Goodbye cards - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

Knowing that soon the only thing you will be doing is travelling to explore new places and cultures at your own pace and maybe getting to a place you always dreamed of, is one of the best feeling I’ve probably ever felt.
Together with the excitement and the adrenaline building up, knowing that the starting day is coming, there’s a mixture of feelings that could make your plans seem less pleasant, mainly, the looming experience of the initial preparation. Though less pleasant than dreaming of places to go – it could & probably would lead to headaches & off-putting thoughts – it is a necessity.

I am that kind of person that hates planning long term, I am more keen to take the days and weeks as they come based on how I feel at that time and how the situation is when a decision needs to be made. Unfortunately a bit of ahead planning is required on some occasions, deciding to leave everything and travel is one of those.
We had no excuses, we had to get on with it and stop procrastinating.
Easy to say but not so easy to do (at least for us that both love the last minute plan).

Dale procrastinating - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

There was always something better to do than packing!

Time to get on with it!

Both me and Dale stopped working just 4 days before we needed to leave the house we were renting in the UK. The dilemma was, considering we were not going to have an home anymore, what to do with all our belongings? To keep or not to keep them? – It almost sounds like a Shakespearean question to me 🙂
We agreed that we were going to keep very few things (especially some of Dale’s guitars and pedals) with a sentimental attachment to it that friends were kindly going to look after for us, leaving with us with a task of re-homing (in one way or another) those items left over.
Most of the stuff was needed in the house because we were still living in it so we waited till the very last week to start to get rid of everything, it was when the MADNESS BEGAN!

Packing - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

Even our world wall map needed to go at some point! 🙁

Boxes - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

What a week we had!

We attempted four differing ways of selling. First, we had friends come over for drinks and a first-come-first-served choice on everything in the house. Second, we took items or lists to our individual workplaces for colleagues to glance over. Third, selling items on eBay. And fourth, selling items through Facebook groups.

The first two had moderate levels of success with a few of the more interesting items. The third, again, was moderately successful. Managed to sell a few items, but after packaging left us with very little in terms of bankable profit. The fourth, was where the money was. Chi-ching!

Via the recommendation of one of my colleagues, we joined various groups on Facebook called either ‘BUY & SELL in Leamington’ or ‘SELL ANYTHING in Leamington’ or ‘SELL or BUY in Leamington’, you get the idea. Once we joined these groups, we checked the rules saw that only a certain amount of posts we allowed & started to select some goodies. Post a picture, pick a price & wait and see. We got fast responses & collections within the hour, some items sat there for days & had to be ‘bumped’ back up to avoid being lost within the recesses of Facebook’s dungeons. Some people will try to con you, offering very little for an item worth 50x the price, but in the end it was starting to work for us.

So we had people coming to collect pieces of furniture, books, kitchen utensils, clothes, electronics, a bed, the sofa; everything we could possibly sell.
It was a really stressful matter, believe me!
We had a ‘proper’ daily agenda to follow – in reality it was just a piece of paper with badly handwritten (almost ineligible) remarks, comments & names. Paper evidence that we both have terrible handwriting, I’ll leave it to you to imagine the confusion generated. So we noted the name of the people coming, the day and time they were most likely to arrive, what they needed to collect and the money they’d agreed to exchange. We also put sticky notes on everything we sold that needed to be collected to make things easier, shame they kept coming off when the glue wasn’t sticky anymore. Again that created few technical problems, whoops!

Dale organizing paperwork - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left
Franca organizing paperwork- Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

What should have been a very simple and well organized operation, turned out to be a nightmare on more than one occasion. Some people didn’t turned up without notifying us first so we ended up been stuck in, waiting for somebody that never came. Some others tried to bargain something that we were already selling for next to no money – in fact sometimes we got fed up and we gave them the stuff for free as long as they took it away. Some others waited to show interest until the last few days when they knew we were going to be desperate to get rid of stuff so they could offer us little money.

It was already quite difficult to separate ourselves from objects that we’d bought ourselves because we liked them, or those that were presents; some others had been with us for long time and had a meaning or thought attached. People were taking advantage of our situation from time to time, offering us next to nothing for items worth a hundred times over, or more! We had no choice, we need to either sell, give stuff away or bin it.

The most difficult part for me was getting rid of my lovely hats, you have to know that I have a little love/obsession for hats and managed to collect a ‘few’ along the years that were taking most of the wardrobe space. I was almost in tears!
Also for both me and Dale CDs, DVDs and books were the toughest things to give away, we kept a few but we couldn’t keep them all especially considering the huge number we had of each one. At the end we comforted each other knowing that they were just objects that could be re-bought at some point if we really wanted to. Some items rarely go out of print & new adventures would soon write themselves.

It was a real STRESS! Time wasn’t on our side, we also had other things to think about and get organized, like finishing our vaccinations, buying our backpacks (admittedly we left it a bit late, our own fault on this).
We ended up giving loads of stuff to different charities, feeling much better about that than binning! 🙂
We should have done it at the beginning and forgotten about the whole selling fracus.

Franca eating on the stairs - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

Forgive my silly face, I needed to cover the tiredness by looking stupid

"Dale eating on the stairs - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

The iPad followed us EVERYWHERE, it become our portable TV!

Eating on the stairs - Selling Everything and Packing What’s Left

We’ll never forget the last few days in that lovely flat when things were slowly starting to disappear to the point when we had no table, no chairs or any other seating (bye bye sofa, stools, etc..) and no plates or glasses either so we ended up eating our meals on paper plates either standing up at the kitchen surface or sitting on the narrow stairs, so funny!
To be completely honest, we were so tired from packing and boxing stuff that we were not even bothered about it.
Everything in our flat changed very quickly and by the end it didn’t even look like our own little place anymore, we just wanted to leave!
In very few days we went from going to work everyday, to not having a job anymore. From having a home full of memories & comforts – a place to relax – to four very empty white rooms.
It was a very big change for both of us and for the first time we realized it was really happening!
Such an odd feeling!

The important thing though is that the stress, the hard work & the need to organize so many things and details that we didn’t even know about didn’t take out any of the excitement that was simultaneously growing day by day or make us regret the decision we’d made. 🙂
We were so happy that our dream was going to become reality in a very short time.

How do you feel about not having a home to go back to?