Transitions, transitions… why are they so challenging? We’re excited to go on this new journey – selling our belongings, purchasing an RV… and working on getting ourselves ready for being on the road for a while, but there is a LOT of behind the scenes stuff that has to come together and it’s honestly overwhelming and a little stressful. We are preparing our lives to be how we want them to be, we have to shed a LOT of the past. Here we go again…! Weird material item grief central, take 59 :: CLAP :: .
Moving is a lot of mental and physical inventory. We are basically inventorying the entire house and all of our belongings, assessing – do we need this? Could we sell this? Is this worth trying to sell or should I just donate it? If we were to have a moving van, perhaps the task would not be as daunting, but our goal is to only move the RV and my car across country… so that means a LOT of downsizing. What that also means is constantly assessing what we use and don’t use, need and don’t need. It’s mentally exhausting!
I still have a lot of my parents stuff in this house and now my brother is trying to convince me to do another purge at the house where more of my parents stuff STILL is. I am honestly still soooo annoyed at how much stuff my parents left behind for us to clean up and on top of it, my mom’s voice is haunting me with “Lisa, if anything ever happens to me, you better look in every pocket, I hid things”. Although this is true, this is an utter and total crazy maker for me. Completely obsessive and detailed about something that is exhausting to even physically and mentally do, it’s got to be even more detailed? And now my brother wants me to go through that stuff AGAIN and on top of it sort HIS STUFF? I don’t think any of this is fair or okay and I’m honestly angry about it. Trying not to get victum-y, but why the hell did they have to have so much crap? It’s 100% inspired me to live as simple as we possibly can…
Here’s what I’m doing to cope:
I’m purging a lot of things and turning pain into cash when I can, so we can use it for our trip! Doing this allows me to turns pain in to pleasure and the past into the future. Pretty cool!
Don’t need it?
Every time I see an item that I don’t need and the price tag is than $30, I put it in a donate bag / box I have set aside. This is very freeing, as at any moment during the day I can really let something go. I’m calling the first phase of this the comb over. If I feel like I don’t need the item anymore but I really want to look at it, I take a picture of it.
Some important tags my dad had for a long time I’ve held on to. Here are some photos I took and archived on my instagram so I could move on. If I am not sure, I leave it where it was. I know I have to come back to it again, and can assess whether I really NEED IT or I think I’ll miss it.
An example of a weird thing I thought I could easily get rid of was this T Shirt I got from Senior Week at Syracuse University. It has my graduation year on it. I never have worn this T shirt, yet I feel compelled to save it. Why? My excuse is “because it will never happen again!”… But I never wear this shirt and it doesn’t serve me. I think about will I regret this if I get rid of it? What if I
How will it help me have a better life? I usually come back to the thought that I don’t actually need it and it’s some weird emotional attachment I have to this physical item… and therefor I have a decision to make. I can save it, wear it and put it back into my wardrobe, take a picture of it and then give it to someone that doesn’t actually have any money to buy clothes and could use it more, or make something from it. I am very tempted to make a T Shirt blanket… but when the hell am I going to do this? This is still in the drawer. I have a feeling there will be a photo of this by the time we leave… or I will just simply let it go.
The picture featured here with the dark background is a copy of the 1996 Daytime Emmy Award Nominees with my dad’s name on it. It’s one of the items that I have take a picture of, yet I can not let go of right now, even though it’s this crappy copy of a nominee page… (My dad also won an Emmy in 1988 for the NFL today and I do plan on keeping this forever and ever).
For a friend?
Every time I see an item I think a friend might like, I put it in a friend bag / box. I’m banking on actually seeing that friend before I go. This puts both getting rid of the item and seeing the friend in motion!
Ebay & Amazon
Anything that is small and mailable and more than $30, I am working on putting it up on ebay and amazon. You can check out what I have out there. If they don’t sell, I will continue to lower the price until they do. Some items are worth it!
