OK, so I didn't sell everything I own, but I got close. When my husband and I decided to live a life of full time travel, we knew that keeping up with our apartment in Chicago would be too much of a hassle and eat away too much of our budget. It was time to move out, slim down our belongings and only keep (in storage) about a quarter of our things.
Here's how we did it:
First, we packed away everything we definitely wanted to keep. We'll have a home again someday, so we arranged to store my grandmother's sofa, dishes and sentimental belongings in my parent's basement, 400 miles away. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) Everything in the keep pile was put in the bedroom, everything we were selling was left in the living room. This was a good way to assess each object in our home and got all of the good stuff out of the way. Now we could see what was left, and figure out how organize and sell it.
Then with the help of a few fantastic friends, we rearranged all of the furniture in the house to make the living room and backyard look somewhat like a showroom. We hauled our sofa and other items into the keep pile in the bedroom so there was enough space for the merchandise to shine. (Yes, the bedroom was a disaster! But that's ok, we just closed the door for the day.)
We positioned everything around the room as neatly as possible so that shoppers could get a good glimpse at what we had. Then we priced everything to sell. Since we were leaving for good, we were really ready to bargain- EVERYTHING MUST GOOOO!
Next it was time to advertise. All of this work doesn't mean a thing if no one shows up! I put a garage sale ad as well as individual listings for the big ticket items on Craigslist and also in the Apartment Therapy classifieds. I didn't include an address in the ad, but wrote back to everyone who was interested with our address and phone number. This worked pretty well, but the most effective advertising I did was to my own friends. I bugged the living daylights out of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers to come early and often to our home that day, and that's how we made most of our sales.
Overall, the event was a success! We made enough cash to cover our moving costs and what we were not able to sell was donated to our local thrift shop. It was definitely worth all of the hard work and when we settle down someday, we'll get to start fresh with a clean slate.
(Images: Smith Schwartz)