Tag Archives: Selling the House

The End Of An Era…

I guess the guy working the back door at Goodwill was understandably a little overwhelmed when we let down the trailer door.

After all, he seemed to be working alone, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and who has a yard sale on Sunday anyway?

People that don’t want to load all their stuff up again, that’s who. People having their second multi-family yard/moving sale in one month.

wpid-IMG_20130602_163551_200.jpg

Dozens of empty totes

We didn’t have as much stuff this time, but it was still enough to fill seven folding tables, one 10 foot clothes rack, a piece of plywood balanced on sawhorses, two tarps on the ground, and multiple totes just opened up for your digging pleasure.

We started Thursday evening setting everything up, and ended up with a pretty good looking yard mall comprised of five pop up canopies and an improvised clothes rack. Friday morning we opened for business, and it was just a big blur of eating and selling until Sunday afternoon. We hadn’t planned on continuing into Sunday, but honestly we never do. Once you’ve unloaded everything and arranged it in the yard it’s hard to not succumb to the ease of just leaving it out one more day, hoping for a few stragglers to stop by and give you a little more money for things you don’t want anymore.

Saturday afternoon in a valiant attempt to load back up as little as possible we decided Sunday would be dirt cheap day, with everything being priced at $1 or less aside from one small tarp of things we knew could be sold online for more.

Signs were made, Facebook posts were issued, and the plan went into action. We did okay on the $1 sale… I think if we had tried it on Saturday it would have been a bigger success. You just don’t get a ton of traffic at Sunday yard sales in the south, and you do get the occasional dirty look. But I don’t think we were quite there yet Saturday.

By about 2 o’clock Sunday we were all completely worn out, so when a heavy shower popped up suddenly we decided to call it a day. We had already gone through and pulled out anything that would be worth selling online, so after one more quick walk through (I did rescue two shirts I might want for my fall 33) we boxed and bagged up the rest to donate.

That’s when I started having mixed feelings. At first I thought it was about letting go of everything, because now it would all really be gone instead of sitting in boxes in the trailer. But looking around I realized it wasn’t about the stuff, I had gotten rid of it all for a reason.

It took me a little while to realize where the mixture of relief and unsettled was coming from. But once I knew that it wasn’t regret for letting go of so much I was okay to just keep packing boxes and trying to figure it out.

Part of what I came up with might sound a bit greedy, but I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way. It was a little hard to let go of the potential money we could have gotten if we kept everything for ‘just one more yard sale’ instead of giving it away.

That’s what we’ve done in the past, we’ll get through on the last day and decide that we have enough good stuff left we should just let it sit and have another sale later, in a few weeks or months. The problem with that is at a certain point your return on investment starts to shrink. With lots of $10 and $20 items there was a good return for waiting and doing it again. But when you’re down to things that might have sat dormant through all the previous sales, and you’re selling them for $1 or less, you’re spending more energy loading, unloading, packing, arranging, cleaning and storing stuff than it’s worth. It becomes as much of an energy drain as taking care of all that stuff was to begin with.

Secondly, it also feels a bit like the end of an era. The end of our big yard sales, no more hanging out and socializing all weekend with friends while we sell, no more sitting under a shade tree while people hand us money. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a ton of work and I always end the weekend exhausted, but there’s something really fun about it too. Without all the excess stuff we’ll have to find other reasons to hang out… I think a celebratory cookout might be in the near future.

But most of all it brings to an end the last five months of selling off our excess stuff. We really started in January focusing on getting rid of it all, we’ve sold tons on Craigslist and Facebook, negotiated furniture into the sale of the house, and had yard sales to sell the small stuff. It’s been a huge focus of the first part of this year, and it’s nearly over. It’s almost a bittersweet feeling.

We still have a few things left from the house to sell… our mattress is too big to fit in the Turtle so it has to go, and a leather loveseat is waiting to be re-listed on Craigslist, plus one small tote of items I pulled out of the yard sale.

But for the most part, it’s all gone. We’re down to what we really need or want, and there are no more areas where things sit unnoticed waiting to be decluttered. If it’s in the Turtle or in a tote in storage I know what it is and why it’s there.

I have my 33 clothing items here in the closet and one large tote in storage waiting for the next swap, that’s it for clothes and shoes. All the dishes and cooking stuff we own fits in our kitchen, and the same goes for the bathroom, den, and outside stuff. In storage I have long term files and business paperwork (2 small totes), one Christmas tote and one tote of fall decorations, my wrapping paper, a few odds and ends like a small desk I refinished by hand and a large antique basket that I don’t have room for but don’t want to let go of, and two totes of heirlooms and truly loved things. And oddly, that feels like a lot. Even though it’s probably less than an eighth of what we had at the house.

We looked around yesterday and realized we can now fit everything we own that isn’t in the Turtle into our 6×12 closed in trailer, maybe with room to spare.

It’s a bit of a weird feeling, as this is the first time in my adult life that I’ve had so little, but at the same time it’s exciting. It’s like starting with a clean slate. I don’t have to worry that I’ve lost or forgotten something, I have everything I need and most of it is in use at all times, and if I desperately need something in the future I just imagine I can find a store that sells it. It’s sort of like another small weight has been lifted now.

So that’s how we ended up pulling up to Goodwill on a Sunday afternoon with a trailer full of boxes and bags. We filled three of their rolling carts and piled the rest inside the door. It wasn’t all ours, I’d say it was more like 50/50. But it was still enough to make you a little sick thinking about all the money spent on stuff.