People always want something for nothing. It’s also a little awkward – I like to meet people in a public place like a Starbucks or Duncan Donuts where people can see you. It is a little weird to meet a stranger in a parking lot, but it’s better than always giving out your address and strangers coming to your house! Craigslist is a great place to get rid of things. Prepare yourself for a lot of back and forth communication. Make sure it’s worth it. Make sure you meet in a public place if you CAN. Meetways.com is an awesome tool to meet someone halfway, if they live kinda far. I don’t go more than a half hour or small priced items. For larger priced items, I might drive an hour to meet someone, but I would be very sure they are very interested and that they don’t try and screw you over money wise by offering way less than you want when you arrive. Confirm the price before you go anywhere!
When we get to the point of selling the BIG STUFF like furniture, this will go on craiglist and the only choice we’ll have is to have people come over. This part is unavoidable. It will be great to put some items up soon, as we live near a college and I know some of the college students probably don’t have a lot of stuff for their houses and will be looking!
Coins and Stamps
I’ve made a pile for coins and stamps, which I have found a local company, Trenton Stamp & Coin Company, who will review them and hopefully buy them. Haven’t called them yet, so hoping they are still in business! If not, there’s a coin dealer directory I found.
I’ve made a 2 piles of clothing – trendy and vintage. Trendy clothing from the last 3 years, including costume jewelry, shoes and bags (and especially name brand stuff), can be given to a local consignment shop. I’ll be taking the trendy stuff to Green Street Consignment. They have 2 locations near me, Princeton and Lambertville. They are super picky (as they should be!) and will only take things that are seasonal, folded, no pet hair, stains or broken buttons/zippers etc. They also have to be trendy. You have the option of if they sell, they send you a check ( this usually takes a while, they have your pieces up for 6-8 weeks and THEN send you a check for what they sold), and if they don’t you can pick them up OR they will donate the clothes. You have to have a min of 10 pieces in order for them to take your stuff, so make sure you have a lot of things to bring them and prepare yourself for some rejection of pieces — and needing to figure out what to do with them afterwards. I’d probably donate the items that they don’t take.
My other vintage pile I have been stuck on for a while. Portland has vintage shops all over the place that would LOVE the clothes I have, but I’m not going to take up valuable space in the RV or car. My friend Kali told me about Buffalo Exchange, which has locations all over the country. There is one near us in Philly, so that’s where I’ll take my vintage clothing, shoes, etc. I understand they pay you right on the spot. We will see how this goes!
I made a pile for jewelry: gold, silver, and costume. If you look on jewelry, you will see the good stuff is usually marked with 14k, 18k, 24k, the silver %, etc. The gold is a good money maker. If you can part with it, if it doesn’t serve you, brings bad memories, you’ll never wear it — sell it and turn it into money! (you could also turn those pieces into something you WOULD wear… that is always an option! Take the diamond out, turn it into an engagement ring, take the gold, melt it into something awesome, etc).
Any of the stuff that the local jeweler doesn’t take, I will take to the consignment shop to see if they want it. And any of the stuff neither want, I will donate. I’m going to Dave’s in Hamilton, NJ, as they always take the time to go through each piece and cut a check right then and there. They WILL take your license info, as they want to make sure these items were not stolen and will compare with police reports.
Donating anything else
There are a ton of places that will literally come to your door or driveway and pick up anything you leave out. ANYTHING. Vietnam Veterans of America Donation can schedule a pickup and it is tax deductible. We plan to put out several loads in the driveway. This is probably the absolute easiest way to get rid of a bunch of things and give them to people who need them and could use the money. There are other places out there you can check out, but this is my GO TO.
No clue yet. ha! Some I’ve taken a picture of, put on facebook, and let go of, but I honestly haven’t figured this out yet. I might take them somewhere so they can quickly digitize all of them and then let go of the prints. Not sure!
Records and CDs
I have more records and some CDs that I’m going to go to Princeton Record Exchange with. We’ll see if they want them. They buy a lot of good stuff… hopefully they will buy some of mine!
I’ll keep you posted on how things progress. This is totally a energetically draining process, so what I have to focus on is turning that pain into pleasure… So far I’ve sold some records on craiglist and turned $0 into $90. That could pay for gas, food, or an off road adventure. The exchange was totally in a parking lot. It felt good, this jewish man paid me in multiples of 18 because it’s good luck. That’s an awesome way to start this whole thing off!
Goal #1 is to make $1,000 with this first round of items. The bigger goal is to have $5,000 or more to use on our trip. Let’s see how this goes!!
Sending you love in all you are doing in your life right now,