The Great Purge of 2010

or: How to make $1200 in a day by selling your junk

Last weekend Rachel and I had a Garage sale (also known as a Yard sale in America, I believe) to get rid of the stuff we can't take with us to the US.

In my previous post I mentioned a growing interest in minimalism, and how the amount of stuff we all accumulate starts to weigh us down emotionally and financially. Getting rid of this stuff is a necessary first step; the second step is not re-acquiring junk when we get to the US.

From first hand experience, I can say it can be quite hard bringing yourself to sort through the boxes of stuff you've had stored since high school; or to part with the box of computer bits that are years out of date but still "useful". Despite a little bit of pain in digging through old boxes, once we committed to getting rid of a lot of stuff it was incredibly easy to say "sell it".

We didn't get rid of everything. A lot of the furniture is being sold, along with our appliances, to the people that are taking over our lease. We both had a few boxes of stuff to store for the long term -- my Transformers, some books and CDs, photos, and keepsakes.

Nevertheless I was shocked at the amount of stuff we ended up having for sale. The photos below should give some indication; and while this wasn't all from our unit (Rachel had a heap of stuff in her old room at her parent's place) we brought up 3 to 4 car-fulls from our unit. Nevertheless, we had a double garage full plus half a drive-way of stuff to sell -- from clothes to bags, from CDs to crockery.

Even though the rule was "everything $2, unless marked otherwise" we managed to pull in about $1200. $1200 from stuff that we won't miss, or even can see that it's gone. With the exception of the art from the walls, and the table and shelves that didn't even end up selling our unit looks no different that it did before.

That $1200 will be more than enough to get us to Melbourne (or Sydney) and back for our visa application, and with enough money left over for Rae to put towards her flight to the US.

The people aspect of the sale was just as fun. We had the usual people who arrive at 5 AM even though we clearly advertised 6 AM as the start time, and then had the nerve to try and haggle for stuff. We had some really cute kids, including a little girl of three and a half who was shopping with her Grandma who found a lot of joy in a pair of fairy wings. I got more than a few references as Rachel's "husband" (106 apparently, but who's counting).

All in all, it was a successful day. The midday heat started to make Rae a little crazy though...

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