What about you? If you’ve gone through this process or are going through it now have you had similar feelings? Do you miss anything you’ve sold?

It’s official…

We’re semi homeless! We closed on the house yesterday afternoon with no hiccups or glitches. We now have 10 days to evacuate the premises, but the plan is to be ready to move over to the campground by Sunday morning.

The buyers came by after closing to pay us for the furniture they’re keeping, so we know for sure what we do and don’t have to move now. And the ‘do have to move’ list is fairly short! Out of all the furniture in the house, we have to move –

  • My refinished $15 Goodwill desk (keeping in storage)
  • Washer and dryer (Probably selling)
  • Smallish tv stand and table (Selling)
  • Loveseat (Selling)
  • Wash stand (Up for sale but will keep if nobody buys it)
  • Patio furniture (Selling)
  • A couple of small cedar end tables Marty built (Not sure yet)

Everything will go to storage for now, then when we’re settled I’ll take pictures of the sell items and list the big ones on Craigslist. Our massive yard sale is the first weekend in May so some things will come back out for that if they haven’t sold (patio furniture for sure).

I’ve been editing some of the smaller things I thought I would keep as well, putting even more in the yard sale totes. More on that process to come in a future post.

For now we’ll spend the next 4 days learning new stuff, like how to set up Dish network without an address (Marty’s working on that one now!), where our mail will go, what our mailing address will be, and how much food will fit in the new fridge.

I’ll try to take lots of pictures along the way and share what we learn so maybe it will help somebody else. If nothing else it will give other nosy people like me a chance to watch the process. 🙂

Moving Out Checklist:

  • Find out if we can have our mail delivered to the campground
  • Or set up a post office box
  • Have mail forwarded
  • Cancel homeowners insurance
  • Go through online accounts and change addresses
  • Find the least expensive storage units that will work and pay for a small one
  • Clear out upstairs of last few things
  • List couch, Dyson, and elliptical online for sale. If they could go before we have to move them it would be great!
  • Finish setting up cabinet for dog bed (put wire on back of doors)
  • Figure out if cat is going with us
  • If cat is going find a place for litter box
  • Remind cat how to use litter box
  • Buy satellite dish and Dish receiver
  • Find out about DVR service
  • Buy external hard drive
  • Set up Dish service
  • Cancel DirecTV (Penalty?)
  • Find out about cancelling internet, or just transferring to new owners
  • Write down number to EMS for buyers and put any manuals they’ll need in drawer
  • Pack up breakable items that will be going to storage… there shouldn’t be many.
  • Pack up breakable items that will go into yard sale
  • Get magnetic knife holder for kitchen
  • Move remaining items out of shop to camper or storage
  • Move utility room items to camper
  • Move kitchen items to camper
  • Move den items to camper
  • Move bedroom items to camper
  • Move clothes to camper
  • Take pictures of sale items that are going to storage
  • Move all remaining items to storage for the time being, if there are things that are selling but haven’t yet we’ll keep them accessible
  • Get a bottle of Blackberry Blues to celebrate with

It might be… It could be…

It is! Or at least it’s closer than it was. The second appraisal the bank requested last week went through fine, and now closing is being frantically discussed amongst the 2 real estate agents, 2 closing offices, 2 buyers, and 2 sellers. It’s like the Noah’s Arc of home selling over here.

I’m in the process of getting a payoff statement from our lender for ‘them’. I wonder if we’ll get to meet ‘them’ at closing? I’m picturing a big sheet stretched across the back of a cubicle farm, hiding 2 small framed men in khaki’s and striped polo shirts typing away on those calculators with the paper running out of the back. How very exciting…

Anyway, they are actually wanting to schedule closing for today, or at the latest tomorrow. I don’t know if they’ll be able to manage it, but the buyers are sure hoping for it! They closed on the sell of their house Friday and had to be out the next morning, I believe they’re staying with a daughter until they can move in our house (or should I say their new house?). So if anyone is counting on a quick closing it’s them!

That’s all I know for the moment, I’ll keep ya posted! (You are anxiously awaiting my next post, right?) 🙂

P.S. The cat is litter box trained once more! Huzzah!

Moving Out Checklist:

  • Find out if we can have our mail delivered to the campground
  • Or set up a post office box
  • Have mail forwarded
  • Go through online accounts and change addresses
  • Find the least expensive storage units that will work and pay for a small one
  • Clear out upstairs of last few things
  • List couch, Dyson, and elliptical online for sale. If they could go before we have to move them it would be great!
  • Finish setting up cabinet for dog bed (put wire on back of doors)
  • Figure out if cat is going with us
  • If cat is going find a place for litter box
  • Remind cat how to use litter box
  • Buy satellite dish and Dish receiver
  • Find out about DVR service
  • Buy external hard drive
  • Set up Dish service
  • Cancel DirecTV (Penalty?)
  • Find out about cancelling internet, or just transferring to new owners
  • Write down number to EMS for buyers and put any manuals they’ll need in drawer
  • Pack up breakable items that will be going to storage… there shouldn’t be many.
  • Pack up breakable items that will go into yard sale
  • Get magnetic knife holder for kitchen
  • Move remaining items out of shop to camper or storage
  • Move utility room items to camper
  • Move kitchen items to camper
  • Move den items to camper
  • Move bedroom items to camper
  • Move clothes to camper
  • Take pictures of sale items that are going to storage
  • Move all remaining items to storage for the time being, if there are things that are selling but haven’t yet we’ll keep them accessible
  • Get a bottle of Blackberry Blues to celebrate with