I sold everything I owned to travel and live full-time in an RV. I learned a ton from this experience! The appeal of selling everything was to get rid of stuff, live simply, declutter, and have the freedom to travel. The icing on the cake was the cash from selling everything funded the travel.
I’ll dive into four lessons learned from selling everything I own to travel. Before my lessons learned, I’ll answer the basic question. Why in the world would you sell everything you have?
There are many reasons to want to sell stuff you own.
Again, my primary reason to sell everything was to travel and take a mini-sabbatical. Or you can tidy up and sell what you own that doesn’t spark joy the Marie Kondo way. Apparently research shows that clutter and being unorganized is not good for your health. Clutter can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Another reason to sell stuff is to get out of debt. In my mini-class, How to Get Focused & Organized with Your Money + Life, I coach people on how to cut their expenses and/or increase their revenue. Getting a higher paid job or side hustle can’t happen overnight, but selling stuff is something you can start on immediately to get the ball rolling towards paying off debt. Those are just a couple of reason to sell stuff! Now onward to the logistics and practicality of selling what you own.
Here are 4 Lessons Learned from Selling Everything I Own to Travel
1. You have stuff that you can sell
You might think, “Yes I’d love extra cash, but I don’t have anything to sell or get rid of.” WRONG! A confession: years ago in my debt-free journey of paying off over $35,000 in student loans and a car loan I hustled a lot. However, selling stuff wasn’t something I personally did or thought would move the needle to pay off debt.
At the time I thought, “I don’t have electronics, expensive clothes, jewelry, or much to sell.” I mean literally one time I took bags upon bags upon bags of clothes to Plato’s Closet and they REJECTED ALL OF MY CLOTHES! They said, “We only buy items gently used and recent fashions.”
How rude, right?! I thought, “Girllll, who are YOU to say my clothes are ratty and out of style!” After that I mostly would get rid of stuff by giving it to Goodwill. Of course that’s awesome to donate stuff, but I learned recently that there are people who will buy your stuff even if it isn’t in mint condition!
I put everything for sale from old Christmas decorations, clothes, shoes, cameras, half used nail polish, comforter, pillows, furniture, to my car. I did indeed have stuff to sell that people happily bought!
2. You don’t have to own a home to have a garage sale
Every year or so throughout my 20s I’d get rid of stuff by donating it. I never had a garage sale because I didn’t own a home. If you don’t have a home, don’t let that hold you back from doing a garage sale.
I listed my larger items like furniture and my car on Offerup and Craigslist. Those worked! A good ol’ fashion garage sale worked the best because I didn’t have to drive anywhere or coordinate with people who didn’t always show up. When reading up on tips for having a successful garage sale, I realized that even if you are a homeowner, your garage sale can flop if it isn’t on a high traffic street. Think of friends, family members, or coworkers who you can host a garage sale together that live on a busy street (that’s key!).
3. It’s work (like a part-time job!) to sell everything
I wish that money grew on trees! Selling stuff is probably the fastest way to bring in cash, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take time. It takes a LOT of time, planning, and work to sort through everything! I sold EVERYTHING in about a month and a half, but it was essentially my job. I was putting in 20-30 plus hours a week!
To list items online you’ve gotta take photos, write up descriptions, and coordinate with people on a pick-up time and location. To sell my car I got multiple bids from dealerships that were LAME and ended up finding out that selling it privately was the way to go!
I geek out about organization and had myself a snazzy time labeling items with a color coordinated pricing system for the garage sale! LOL! Hey, it worked:)
4. Don’t believe it, until you see it (with cash in hand)!
Lastly, when selling stuff, you’ll quickly find people will flake out. They’ll insist your item is everything they’ve ever wanted and more. Then crickets! That’s simply part of the game when selling stuff online and in person at garage sales.
I ended up selling my car from my garage sale! At least ten people looked at my car and insisted that it was perfect. They’d be right back to buy it! I would tell each interested buyer that it was first come, first serve. And then it happened: someone did show up with a stack of benjamins! Whew, that was a RUSH! SOLD!
Those are my four lesson learned from selling everything I own to travel. You do have stuff to sell, you don’t have to own a home to have a garage sale, it is work to sell stuff, and don’t believe the item is sold until you have cash in hand!
What do you think? Is it crazy to sell what you own? Have you ever sold big items like your car? How was it?
P.S. Want to declutter in your financial life? Let’s work together and get organized! Check out the mini-class that comes with a 1-hour coaching session called How to Get Focused & Organized with Your Life + Money.