How to Get Rid of Everything and Drive Away – Stuff Be Gone!

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We had NO idea how hard it was going to be to get rid of our stuff before moving out of state! Fortunately, we made plans for the time of our departure months in advance because, as it turned out, we needed every day of that time. Now I can tell you it wasn’t enough time. There seemed to be stuff everywhere!

If we knew then what we know now, we would’ve started even earlier than five months! There was so much stuff to clear out from our home site which included two dwellings. Additionally, there was a garage FULL of tools and stuff plus three other outbuildings on this property all of which were full of more stuff.

If that wasn’t enough stuff to get rid of, we had a country property with acreage that also needed to be downsized. It had two huge barns full of ranch equipment, tools, nuts and bolts and everything someone would need to maintain a property with livestock on it – stuff for mending and building fences, water lines for drinking water – you name it, it was there because it was necessary.

This was all good stuff but, nevertheless, all of that stuff now had to go. How do you declutter all this stuff when you’re getting ready to make a big move and put properties on the market for sale? The amount of going through things, sorting stuff to know what to get rid of is tedious, challenging, and let’s be honest – just plain difficult!

I wish I knew how hard it is to get rid of stuff when downsizing! For us, it was an overwhelming task. In the beginning of this project, we would stand in the rooms and wonder where do we start. We knew we had to start somewhere and we just started to dig in. This is how we handled getting rid of stuff – everything – before getting on the road for our road trip. 

Get Rid of Stuff By Selling Online

Declutter and Downsize your Stuff by Selling Online with eBay

Selling online is a wonderful thing! There are several websites nowadays that give you the opportunity to list your items for the world to see and then ship them out when sold. We had an eBay account as well as some selling apps for our local area.

Getting rid of your stuff by selling online takes some forethought and preparation, however. This could take some time although, fortunately for us, we were able to move household items and tools very quickly. These categories of stuff are desirable especially if they are unique in some way. This cannot be a last-minute decision. List your items and allow months for them to sell to be on the safe side.

The apps for local selling are really good, too, because there is no shipping involved this way. The buyers are local. If you successfully negotiate a deal for an item, you make arrangements to meet in a safe, public place to transact the sale. We very rarely had a buyer come to our home unless it was a large, heavy item that you only want to move once.

Have a Yard Sale to Sell Stuff, Downsize and Declutter

Declutter and downsize your stuff to get rid of everything by having a yard sale

We thought we had it under control when we decided to have a big yard sale five months prior to our scheduled departure month. We did good on the first sale, but we still had so much stuff to sell that we decided to have another yard sale the following weekend. The happy crowds came again to buy up our stuff so they could add our stuff with their stuff.

Aren’t we funny creatures? We all laugh about it, too, at yard sales that we’re helping the sellers get rid of their stuff and adding their stuff with our stuff that we will have to get rid of someday. But, everyone loves a bargain, right? We provided bargains galore so that people were sure to be carrying off some of our stuff as they walked down our driveway.  We needed to see ALL of our stuff go away. Everything must go!

Don’t tell my husband, but in an effort to help move stuff out, I was gladly giving things away to people who looked like they really liked something. I regarded it as a win-win for us both. Good-bye, stuff!

After our two yard sales, we still had loads of things to get rid of. Some were furniture items and general household goods as well as lots more stuff in the garage. That was “his” department – the man cave stuff that I knew nothing about nor would know how to price them. Men love yard sales as much as women especially if there are tools for sale. We had LOADS of tools, and the men were actually calling their friends on their cell phones and telling them to get to our sale! Whoopee! Thanks for the advertising!

Have an Estate Sale to Sell Stuff, Downsize and Declutter

Declutter and downsize your stuff to get rid of everything by having an estate saleMy husband listed lots of items on Craigslist which yielded great results. Items were not listed for very long before we were helping people load these things up in their cars and trucks and haul them away – yay! More stuff gone!

