A huge part of our work so far has been downsizing and selling everything from our house. It seems like a simple enough job, right? WRONG. I've been at it for a month and I think we're pretty much done now, but it's been a HUGE undertaking.
Here's how we did it:
1. We sold all of our large/valuable items on FB.
I made a public Facebook group and added absolutely everyone local and invited them to do the same. We ended up with over 400 people who wanted to get first dibs on our stuff. Garage salers are looking for the absolute lowest price on everything, but I felt like I could sell things for a bit more if I listed them each individually and targeted the right market. After meeting up with a few people (and getting stood up a few times) I decided I would only allow people to pick stuff up. This meant lots of days waiting at home for someone to swing by, but this forced me to keep working and cleaning. We started with the attic and the back of our closet, since that was obviously stuff we didn't need/hadn't used in a long time. I priced things higher than I would at a garage sale and expected people to make offers, hardly anyone did! Most people were happy to pay full price. We had a goal in mind for how much we'd like to make selling everything and we exceeded that goal just by selling stuff on FB.
2. I hosted a mini garage sale
I had so much vintage kids' stuff from when I had an Etsy shop, there's no way I would have time to take pictures and post each item. Instead, I found people who were interested in looking through it and hosted a little sale on a weekday evening. I priced stuff higher than I would have at a normal garage sale and it was very successful.
3. I prepared for our garage sale
I made a FB event, posted in several large groups, posted on Craigslist, hung up posters and spread the word however I could. I posted preview pictures and lists of what was available. I gathered garage sale items for weeks ahead of time and spend a full 14 hours sorting, pricing and organizing items. I was shocked that it took so long, but I probably should have expected it. I tried to price as many items as possible to avoid constant questions and bargaining. We hosted the sale in our house instead of outside so that we didn't have to move every single thing and didn't have to worry about the weather.
4. GARAGE SALE!
The day of the garage sale was exhausting. I knew it would be a long day and a lot of work, but people starting showing up at 7am and kept coming (and coming and coming!) until 4pm. We were busy all day. Because we had the sale in our house, we had nowhere to escape to. People are bold and tactless sometimes when it comes to garage sales. We had to kick people out of our (closed) shed, ask them not to park on the neighbor's yard, deny access to the basement, attic and our bedroom when they asked (and they did), people dug through our cupboards, tried to buy our appliances, lowballed us like crazy and bought anything that wasn't nailed down. Things that sold well: musical instruments, tools of any kind, and toys. Our goal was to make $500 and we were thrilled when we made over $1,000! Our hard work and preparations paid off!
5. The rest.
Today (Monday) we were stuck with the job of tackling the leftovers. We called a few friends and let them scavenge, hauled a load to Goodwill and the dump and a woman who owns a furniture store came and bought a few things. We set stuff by the road with a 'Free' sign and most of it was gone within an hour.
And here we are.
This is what we're left with (plus a it more that we'd already moved). All of our earthly possessions, pared down to what we love best. I'm sure it's still too much, I know for certain that it's more than we need. It was a weird feeling, pulling out of the driveway today with these bins in the back. Everything we have left, right there in one vehicle.