. Thankfully I’ve got two vacation days planned for the end of this week. Just in time to finish the setup for our first large garage sale.

Perhaps the best advice I would give to anyone who is in the initial planning stages to move into an RV is to STOP BUYING STUFF NOW!  And the second advice I would give is hold a garage sale now, clean out some corners of the house. It will boost your morale and perhaps solidify the fact “this is really going to happen, we are really going to take the leap to a great journey.”  Karen and I are touching about everything we own, asking ourselves, do we need this in the next year? Do we think we might use it in an RV or give it away to a family member? Are we not sure and have to think about if we need/want it?  And is this something worth putting in a 5×10 storage unit we plan to rent?

Every Room is a Mess from Sorting

Sorry, not sure we can have any guests at the house for the next year. Most every room has a pile of stuff in it. We have been busy sorting and filling the trash receptacle each week. Thank goodness neither of us are particularly clean freaks. This would drive us crazy if that was the case. 

Sent a text to the neighbor to see if he had any tables we could use for the garage sale. His church loans them out for a small deposit. He even volunteered to take his trailer and pick the tables up with me.  Damn glad Steve moved in across the street.  Wonderful guy and hope to be able to return the favor. 

We cleared out some of the bookcases in the house and are moving those to the garage sale area to setup displays. I’ve been shopping around for camping tables we would want to take on the road. Buying at least one early so we can use that in the garage sale as well. Leaning towards a 5′ table that folds in the middle. Should be easy to store in the fifth wheel basement.

As for non-garage sale events there has been a little progress in planning. We are still trying to buy our truck by September. Darn, found the perfect one, used with 4,000 miles, about three hours from home. Just not ready to buy yet. So, I sent the owner an email and told him don’t worry if he does not sell it by September, I’d come over and give him an offer.  It’s a 2017 Ram Laramie Longhorn with a B&W hitch, nice bed cover, 3.73 gears, Aisin transmission and air bags. Well within our budget. Karen says to buy it now. I still have three goals to accomplish before the truck and I’m sticking to it.

Friends I’ve met online, some moving to an RV this year and others in 2019, have been communicating with us regularly. Thank you to all who are sending the emails and text message. Really learning a lot from you!

And finally; I sent in the paperwork for my first retirement check. This is from a corporate job I held years ago. First check should arrive in September:)  Also figured out technically I only have to be at work 71 days next year. Karen and I have not formally moved up the retirement date from November of 2019. However, we sure are looking at what month would be more practical which is not the first part of winter as planned. Maybe we will head north from Missouri, where the RV prices are better, as early as April of 2019 and see what happens if we find our new home on wheels.

I was looking at Craigslist to see how people were posting garage sale adds and found this one.  Funny stuff.

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11 thoughts on “Downsizing – Garage Sale Preparation

  1. That mess looks very familiar, and we didn’t even move out completely. We cleaned it all out so we could rent it, but that was the hardest part: Liquidating. BTW, those airbags sure are nice!

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    • Russ,

      We have been doing a little every night or two in preparation for the first sale. Figure we will move what does not sell to one side of the garage, add some more stuff and hold another sale in a couple months or so. Figure the second one will be easier. Then again, maybe we will get rid of it all in just this one sale – fingers crossed.

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  2. Oh, you’re bringing back so many memories from 2009 when we were clearing out the house! You’re doing this the smart way — we planned everything except the garage sales and stuff. It poured rain the day we had the garage sale and ended up selling a bunch of stuff via Craigslist. We were on such a tight timeline we sold everything at rock-bottom prices (I think a four-year-old riding lawn mower went for $50); people were calling friends and telling them to bring trailers.

    About the camping tables — small thing, but you might want to wait until you have your RV before you make decisions like that one (assuming you don’t have it yet). The Class C we bought has a “built in” camping table, but we never use it because it’s on the floor of the back storage area — which is always filled with stuff we need for our travels…. so it’s pretty much useless. Depending on where you stay, you’ll often have picnic tables or access to other seating, so you might not need it at all. And for the prices ($20? $30?) you can always pick up one on the road if you realize you need it.

    So alongside your “stop buying things now” I’d add: “Resist the temptation to buy for an RV until you’ve got it and used it awhile.” We also bought a small table-top grill which we never used and ended up donating (with a bunch of other stuff) to Goodwill in the first couple of weeks we were on the road.

    Sell everything except the essentials. If you miss it, you can always buy another, later. my two cents!

    Good luck — have fun!!!

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    • Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for the advice. We have not bought the table yet. We have a four foot one we have taken camping in the past, but it does not fold. As we have owned and rent RV’s in the past, we know we like to have a table next to the front door for outside stuff. We even enjoy moving the coffee pot outside. Karen also uses it to bath and trim the dogs. Figure a folding version would take less space and be easier to get at from the basement.

      I hear what you are saying about not buying anything until we get our new trailer. We have been watching friends buy their new rigs and race through the camping store, filling a cart with connectors and such. Figure we will start with the bare minimum and add on from there. The only large purchases I’m wondering about is a Progressive surge and electrical protection. And an RV specific GPS. Also considering a cellular booster as I have to work from the trailer about 10 hours a week. But all three could wait for sure.

      We know we want a portable grill as we have used it in the past. Keeping my eye out for them on sale 🙂

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  3. You are going about this the right way. Oh how I wish we could get a do over. Five years later we are still paying for two storage units and can’t figure out an easy way to get rid of at least one. Grrr! We are the perfect example of how not to downsize into a RV 😆

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    • Ingrid,

      Wonder if you could move everything you don’t want into one unit. Then ask the manager at the storage place to get someone to give you a bid on buying the one unit. Seems like the storage people have to get rid of stuff when the rent is not paid; so they would have a few contacts.

      I’m hoping we are not pressed to move a lot of stuff to storage should the house sell and the closing come real fast. Karen has already said we should plan on living with a bedroom set and minimum other stuff once the house goes on the market. Get rid of most of it before we put the sale sign out. Personally, I think she is wanting to convince me to live in the RV while the house is up for sale:)

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      • I wish unloading one storage unit would be that easy. It’s something we’ll need to do together with our children. This summer everyone’s focus is on the wedding this August. I think Karen might have a good idea!

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  4. Good luck with the garage sale. We have a 5×10 storage unit that we do go into from time to time, like when our weight has changed, and we need different clothes thankfully it’s near my folks and we get there usually once a year. . We have a Lifetime folding table, comes in handy lots of times, especially when we have friends over. Weber Q makes a great traveling grill.

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