I got on the bandwagon after a while and started doing the same thing – Craigslist listings. They sure worked for us. Pop up a few pictures and describe the items as thoroughly as possible and, Voila! soon they were gone! Like magic!

Sometimes, we had to cringe at the price that people were paying because they were getting such a great deal, but it was another win-win and stuff was moving out. That was the goal – just get rid of the stuff! Everything must go!

Sell Stuff on Craigslist to Get Rid of Stuff

Many items were listed on Craigslist for free. Wow, people gobble those items up in a flash! It has to be on a first-come-first-served basis, and people wasted no time in coming to get the free stuff. But the items for sale sold really good, too. The trick is to post pictures from every angle and provide detailed information so that the buyer doesn’t have to ask a lot of questions before making a buying decision. If there is anything wrong with what you’re selling, be sure to disclose that, too.

Declutter and downsize your stuff to get rid of everything by listing ads on Craigslist

As time was getting closer to our hoped-for departure week, we decided to keep some of the things that had not sold. So, what did we do? You guessed it! We rented a storage unit to hold some of our stuff!!! But this was good stuff that we will be happy to someday move into our new home wherever that turns out to be.

At first, we thought we’d only need a closet-sized storage unit for a few things that we wanted to hold on to. But, if you have ever been in a similar place where you were parting with all your stuff, there are some things that you just COULD NOT let go of. You know what I mean?

Getting Rid of Things With Sentimental Value

On a more serious note, it is one thing to declutter your home or, as in our case, to get rid of everything because you are making a major move to relocate. You know you have to do it, but there are sentimental items that are really difficult to decide what to do with.

This homestead was also that of my in-laws and the home where my husband was raised. With so much emotional ties to items, the stuff then becomes precious belongings of days gone by with your loved ones who have since passed. It’s a much more delicate matter when handling stuff like this. It sure does tug on the heartstrings! It is not always so easy to get rid of those items. This is another whole article in itself.

Need a Storage Unit to Store More Stuff?

So, our closet-sized storage unit grew to a 10’ x 15’ x 8’ unit. My husband carefully calculated the engineering of this unit which now is filled to the gills with our most valued stuff. Guess what comprises a lot of this stuff?  Man cave things! Now, he would probably argue that point, but trust me, I’m right!

The argument here is that if and when we get a house again (instead of, say a condo), there are always things to fix or build and that requires tools. He wins! That’s a valid argument I thought. A garage has to have a lot of tools in it to REALLY be a garage, right?

Get a Cargo Carrier For Stuff You Need On the Road

Our vehicle is a full-sized SUV – not huge – so we had to shop for the cargo carrier that goes on the roof. At first, I thought “Nah, we won’t need one of those”. But my husband was pretty sure that we would so he was on the hunt to find one on Craigslist and wherever else he searched.

Finally, we found one with a super price (it lacked a few parts). My talented Sweetheart can fix or build anything, so he figured out what he needed to get it safely and securely mounted on top so we could load it and the insides of our SUV with stuff that would travel with us on the road.

Beverly Hillbillies On the Road Again!

We laughed at how we were feeling like the Beverly Hillbillies while we were loading all of our most essential things in our vehicle! There wasn’t an inch to spare once we were finished.

The day finally came when we were ready to lock up the homestead for the last time. We were still stuffing stuff in our vehicle right up to the last minute. It was raining. We were exhausted and really didn’t say too much to each other as we drove out the driveway to venture out on our journey ahead.

It wasn’t until the next day after we had a decent night’s sleep that it was slowly dawning on us that our plan – our dream – that we had been preparing for over such a long time was now a reality! It took us a few days to restore our energy to feel like people again instead of machines to experience the excitement of our freedom.

We were on the road with a distant destination in mind and friends to visit along the way who we hadn’t been able to see for a very long time. Where will we wind up? Not sure. We feel that we will know it when we experience it. Who knows? Maybe we will be your neighbor one day!

Declutter and downsize your stuff to get rid of everything before moving and going on road trip


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