Methods We Used

I’m moving items to this list as we dispose of them. Because we had a few years to downsize we are able to take our time. We started off selling things we don’t expect to use in the three years which is when we expect to go full time in an RV. I’m finding once I get on a roll selling stuff it becomes easier to take the time to do it. You just have to take the time to get started.

Paper documents and photos.  What we are doing to go paperless as of 2015.
Small business sale. Not really a conventional item to “purge” but necessary for retirement. Sold to key employee.
Beekeeping Equipment: Selling to new beekeepers who call me for advice.  Getting 1/3 the price of new. Sold another bunch on Craig’s List at 1/3 the price of new. Made sure to have good photos and listed each part that was for sale.  Sold to first person with several others also wanting to buy. I really believe in selling at a good price when dealing with Craig’s List, but not at “garage sale price.”
Trash Day is Tuesday: This is what we say each week as we fill the large trash container. This is a huge benefit only possible because we started planning years in advance.  I actually look forward to walking around the house to fill the trash can. Should have done this years ago to get rid of junk. Update 7/22/18. After using this method for more than a year, I figured out to start maintaining a second bin or trash bag for over-flow. Some weeks I don’t get around to filling the trash receptacle that the trash service empties. So at times I use my overflow bag/bin to top off the regular trash can.  Happens the most when we start cleaning out an area of the house and run out of trash space.  I’m figuring every six times we will the trash can, that saves us one pickup load to the dump!
1985 Bass Tracker Aluminum Boat: Sold on Craig’s List in 12 hours. Fortunately we live in a larger metropolitan area. The guy that bought it drove an hour to get it. I had all the titles (boat, trailer, outboard motor). The boat needed to be restored. Sold it for about a 1/3 of what it is worth if restored to operable condition.  Got five calls and sold to first guy.
Order a Dumpster: A friend who is a home builder ordered me a dumpster at his discounted rate. We were also able to order a size larger at no extra cost. Three years before we are planning to retire. We walked through the house selecting items to dispose of that would not fit in our usually weekly trash container.  Karen and I agreed to select items together. We agreed to the rules for disposal, at this point. If we have not used it in four years, can’t give it away. can’t sell it or we are not going to use it in the next three years, then it goes in the dumpster.
Sold an old truck on Craig’s List. It was bought by a young boy and I had his mother bring a male friend to check it out before I’d sell it to the boy. Socking away the money saved by not having to pay insurance.
Guns: I figured out what they would be worth if sold to an individual, then went to the local gun store and offered to sell them for 2/3 that price. Worked out great.
Hot Tub:  Sold the hot tube on Craigslist to a guy from out of town who brought a trailer. Figured it would not add that much to price of house if it remained. And might be a chance the new owners would not want it and then leave us having to get rid of it at the last moment. Lowered our monthly electrical bill in the mean time!
Tell People at Work: I’ve been listening to others are work who are shopping for stuff. And they have friends. Sold a freezer to a co-workers daughter and he has a friend that wants to buy the motorcycle. Everyone knows I’m retiring in a year at this point. They just are not sure what month because I’ve not told them.  They all know we are downsizing and to be on the lookout for people who need stuff. A guy at work is into wood working. Think I might approach him to sell some saws and blades and similar items. Also sold a motorcycle to a friend of a co-worker. I’m telling you, if it’s okay to let people know at work that you are leaving, then let them know you have great deals on anything they might be needing. Or course, if you are keeping the fact you are leaving a secret, this is not an option.
Garage Sale: So here on 7/21/18 we just finished our first garage sale. Go to this link and start reading about our effort and success. Believe there are three blog posts in a row. On 8/17/19 we held our final of three total garage sales. We kept a mattress to sleep on and a few items to eat from for the most part. Everything left goes to the dump or donation.
Have Your Friends Come Out:  We sold off a ton of furniture and misc. stuff to friends who we invited out to the house to take their pick. We set definite days when everything had to be picked up, with a few items left until we were ready to move out.

 

We held a second successful garage sale and plan a final sale once the house is sold. A couple tips we learned was to place sorted books by topic near like items. Such as cooking books next to kitchen stuff or landscape books next to garden stuff rather than just putting all the books on a shelf. Also if you are advertising larger items on Craigslist then lower the price for the period you are having the garage sale and tell potential buyers they can see the item at the sale. Nearly everything that did not sell in the first nor second garage sale and more are going to the thrift store.

We invited friends who have children who recently bought a home bring the kids out to go through our furniture. Some of what we have is to be used to stage the house. The relator wants to bring other items in. Give the kids with the new home and their parents a piece of paper and have them make a list of what they want. Then have them come and get it if the realtor wants it out of the way or at the time of the final sale. When we did this we made sure the items we were keeping for them were not going to be in our way while fixing the house up.

Now that I’m months from retirement I talk about what we have to sell to co-workers. At first they are hesitant to say they will buy something. Eventually they get the idea that if they don’t buy it someone will. I reserve this for the larger items as I don’t want to get into taking stuff to work. They come to the house for it and that is a good time to tell them how much I appreciated working with them.

A side note for those fixing their houses up for sale! Hold your first and second garage sales early. Keep as much out of the way as possible. Contently run adds selling the larger stuff. You will appreciate having it out of the way.

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